NewsWatch (Philippine TV program)

RPN NewsWatch was a Philippine flagship newscast television program that aired on Radio Philippines Network from June 1, 1970 until October 2012. It was the longest-running English language newscast of the Radio Philippines Network. The program had a complicated history, undergoing many name changes, until it was cancelled in 2012 upon Solar Entertainment Corporation's purchase of RPN's majority stake.

RPN NewsWatch
Directed byRudy Alberto
Presented by
  • various anchors
Narrated by
  • Orly Mercado (evening, 2008–2009)
  • Marigold Haber-Dunca (evening, 2008–2009; 2010–2011)
  • Joyce Burton-Titular (evening, 2009–2012)
Opening themeNewsWatch Theme by James Sace
Country of originPhilippines
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)
Camera setup
Running time60 minutes (2009–2012)
30 minutes (1970–2009)
2 to 3 minutes (2008–2011)
(News bulletin)
Production company(s)RPN News and Public Affairs
Original networkRadio Philippines Network
Picture format
Audio format
  • Mono (1970–1994)
  • Stereo (1994–2012)
Original releaseJune 1, 1970 (1970-06-01) –
October 29, 2012 (2012-10-29)
Preceded by
  • RPN NewsWatch Aksyon Balita (as early evening newscast, April 17, 2006–January 4, 2008)
  • Eyewitness Report (as early evening newscast, July 14, 1969–May 29, 1970)
  • Primetime Balita (as late night newscast, July 3, 2000–August 10, 2001)
  • RPN I-Watch News (as late night newscast, March 12, 2007–January 11, 2008)
  • RPN News Update (as hourly newscast, March 22, 2003–January 4, 2008)
Followed by

Its reportorial teams are tasked to gather news from every major beat in the Greater Manila Area as well as nearby provinces.

Broadcast chronologyEdit

Launched in June 1, 1970, it became one of the highly watched English newscasts on Philippine TV alongside The World Tonight of ABS-CBN and The Big News of ABC 5. It is dubbed as the "First TV Newspaper" in the Philippines. Prior to 2008, it produced some spin-offs and like:

  • RPN NewsWatch Balita Ngayon, a Filipino-language early evening newscast.
  • RPN NewsWatch sa Umaga, morning spin-off of the newscast.
  • RPN NewsWatch sa Tanghali, noontime spin-off of the newscast.
  • RPN NewsWatch Kids Edition, first youth spin-off of the newscast that aired from 1979 to 1993.
  • RPN NewsWatch Evening Cast, first English-language early evening newscast anchored by Cathy Santillan, then it was anchored by Cielo Villaluna, Rolly Lakay Gonzalo and Cristina Pecson; later with Buddy Lopa. It was also the first newscast from 1970 to 1999. From 1999 to 2000, it was named as RPN NewsWatch Primetime Edition.
  • RPN NewsWatch Prime Cast, a late night edition also anchored by Harry Gasser, Cathy Santillan, Dodi Lacuna, Lulu Pascual, Mike Toledo and Coco Quisumbing and later, Eric Eloriaga (Eloriaga also anchored rival newscast The Big News on ABC 5).
  • RPN NewsWatch Now, replacement of Primetime Balita aired from August 13, 2001 to March 9, 2007.
  • RPN Jr. NewsWatch, second youth spin-off that aired in 2005.
  • RPN Aksyon News, later NewsWatch Aksyon Balita, successor of NewsWatch from April 17, 2006 to January 4, 2008 first anchored by Erwin Tulfo, Connie Sison, Aljo Bendijo, Jake Morales, Vikki Sambilay and Bobby Yan.
  • RPN i-Watch News, replacement of NewsWatch Now anchored by former 103.5 K-Lite disc jockey Carlo Tirona, and Aryana Lim, who was replaced by Lexi Schulze after a few months. It aired from March 12, 2007 to January 11, 2008.

On July 3, 2000, NewsWatch made its one-year absence on television due to low ratings because of the premiere of the network's only Filipino-language late-night newscast Primetime Balita. It was during that time, that some television networks start airing late-night newscasts in Filipino-language from the last year of the 20th Century. But Primetime Balita was replaced by RPN NewsWatch Now and returning its English-language news reporting on August 13, 2001 until its final broadcast on March 9, 2007. On January 7, 2008, when Solar Entertainment channel C/S started to air on free-TV, it went back on the air replacing RPN NewsWatch Aksyon Balita. It was anchored by the network's President and Chief Executive Officer, former Defense secretary and senator Orly Mercado and the News and Public Affairs department head Marigold Haber-Dunca. Because of Mercado's advocacy on being an environmentalist, the background are all adorned with plants On January 14, 2008, its late-night spin-off was aired as RPN NewsWatch Second Edition. This broadcast was anchored by Jay Esteban and Queen Sebastian. It also started to air on cable on all frequencies occupying C/S. The network's hourly news updates was renamed as NewsWatch Update until February 25, 2011.

The show was reformatted into a reality show between June 7, 2008 and August 16, 2008. On October 11, 2008, another version was premiered, entitled RPN NewsWatch Junior Edition with the contestants of the show anchoring it. This was the third youth spin-off of the RPN NewsWatch; the previous two were RPN NewsWatch Kids Edition (1979 to 1993) and RPN Jr. NewsWatch (2005).

