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The History of Philippine Radio and Television Broadcasting

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Monica Joy Non

on 15 February 2013

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Transcript of The History of Philippine Radio and Television Broadcasting

Philippine Radio and TV
Broadcasting The History of WAR OVER! TELEVISION 1950's 1960's 1982 - 1986 1947 Martial Law Days A couple of 50-watt radio stations were established in
Pasay and in Manila by Henry Hermann. Radio during
Japanese Occupation WORLD WAR II Shortly after the bombing of the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Japanese airplanes bombed Manila and attacked Davao, Baguio, Clark Field in Pampanga, and the American Naval Base in Cavite. The Japanese Imperial Army diversionary forces landed in Legaspi, Albay; Aparri, Cagayan; and Vigan, Ilocos Sur and the main invasion forces landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan. President Manuel Quezon, Vice President Sergio Osmeña, and Lt Gen Douglas MacArthur left Manila and departed for Corregidor. As a new alternative, a similar shortwave relay station was provided for a few more days by the navy wireless station but was destroyed when the Japanese forces attack Cavite. When the Filipino and the American troops retreated, all radio stations, except KZRH, were destroyed as part of the “scorched earth policy” of General MacArthur. Subsequently, the Japanese forces reactivated the three radio stations in Manila. These were the better-known KZRH and KZRM, and the lesser-known KZRF. Station KZRH was used by the Japanese Military Administration as its mouthpiece in the country. When World War II was over, KZFM was the first radio station to return on the air. It reopened in May 1945 and was operated by the US Army Office of War Information. After President Harry Truman proclaimed that “the United States of America withdraws and surrenders all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control, or sovereignty now existing and exercised by the United States of America in and over the territory and [the] people of the Philippines” on July 4, 1946, the US government turned it over to the Philippine government in September 11, 1946. KZFM, renamed DZFM in 1947, became the nucleus of the Philippine Broadcasting System. Subsequently, the first two call letters “KZ” was replaced by “DZ” for Manila, “DW” for Luzon, “DY” for the Visayas, and “DX” for Mindanao in 1947. Later, radio stations in Luzon including Manila were required to change their first two call letters from “DW” to “DZ”. Radio was heavily censored, controlled and monitored. Martial Law tore the yellow curtains of sensationalism and vulgar journalism. It established government controls through the Broadcast Media Council, the KBP & the NTC. There was the pre‐eminence of radio as an instrument of change: Radio Veritas & Radyo Bandido. During the 1950s, the University of Santo Tomas and Feati University were experimenting with television. UST demonstrated its home-made receiver, while Feati opened an experimental television station two years later. By 1960, a third station was in operation, DZBB-TV Channel 7, or, the Republic Broadcasting System. It was owned by Bob Stewart, a long-time American resident in the Philippines who also started with radio in 1950. RBS started with only 25 employees, a surplus transmitter, and two old cameras. During this time, the most popular horror series on Philippine television was Gabi ng Lagim. During that time, the Filipinos readily accepted radio news and entertainment programs, and local businessmen, who recognized its profitability, established their own radio stations to advertise their products and services. In 1924, The first two call letters “KZ” was assigned to all radio stations in the Philippines in accordance with the laws of the United States of America applicable to the country, which was then an American colony. KZKZ, a 100‐watt radio station, replaced the 50‐watt radio stations established earlier by Hermann. In 1929, KZRC, Radio Cebu, opened in Cebu and introduced radio broadcasting in the province. However, it was closed down because shortwave relay signals were unsuccessful between Cebu and Manila. It reopened after a decade and fearlessly went on air with the guerilla movements. Promulgated in 1931, the Commonwealth Act No. 3840, also known as the Radio Control Law, created the Radio Control Division, the regulatory body of the broadcast industry under the supervision of the secretary of commerce and industry. Later, it was renamed Radio Control Office that lasted until 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 and “placed the entire country under martial law” and when the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas was established “to police its own rank.” During that time, six commercial radio stations were already established, and these were KZEG, KZIB, KZRC, KZRF, KZRH, and KZRM. Only one of these radio stations, KZRM, stayed on the air for a very long period since 1927. On December 28, 1941, three