GMA 7 scraps Iloilo City news program, lays off 20 staff
ILOILO CITY — Giant broadcast network GMA 7 scrapped its news and public affairs program in Iloilo City on Monday, laying off about 20 officers, reporters, cameramen and other staff.
Monday’s scrapping of Ratsada 24 Oras comes seven months after the network laid off at least 80 employees and talents in regional stations in the Visayas purportedly under a “strategic streamlining” program.
Many of those laid off were regular employees of the network for about 10 years. They were told to attend an employees’ general assembly Monday morning at the station in Barangay Tabuc Suba in Jaro District were they were informed of their retrenchment.
The laid off employees will still receive their salaries until December, according to one of those affected who spoke to the INQUIRER on condition of anonymity.
Among those laid off were staff personnel in the news gathering operations, including three reporters and their cameramen, technical engineers and other personnel.
The Iloilo station has been reduced into a satellite office with around 11 personnel for marketing and sales.
The retrenched employees have been granted each a separation package that includes “generous” bonuses, according to one of the affected employees.
In April, the network laid off employees in their stations in Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod cities.
It had issued a statement then that the network was undertaking a “strategic streamlining of programs and manpower in its provincial stations to ensure business competitiveness.”
The retrenchments came less than two weeks after GMA Network Inc. announced that its net profit for the three quarters of the year rose to P1.804 billion or 80 percent higher compared to the P1.001 billion recorded during the same period in 2014.
The broadcast network’s net income for the third quarter of this year alone rose by 66 percent to P706 million from P422 for the same period last year, according to a report posted on the network’s online news site GMA News Online.
The network expects its profits this year to reach P2 billion, above its projected target of P1.5 billion, according to the report.
The network is also enjoying a massive boost in ratings due to the phenomenal run of AlDub, the on-screen tandem of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza on noontime variety show Eat Bulaga.
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