Radio die-hards embrace TV

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TESSA MAURICIO-ARRIOLA

While regarded as top TV news pillars of the day, Mike Enriquez and Arnold Clavio—along with actress/singer-turned commentator Ali Sotto and colleague Joel Reyes-Zobel—have always considered themselves first and foremost “true blooded radio men.”

Nevertheless, to give in to the clamor of DZBB listeners to see them as they go about their daily top-rated AM radio programs from 6 to 11 a.m., they have agreed to take four of their shows to free television beginning April 24. Dubbed Dobol B Sa News TV [GMA News TV Channel 11], these are Enriquez’ Saksi Sa Dobol B; Super Balita Sa Umaga Nationwide with Enriquez and Reyes Zobel; Sino? with Enriquez, Clavio and Sotto; and finally, Dobol A sa Dobol B, again with Clavio and Sotto.

Asked by The T-Zone how they felt about having TV cameras in their beloved radio booth where they can just be as they are, all four of them gave very honest answers.

“Sa totoo, ayaw ko talaga sanang maalis yung tinatawag na ‘mystery’ ng radyo. ‘Yun bang boses lang ang naririnig mo, kasi TV is TV,” confessed Clavio who has long earned the masses’ trust for credible information as their “Igan” [taken from the Filipino word “kaibigan” or friend]. “Pero ito kasi yung hinihingi ng listeners, yung makita yung kulitan namin tuwing umaga sa TV, kaya nag-give in tayo.”

Sotto, who together with Clavio has made “Jeng-jeng” Dobol A Sa Dobol B’s satirical commentary on the day’s top headlines, sung with live guitar accompaniment] a daily habit for Filipinos across the country, quipped, “I have ambivalent feelings [about it]kasi magaayos na ako!”

Laughing over the fact that they can no longer come to their morning radio shows in their gym—or in Sotto’s case Zumba—gear, she added, “As you know, by choice, ito ang pinili kong gawain [to be in radio]for two reasons. The most important one is because on radio, what you say matters, and it’s very fulfilling at this point in my life na may meaning yung ginagawa mo, and it can effect change.

True blooded radio stars (from left) Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio, Ali Sotto and Joel Reyes-Zobel

“But also, by choice, ito ang pinili kong gawain—even with offers to host on TV again or acting—because I also value my personal time. So ayoko in the aspect that another hour of my time will be used up for hair and make-up now, and yet, what weighed more in the end is the opportunity to reach out to more people. Na yung mensahe mo—my advocacies for women for example; na magagalit ka sa Speaker of the House kasi may babae siya—mas maraming makakarinig sa iyo with the help of TV.”

Enriquez, who is concurrently GMA Network’s senior vice-president for radio and president of the network’s regional and radio subsidiary RGMA Network Inc., agreed with his colleagues but understandably needed to rally the troupes, while assuring DZBB listeners they will get what they want.

“When we started preparations for going into TV, one basic principle we made sure will stay is that we will remain a radio broadcast beginning April 24. That means, you will not notice any difference from what we have always done on radio even as we strengthen DZBB’s radio broadcasting operation via TV. Dadalahin lang namin yung ingay ng radyo sa TV at dadagdagan pa namin!” he promised.

Finally, Reyes-Zobel, who has long been an integral part of DZBB from the morning broadcast through the early evening, concurred and furthered, “We are true blooded radio men and our experience in radio, pag susumahin niyo ay mahigit pa sa 100 taon. That’s why we can assure you that ang mababago lang ay makikita niyo na kami sa TV, pero yung mga sinasabi namin, pati yung mga sigawan namin, awayan namin, kulitan namin, ganun pa rin. Walang direktor. Walang script.”

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“Think of it as a hidden camera,” Clavio rejoined the conversation as he also pointed out the success the morning line-up’s Facebook Live page has amassed in the last few months.

Moreover, while the anchors realize they will not be able to escape the question, “Why only now?” what with ABS-CBN’s years-long airing of their AM radio station DZMM’s program on the network’s Teleradyo channel, Clavio further pointed out that DZBB had already tried crossing over to TV way back when.

“Dati nilagay din namin yung Kape’t Balita ng radyo sa TV with Bobby Guanzon, Susan Enriquez at ako,” he recalled. “Kay Bobby ko nga nakuha yung blind item concept para sa ‘Sino?’ ngayon. Pero ang kaibahan naman namin ngayon sa Teleradyo sa kabila, ang ‘Dobol B Sa News TV,’ free TV siya. Hindi na kailangan mag-subscribe sa cable para mapanood kami.”

As such, more Filipinos should be able to watch Enriquez at 6 a.m. dish out the latest news and conduct interviews with key personalities via Saksi Sa Dobol B; enjoy his banter with Reyes Zobel as they give their side comments during the Super Balita Sa Umaga newscast by 7; play guessing game with Clavio, Enriquez and Sotto as Igan teases listeners with his latest blind item on politicians and showbiz personalities; and of course, sing, laugh, and be informed with the “double A” tandem of Arnold and Ali as the morning programs warp up with Dobol A Sa Dobol B.

As Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio, Ali Sotto and Joel Reyes Zobel like to put it, they are merely responding to the ever-changing needs of the listening and viewing public. But in their heart of hearts, they vow to remain the die-hard radio newsmen who fearlessly and fairly say the truth as it is, even with everyone watching.

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