On October 8, 2008, broadcasts covering of the games of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) was started. These were broadcast to coincide with the second half of the game on Wednesday and Friday. This coverage had ended since 2011 when RPN lost its PBA broadcasting rights to Studio 23 (and later to TV5).

On February 16, 2009, former ABS-CBN news anchor and beauty queen Joyce Burton-Titular replaced Orly Mercado as anchor. Mercado was then able to focus on his duties as the network's President and CEO.

On November 30, 2009, Radio Philippines Network (RPN) relaunched as Solar TV. Broadcast times were changed from 30 minutes to 60 minutes duration. From the usual twice a day times of 5:30 pm and 11:00 pm, it became once a day at 5:30 pm and Reema Chanco was engaged as an additional anchor. RPN NewsCap replaced RPN NewsWatch Second Edition and started airing at midnight. In 2010, the timeslot was moved to 11:30 in the evening. It also continued to air on both free TV and on cable until February 25, 2011.

On March 2, 2011, after Solar Entertainment bought 34% of RPN, RPN relaunched as ETC. Alongside RPN NewsCap, RPN NewsWatch started to air only on free TV on that date at 5 pm as ETC had occupied the RPN frequency on all cable providers nationwide. But, it is still being managed to air only through Global Destiny Cable (now Destiny Cable, owned by SkyCable) on channel 116, which was the frequency occupied by The Game Channel, a channel of Solar TV Network, occupying the 5:00 pm timeslot. On August 15, 2011 the two newscasts began to air on BEAM TV Channel 31 as The Game Channel was simulcast on that channel. Its simulcast on that channel stopped in October 2011.

On October 29, 2012, after 42 years on the airwaves, RPN NewsWatch and RPN NewsCap were axed due to the impending privatization of the network and the controversial retrenchment of some employees of the network. However, RPN NewsWatch is still used by RPN's provincial AM radio arm Radyo Ronda for its newscasts.

Past anchorsEdit

  • Bob de Veyra
  • Joyce Burton-Titular (currently focuses on acting)
  • Viviene Guilla (currently with ABS-CBN)
  • Phoebe Javier
  • Joyce Ilas (currently with CNN Philippines)
  • Raissa Puno-Diaz
  • Marlene Alcaide (currently with News5)
  • Frank Abao†
  • Eric Eloriaga
  • Harry Gasser
  • Lina Ramos
  • Charlie Ismael
  • Dodi Lacuna
  • Buddy Lopa
  • Meanne Los Baños (currently with News5)
  • Cristina Peczon
  • Joee Guilas (currently with PTV 4)
  • Coco Quisumbing
  • Cathy Santillan
  • Vikki Sambilay
  • Pat Lazaro
  • Babe Romualdez (current Philippine Ambassador to the United States)
  • Bong Lapira
  • Joe Carlos
  • Rolly Lakay Gonzalo (currently with NBN (now PTV) and now UNTV)
  • Audrey Gorriceta (currently with PTV 4)
  • Teresa Guanzon
  • Ernie Fresnido
  • Jing Magsaysay
  • Luchi Cruz-Valdes (currently with News5)
  • Twink Macaraig†
  • Thelma Aranda-Sugay
  • Ninez Cacho Olivares
  • Dennis Cabalfin
  • Cielo Villaluna (currently spokesperson of Philippine Airlines)
  • Arlene Lim-Farol
  • Ramon Imperial
  • Orly Mercado (currently with GMA and One PH)
  • Gaby Roldan-Concepcion (currently with GMA News)
  • Jay Esteban
  • Queen Sebastian
  • Reema Chanco
  • Loren Legarda (current Representative of Antique)
  • Lulu Pascual
  • Mel Tiangco (currently with GMA News)
  • Marigold Haber-Dunca
  • Stephanie Ongkiko
  • Roma Agsalud
  • Ina Andolong (currently with CNN Philippines)
  • Kara Javier
  • Joanna Gomez Santos
  • Pete Roa†
  • Bill Velasco
  • Beverly Verches-Anterola

Past news reportersEdit

  • Carlo Carongoy
  • Dale de Vera (currently with News5)
  • Evangeline Evangelista
  • Emman Paz
  • April Abello-Bulanadi
  • Marsha Tañedo
  • Pircelyn Pialago (currently spokesperson of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority)
  • Dennis Principe (currently with PTV 4)
  • Janeena Chan
  • Kiko Dagohoy
  • Apple Ortiz
  • Lia Manalac-del Castillo (currently with The Philippine Star)
  • Grace Asuncion
  • Hector Sagrado
  • Therese Gallenero
  • Jamie Santos
  • Lea Remulla
  • Paolo Capino
  • Jeffrey Espiritu (currently with 106.7 Energy FM)
  • Beverly Verches
  • Jiggy Panopio
  • Chino Gaston (currently with GMA Network)
  • Chester Lobramonte
  • Lee Ruiz
  • Dan Campilan
  • Andrea Lagmay
  • Michelle Solano
  • Jamela Alindogan (currently Manila Correspondent for Al Jazeera)
  • Tricia Zafra (currently with CNN Philippines)
  • Jake Morales
  • Jerald Uy
  • Luisa Jimenez
  • Bestie Konisis
  • Peter Martin
  • Jorge Bandola (currently with DZXL RMN Manila 558)
  • Harold Geronimo
  • Crispee Rivera
  • Czai Guerrero
  • Alwyn Alburo
  • Cara Javier
  • Erel Cabatbat
  • Melanie De Ocampo
  • Vikki Sambilay

See alsoEdit