AllTV lowballs Kabayan, Korina; scrimps on frequency expansion: Manny Villar ain’t going to be a big spender like MVP in TV5

Ultra bilyonaryo Manny Villar is the richest Filipino but he isn’t going to splurge on talent and equipment for his media empire just like Manny V. Pangilinan did with TV5 a dozen years ago.

A Babbler said Villar reportedly offered a measly P1 million a month each to veteran news anchors Noli “Kabayan” de Castro and Korina Sanchez to headline the flagship news program of his media baby, AllTV Channel 2.

Babbler said both De Castro and Sanchez were appalled by Villar’s offer considering that the richest Filipino had targeted them as his “dream team” for his news program.

“Both De Castro and Sanchez scoffed at the lowball offer saying to close friends they’d rather stick to their current jobs rather than join AllTV,” said Babbler.

De Castro is still an anchor of ABS-CBN’s morning news program on Teleradyo (broadcast on A2Z channel) and has an online features program on Youtube, “KBYN.”

Sanchez, who is married to former senator and bilyonaryo Mar Roxas, has a weekly magazine show, “Rated Korina”, aired on TV5 and is set to have a new show on Net 25 next month.

Babbler said AllTV has also dropped its plan to hire former TV Patrol producer Cheryl Favila due to budget constraints.

AllTV currently runs CNN Philippines news program on primetime as it continues to recruit anchors, reporters, backroom staff and technical crew for its flagship program. CNN Philippines is renting space in Villar’s building in Mandaluyong City.

“Unless Manny spends to attract talent, wala, nagaaksaya lang siya ng pera diyan,” Babbler said.

Aside from news, Babbler said AllTV is nowhere near maximizing its nationwide free TV franchise.

It only has an analog transmitter so far which it bought from ABS-CBN which will be switched off next year as the country makes the full transition to digital television (ABS-CBN has already sold its digital transmitters to telco firms Globe and Smart).

Since ABS-CBN’s frequencies are only for Mega Metro Manla, Babbler said AllTV needs to get other frequencies and build relay stations or tie up with existing players to realize the full potential of its nationwide franchise.

Based on AllTV’s talent signings and equipment purchases so far, Babbler said it was clear Villar would not walk the same road taken by Pangilinan who burned billions of pesos to poach popular but ageing stars from ABS-CBN and level up his studio and digital frequencies since he bought out Tonyboy Cojuangco from TV5 in 2010.

TV5 has been bleeding red since Pangilinan took over, with a total of P5.3 billion losses in the last three years.

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