weeks after the attack of the Pearl Harbor, the United States provided a shortwave relay station in the Philippines. Radio programs were compiled in Washington, sent out through the NBC network, relayed through the KGEI in San Francisco, California, and beamed to the five radio stations in Manila and to the radio station in Cebu. This long but cumbersome shortwave relay station lasted for six days and was discontinued when the Japanese forces entered and occupied the City of Manila on January 2, 1942 after General MacArthur declared Manila an open city to avoid further destruction and loss of civilian lives. The following day, Gen Masaharu Homma, the Japanese Imperial Army commander in chief, announced the end of the American occupation, the imposition of martial law, and the establishment of the Japanese Military Administration. Among the three radio stations, two were noted in the United States and in the South Pacific under different call signs. Station KZRH was noted as KAIN, PIAN, and PIRN, while station KZRM was noted as PIAM and PIRM. Obviously, under the Japanese Military Administration, the first two call letters “PI” stood for Philippine Islands. On February 6, 1942, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo, in a broadcast over the Japanese controlled KZRH, urged General MacArthur to surrender in view of the obvious superiority of Japanese arms contradicting his early pronouncements on June 12, 1941 urging the Filipino people to unite as one in body and soul and cooperate wholeheartedly with the United States if they want to save democracy. On the other hand, the Far East Broadcasting Company operated two mobile shortwave stations for outside broadcasts. It is likely that one of these stations, probably KZRB, was taken over by the US Army as a temporary shortwave relay station from KGEI in San Francisco, California. KZRB was noted in Australia and in New Zealand as the first shortwave relay station that carried press messages and recorded voice transmissions from the United States mainland to the country. During the Japanese occupation, Filipinos listened to shortwave radio broadcasts from the American forces in Corregidor, Bataan and in Honolulu, Hawaii-an activity that was banned by the Japanese Military Administration. For less than three months, an American radio station with the slogan “Freedom Radio” was aired in Bataan and gave hope and courage to guerilla movements across the archipelago. Filipinos, at that time, depended on radio news broadcast on when the Americans “shall return” as promised by General MacArthur. As a colony of the United States, the first two call letters “KZ” was used until 1947 when Francisco “Koko” Trinidad, regarded by broadcasters and broadcast faculty and students as the father of Philippine broadcasting, represented the country in a conference of the International Telecommunications Union in Atlantic City in the United States. In that conference, Trinidad insisted the change of the first two call letters “KZ” to “RP” for Republic of the Philippines. He wanted to inform the world about the one-year-old republic in the South East Asia. However, the union rejected the first two call letters because of the trouble it would cause in securing the approval of the international broadcasting community. And because Germany used her radio stations to advance the ideologies of Nazis, the union punished her by depriving her rights to use broadcast airwaves. The union then gave her rights to use the call letter D for Deutscheland, the German name of Germany, to the Republic of the Philippines. Also in 1947, the Philippine Broadcasting System under Trinidad introduced developmental communication in radio broadcasting. Agricultural programs were broadcast on some radio stations in the country and in the region. During martial law dozens of print and broadcast journalists were murdered or jailed. It proved to be a nightmare of one of the "freest" media in Asia. Catholic‐church owned radio Veritas mobilized people power to support the rebel soldiers against Marcos’ military power. Millions of Filipinos followed the historic events of the EDSA revolution from Radyo Bandido anchored by JuneKiethley After the People’s Power revolution of 1986, Corazon Aquino restored democracy. In the process, she revised the constitution which now upholds the Bill of Rights including the provision on an “invioable” Freedom of the Press. This injected much hope for the new media although the Marcos legacy still live on‐‐‐the controls of the KBP & NTC. RADIO On October 23, 1953, the Alto Broadcasting System (ABS), the forerunner of ABS-CBN, made its first telecast as DZAQ-TV Channel 3. The ABS offices were then located along Roxas Blvd. ABS was owned by Antonio Quirino, brother of former president Elpidio Quirino. Consequently, the first telecast was that of a party at the owner’s residence, earning Elpidio Quirino the honor of being the first Filipino to appear on television. The station operated on a four-hours-a-day schedule (6-10PM), covering only a 50-mile radius. ABS was later sold to the Lopez family, who later transformed it into ABS-CBN. By 1957, the Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN), owned by the Lopez family, operated two TV stations--DZAQ Channel 3 and DZXL-TV Channel 9. In 1961, the National Science Development Board was established. It was behind the earliest initiative to use local TV for education, "Education on TV" and "Physics in the Atomic Age." In 1963, RBS TV Channel-7 Cebu was inaugurated
