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RUMOR REPORT:Kabayan on ABC-5?

discussion in print and broadcast media about a rumored invitation to veteran broadcaster and former Vice President Noli de Castro to move over to ABC Channel 5.

This piece of news is usually best left alone to the entertainment section. Except that the personalities involved in this rumored move on the part of Kabayan has caused even the business sector to join the speculation. If the reports are true, this development would involve two of the biggest media moguls in the local business community and one of the highest-paid, if not yet the highest-paid, media personality in the country today.

The talk is that executives of ABC 5 have made an offer to De Castro that “no one can refuse”. The financial package involved in the proposed deal is said to be “historic” in proportion – meaning, this kind of offer has never been given to any television, print or broadcast media personality, whether in news/public affairs or entertainment.

We have yet to get confirmation about the veracity of this offer, but, as our colleagues in the entertainment sections say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And this is one possible offer that surely stokes a lot of fire.

The view from the business community is that this talk about a major ABC 5 offer to De Castro “may not be far from the truth”. One reason is that no one doubts the financial capability of the group and, of course, the man behind ABC 5 – telecommunications, power sector, infrastructure and now looming media czar Manny Pangilinan.

That Pangilinan has the financial wherewithal to back the offer that “no one can refuse” is a foregone conclusion. But what adds credibility to the news of the alleged offer is the clear determination on the part of the ABC 5 leadership to make its mark in the local television industry.

And the possible entry of De Castro should remove any and all doubt about ABC 5’s intentions.

Surprisingly, the rumor about the ABC 5 offer to De Castro appears to have elicited much enthusiasm. Many say it will be good for the local television industry should ABC 5 succeed in getting De Castro to join the station. This would make for a more interesting battle for ratings and, ergo, more exciting competition for advertising revenues.

The other view is that joining ABC 5 would be a good professional move for De Castro. He and Pangilinan can become the “dynamic duo” of the local broadcast industry – De Castro with the unequalled ability to communicate with the masa; and Pangilinan with the business savvy and a track record for translating a business vision into reality.

A De Castro-Pangilinan tandem has limitless possibilities. In the broadcasting arena, that is.

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