Big names among first to go in ABS-CBN ‘bloodbath’
The job “bloodbath” from the rejection of ABS-CBN’s franchise last week has started, with two of the network’s veteran journalists—Korina Sanchez-Roxas and Ces Drilon—among the first to be officially notified that they were being laid off.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Roxas, the longtime host of current affairs program “Rated K,” said the ABS-CBN family was “slowly but surely being torn apart.”
“We are called one by one, personally, to be told that we are ‘discontinued.’ Not news to me. I tried to be prepared. But how can you prepare for comatose, or death, really?” she said.
In a tweet, Drilon confirmed that she was also among those who were let go following the nonrenewal of the network’s franchise. “This was one of the toughest days I had to face. Telling fellow Kapamilyas that they would lose their jobs by [the] end of August. I lost mine, too.”
Drilon used to be one of the anchors of the late-night news program “Bandila” before she was appointed to head the unit for lifestyle-oriented content. She was also executive editor of the ABS-CBN News Channel’s lifestyle block and publication, ANC-X.
DJ’s ‘lowest point’
From the network’s radio operations, disc jockey Czarina Balba, more popularly known as DJ Chacha, also confirmed the imminent shutdown of her FM station, MOR 101.9, on Aug. 30.
“[This is] one of the lowest points of my life. I still can’t believe I have to say goodbye to my first love. My forever love. My dream job. 12 years,” Balba said in a Facebook post. “This is not just work for me. This [is] not just about money.”
The company announced on Wednesday night that it would begin retrenching employees, including those of ABS-CBN subsidiaries, at the end of August. Without saying how many will be dismissed among its 11,000 employees, the network said it would try “to mitigate the pain that will be felt by those affected.”
No final count yet
The final count of the affected workers is not likely to emerge until the end of July, according to Raul Asis, president of ABS-CBN Supervisory Employees Union.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a vice president, manager, director, supervisor or rank and file. No one is safe,” Asis told the Inquirer on Thursday.
In an online town hall meeting conducted on Wednesday afternoon, ABS-CBN chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak and chair Mark Lopez promised to rehire the displaced workers if the situation changes for the network, Asis added.
“They told us if they’re given another chance, they can recall 100 percent of those who lost their jobs,’’ he said. —REPORTS FROM PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU AND MIGUEL R. CAMUS [ac]
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