ABS-CBN focusing on ‘core capabilities’ despite ‘difficult journey’ ahead: CEO

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2020 11:03 AM

MANILA - ABS-CBN Corp. is committed to finding new ways to serve Filipinos by focusing on "core capabilities” despite the denial of its franchise, said president and CEO Carlo Katigbak on Thursday as the company hopes to emerge from the crisis "better, stronger and more successful."

With the House of Representatives' denial of ABS-CBN's application for a fresh 25-year franchise, the network is now focused on creating programs to entertain and inform its audience, Katigbak said during the company’s virtual stockholders' meeting. 

"Now more than ever, we can focus on our core capabilities, creating programs to entertain, inspire and give joy for Filipino families and delivering news that informs, educates and helps our Kababayan especially in their time of need," Katigbak said.

"Nothing can take away our spirit of service. Our passion to serve Filipinos continues to burn brightly in our hearts and our commitment to the public is to continue to find ways to serve you," he added.

Katigbak said the company continues to reach its audience through its cable TV and satellite partners, the internet via its own website as well as other platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

Measures were put in place to ensure continued operations, the official said, which include the retrenchment of nearly 5,000 employees. 

Remaining employees volunteered to take pay cuts to help the company manage its cash flow, he said. 

"Thank you to those who are leaving ABS-CBN for the years you have given to the company and for the service you have given to our audience," Katigbak said. 

"Thank you to those who are staying behind, believing in our future and for enduring our sacrifice in order to continue serving the public," he added. 

ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak and Chairman Mark Lopez (l-r) watch as a tribute video plays at the ELJ Building lobby at the company's headquarters in Quezon City on August 31. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

Merging its iWantTV and TFC streaming services will also allow ABS-CBN to "save on cost" and offer a single global product to customers, he said.

Katigbak said, just like how most teleseryes mirror the realities of life, the company is expected to emerge from the crisis "better, stronger and more successful."

"It will be a difficult journey until that time but our history has shown that ABS-CBN's burning passion for service to the Filipino cannot be extinguished. We hope to share this passion with us and count on your continued presence on the road to rebuilding our beloved company," Katigbak said. 

Katigbak also thanked shareholders who continue to stand by the network during its "most challenging time."

ABS-CBN Corp. suffered a net loss in the first half of the year, as the pandemic and non-renewal of its franchise hurt earnings.

Net loss stood at P3.93 billion for the January to June period, a reversal from its net income of P1.498 billion in the same period last year.