“There are awards and there are awards,” were the very enthusiastic words of top television and radio personality Mike Enriquez as he described his latest recognition for his storied career in media.
On June 30, Enriquez received Reader’s Digest’s Most Trusted Radio Presenter Award, the very first first time the international publication included radio broadcasting as a category.
The Trusted Brand Award is based on an annual survey of Reader’s Digest subscribers across Asia.
“They wrote me back in April about the award but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it. There was an embargo,” he shared, his eyes twinkling from excitement.
“Now I say there are awards and there are awards,” he continued, emphasizing that last word, “because for me, this one was very special for two reasons:
“In my time if you were a journalist, you had to read to be good at what you do, so I’m a fan of the title. Secondly, despite my visibility on TV, I’m first and foremost a radio guy, which makes the award all that more meaningful for me.”
Considered the main man of GMA Network News, Enriquez revealed that he was asked to join what is now a giant media conglomerate back in 1995 precisely to head an expansion for radio.
“At that time, GMA was mainly a TV station with very little presence on radio,” he recalled. “I was with Radio Mindanao back then and it took five meetings between myself and GMA’s bosses before I took on the job. I told them radio required significant capital and I needed to know if they could put their money where their mouth is.”
Long story short, the company invested in the technology and manpower Enriquez demanded, which is why GMA now has 27 radio stations all across the country, with the highly successful DZBB as its flagship AM station.
“Somewhere along the way, I got into TV because the network had no one else to do an election coverage,” he humbly said. “And although my mother could not believe they let me go in front of the camera, TV’s another story altogether.”
Radio will always be special for Mike Enriquez for not only did he grow up listening to it even from under his pillow as he slept, everything he learned about broadcasting started from radio.
“It’s from radio that I learned to feel the pulse of the people; from radio I realized how flexible you have to be in the way you deliver information, and even entertain; and from radio that I enjoy the free-wheeling mode of broadcasting, where all there is is you, the microphone and your listeners.”
“Iba ang radyo, that’s why I will never leave radio,” vowed the president of RGMA Network, Inc. “The kind of broadcaster I am today is all because of radio.”
According to Enriquez, in fact, he shocked his fellow Reader’s Digest awardees—heads of major companies across the region—and the audience at the recognition night when he confessed, “I actually have two spouses, and I’ve been married to the other one longer than the woman I sleep with every night. I’ve been married to radio since 1977 and will be married to it for as long as I can.”
This is his promise as he leads RGMA into the digital age with such developments as live streaming over social media sites, which has begun for the most popular shows of DZBB, as well as Internet radio frequencies in the very near future.
“It will just be the platform that will change when it comes to delivering information and entertainment on radio, but the content, and this powerful medium of listening solely to the anchor’s voice will always stay the same,” he concluded.
Mike Enriquez goes on air weekdays on Saksi sa Dobol B, from 6 to 11 a.m.