It was a small switch—just a handful of words. But it made some people do a double take on their TV sets. At first, they thought that a story for another show might have wandered into the May 19 line-up of "TV Patrol."
Then in report after report, they heard it again. The tag line “Patrol ng Pilipino” with which ABS-CBN reporters closed their stories for almost a decade was now taking a rest.
And it was not just on “TV Patrol.” Later that night, viewers heard the same new extro on “News Plus” in Channel 23 and on “Bandila”: the reporter’s name, followed by “ABS-CBN News”. Come “Umagang KayGanda” the next morning, it was clear this was no slip or experiment.
It was a small switch that reflected big, gradual changes in the news organization.
Recent years saw it formally consolidating its regional, radio, cable, and online platforms with its Manila TV arm. This integration has resulted in, among others, its TV journalists filing reports for DZMM, and later on, Radyo Patrol reporters going on cam for “TV Patrol”.
Lately, the news and current affairs group has also reintroduced itself on the air as simply “ABS-CBN News”.
But ABS-CBN Integrated News Head Ging Reyes clarifies that integration merely helped speed up the change of extro. The intent behind the “symbolic” switch is a bigger identity going beyond individual news programs.
“It is more (of) strengthening the identity of the ABS-CBN journalist, so that whenever he or she goes out, he or she knows he is representing ABS-CBN,” she says.
“We want our people to think, to feel, to believe that what we are doing is for the entire news organization, and not just for Patrol or Bandila. We want our journalists, production staff, everybody involved in production and newsgathering to carry the name of ABS-CBN like a badge of honor,” she says.
Yet in television news, where loyal viewers expect the stories and headlines to be the only constant “new” thing, a switch in long-familiar delivery can take some getting used to.