Carlo Katigbak Says Ex-ABS-CBN Stars Welcome to Return

Kapamilya Forever
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano / Courtesy: ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN Corp President Carlo Katigbak said Thursday former Kapamilya talents who left after the company was denied a new franchise last year are welcome to return if they so wish.

The Lopez-led media company understands that some talents needed to look elsewhere for work since ABS-CBN had been off the air for a year, Katigbak said, in response to a question during its annual stockholder’s meeting.

Since last year, top talents like Cathy Yang, Ted Failon, Bea Alonzo and Johnny Manahan have transferred to the competition. 

“Our goal is to make ABS-CBN the home of the country’s best creative and journalistic talent,” he said.


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Asked about ABS-CBN’s business model and five-year-plan post franchise loss, Katigbak said the company would focus on storytelling and content creation.

ABS-CBN on May 5, 2020 went off the air upon orders from the National Telecommunications Commission as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country. The company's franchise expired the day before.

The shutdown--condemned by global media watchdogs--was viewed as a fulfillment of  President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to the network: "I will see to it that you are out." Malacañang however has repeatedly distanced the President from the Kapamilya network's franchise woes.

The House of Representatives in July of the same year refused to grant the network a new franchise which resulted in pay cuts, layoffs, and the closure of several departments such as ABS-CBN Sports in the middle of a pandemic. At least two rounds of layoffs were pursued following the shutdown.

ABS-CBN has since become more aggressive in the digital space. Workers who stayed with the company were asked for voluntary pay cuts to help the network stay afloat after it incurred a crippling P13.5-billion net loss in 2020.

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Early this year, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco shattered hopes of a possible ABS-CBN comeback, saying calls to grant the network a new franchise will have to wait until the election of the next Congress in 2022.


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