GMA 7 job cuts ‘not related to Ang talks’
The move to lay off around 200 personnel in GMA 7 regional stations has nothing to do with buy-in talks with San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang, network officials said.
“The strategic streamlining being undertaken by the network is geared towards increasing ratings and revenues of all of its regional stations from more efficient operations,” GMA 7 chairman and chief executive officer Felipe L. Gozon said in an e-mail prepared by GMA Network’s Corporate Communications department.
Ang has acquired an initial 30-percent stake in the publicly listed network.
Gozon stressed that the network “was not closing down any regional station.” Afternoon news programs of Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Dagupan remain and will be further strengthened.
Pending the completion of the study and recommendation of the Regional TV Review Committee, the network said all the existing regional stations – other than Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Dagupan – will continue as satellite selling stations.
Network executives gave 200 personnel in Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Naga and Ilocos their walking papers and severance pay on Friday. Laid off were reporters, video cameramen, editors, technical crew and talents.
The retrenchment was apparently done by the book.
Under the Labor Code, employers are mandated to serve a written 30-day notice on the workers and the Department of Labor and Employment.
The law also provides that in case of termination due to redundancy, affected workers are entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least one month pay or at least one month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher.
Retrenched personnel of GMA 7 were served their walking papers on Friday and told they may continue to report for work until the last working day of May.
Jun Veliganio, one of the affected workers, also said he received a severance package that included a separation pay of one month pay per year of service and salary for the month of May.
The Labor Code allows employers to terminate workers “due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment.”
In Cebu, those laid off included senior correspondent Jun Veliganio, news producer Jessie Campos, junior desk editor Randy Gorion, supervising producer Vlad Fernando, associate producer Bernard Labalan and make-up artist Christian Chavez.
Also laid off were: regional correspondents Greggy Magdadaro, Bexmae Jumao-as and Mark Anthony Bautista; VTR editors Urestedes Gulleban, Marlon Marquez, and Jude Montejo; video journalists Aaron Dave Blanco, Ian Joshue Laroga, Leofil Labastida, Joel Bajenting and Joel Pantino; and show hosts and talents Yorie Deldig, Cherryl Pelayo-Dacua and Rose Versoza.
With the cancellation of the morning news show Buena Mano, GMA 7 will be left with only the afternoon newscast of 24 Oras. Anchor Bobby Nalzaro was retained while Versoza, his co-anchor, was let go.
GMA Network, in a statement posted on its website last month, said it outperformed rival networks in urban Luzon and Mega Manila in February.
There was no mention about ratings in the Visayas and Mindanao, where four of the six affected regional stations are located.
Citing the Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, GMA said it enjoyed a total day household audience share of 36.9 percent in urban Luzon and 38.7 percent in Mega Manila in February. These were higher than those of rival networks.
Urban Luzon and Mega Manila account for 77 and 59 percent, respectively, of all urban TV households in the country.
Meanwhile, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday called on all employers to be sensitive to the needs of their employees.
“The primary rule is always the rule of love. As the Holy Father many times emphasized, profit should only come secondary to service. We should always think about people who have been with us,” he told reporters/ WITH SENIOR REPORTER ADOR VINCENT MAYOL XAVIER UNIVESITY INTERN ANA LIZA BANAYNAL AND INQUIRER.NET
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