The Metropolitan Educational Association (META), in cooperation with the Ateneo Center for Television Closed Circuit Project, produced television series in physics, Filipino, and the social sciences which were broadcast in selected TV stations and received by participating secondary schools. The META team was headed by Leo Larkin, S.J., with Josefina Patron, Florangel Rosario, Lupita Concio and Maria Paz Diaz as members. The project lasted from 1964 to 1974. By 1968, the daily television content consisted mostly of canned programs; only 10% of programs was locally produced. The same year, ABS-CBN provided Filipinos with a live satellite feed of the Mexico Olympics. Filipino audiences also saw the Apollo 11 landing live in 1969. By 1966, the number of privately owned TV channels was 18; ABS-CBN was the biggest network by the time Martial Law was declared. 1970's During Martial Law, Ferdinand Marcos ordered the closure of all but three television stations: channels 9 and 13 were eventually controlled by then Ambassador Roberto Benedicto, and Bob Stewart’s Channel 7 was later allowed to operate with limited three-month permits. ABS-CBN was seized from the Lopez family, and Eugenio Lopez Jr., then president of the network, was imprisoned. In 1973, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) was organized to provide a mechanism for self-regulation in the broadcast industry. By the latter part of 1973, Channel 7 was heavily in debt and was forced to sell 70% of the business to a group of investors, who changed the name from RBS to Greater Manila Area (GMA) Radio Television Arts. Stewart was forced to cede majority control to Gilberto Duavit, a Malacañang official, and RBS reopened under new ownership, with a new format as GMA-7. When the smoke cleared, the viewer had channels 2, 9, 13, run by Benedicto; Duavit’s 7; and 4, which belonged to the Ministry of Information. When DZXL-TV Channel 9 of CBN was sold to Roberto Benedicto, he changed the name from CBN to KBS, Kanlaon Broadcasting System. So when a fire destroyed the KBS television studios in Pasay, the people of Benedicto took over the ABS-CBN studios on Bohol Avenue, Quezon City. His employees moved in, and by August 1973, KBS was broadcasting on all ABS-CBN channels. A year later, Salvador “Buddy” Tan, general manager of KBS, reopened Channel 2 as the Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The two Benedicto stations--KBS Channel 9 and BBC Channel 2—mainly aired government propaganda. 1980's In 1980, Channels 2, 9, and 13 moved to the newly-built Broadcast City in Diliman, Quezon City. In 1980, Gregorio Cendaña was named Minister of Information. GTV Channel 4 became known as the Maharlika Broadcasting System. When Benigno Aquino was assassinated in 1983, it was a small item on television news. GMA Channel 7 gave the historic funeral procession 10 seconds of airtime. In 1984, Imee Marcos, daughter of Ferdinand Marcos, attempted to take over GMA Channel 7, just as she did with the Benedictos. However, she was foiled by GMA executives Menardo Jimenez and Felipe Gozon. On February 24, 1986, MBS Channel 4 went off the air during a live news conference in Malacañang and during an exchange between Marcos and then Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver. The network was eventually taken over by rebel forces and started broadcasting for the Filipino people. On September 14, 1986, ABS-CBN Channel 2 made a comeback and resumed broadcasting after 14 years. On Novermber 8, 1988, GMA inaugurated the “Tower of Power,” its 777-feet, 100kW transmitter, the country’s tallest man-made structure.

In 1988, PTV Channel 4, then MBS, was launched as “The People’s Station.” 1990's In the 1990s ABS-CBN launched the Sarimanok Home Page, the station’s Web presence, making it the first Philippine network on the Internet. On February 21, 1992, ABC Channel 5 reopened with a new multi-million-peso studio complex in Novaliches. By 1996, 89% of Filipinos and 57% of Philippine households watched television 6-7 days a week. In 1997, the Children’s Television Act (RA8370), providing for the creation of a National Council for Children’s Media Education, was passed. By 1997, 57% of Filipino households had at least one television. 100% of those in class AB had televisions, as opposed to only 4% in class E. In 1997, the Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation successfully launched Agila II, the country’s first satellite. By 1998, there were 137 television stations nationwide. On April 19, 1998, ZOE TV 11 of ZOE Broadcasting Network, Inc., owned by born-again evangelist Eddie Villanueva, was officially launched. To be continued...
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