GMA Ratsada: It pays to be unpredictable
Nowadays, most people have an attention span like that of a child. Short, easily diverted, and on the lookout for something new.
So, the team of Ratsada, news broadcast of GMA Iloilo is working hard to continue enjoying viewer loyalty by not falling into the trap of predictability.
“Before, Ratsada was so formal. Now, we want it to offer something new, something different,” said Rexcel Sorza, head of News and Public Affairs of GMA Iloilo.
“In fact, ang Ratsada subong, if na-observe nyo, may elements kami nga amat-amat gina-incorporate. So, in the next few months, I assure you, sige gihapon ang improvement sang Ratsada,” he added.
What we see in Ratsada are products of constant brainstorming among Sorza, hosts Gerthrode Tan-Mabilog and Mark Nuneza, supervising producer Julius Belaca-ol and the production staff.
They also consider the comments they receive through social media.
“May time nga grabe man ang mga comments, but kanami lang kay very open kami sa mga constructive criticisms to see in which areas we can still improve on,” Sorza said.
Mabilog expressed excitement with the daily changes in her and Nuneza’s choreography.
“What you see on air ... we practice those. We move the props and the set, we get suggestions from viewers, and more,” she said.
One media person pointed out Nuneza’s use of a pen as part of his trademark. “Yah, even the director shouts, ‘Diin na ang ballpen ni Mark?’”, Mabilog revealed, laughing.
“I can’t live without my pen. I like to take notes,” Nuneza said.
On a serious note, Mabilog said, “We want Ratsada to grow with the times, to be current, to be dynamic. We want to appeal not only to the viewers that followed us for 13 years, but to a new breed of viewers, to even younger kids. The kids’ attention span now is good for seven minutes only, so if you don’t do something attractive, you lose your viewers.”
BACK TO BACK
Just recently, Ratsada and Isyu Subong have transferred their timeslot to 5:40 to 6:15 p.m. in order to enjoy more viewership.
It is now shown back to back with GMA 7’s flagship news broadcast 24 Oras.
Sorza is not worried that 24 Oras will overshadow Ratsada. “The quality reportage of GMA News and Public Affairs programs all over the country is the same. We have the same ethics, treatment and agenda,” he said.
Also recently, they launched #Malingmali, the hashtag of GMA’s “Dapat Tama” campaign. “So, sa tanan nga problema kag mga sala, dapat may sabat to correct it and to see if ang ginboto mo nagakatama,” he added.
Election stories are very sensitive, so GMA Iloilo takes extra caution.
“Our number one rule is, we don’t let politicians use us. If you notice, there are some political stories than come out in other (outlets) which do not come out in ours. Ang iban gusto nila mileage, gapangaway sila to create balita para sa ila,” he clarified.
“What we want is intelligent treatment of stories. This time, mas educated na sila (viewers), and their choices are informed choices na. Even in our other stories, we air those that matter,” he added.
It helps a lot that Ratsada’s anchors are passionate about what matters.
Mark, for example, feels challenged about government anomalies. “It’s really hard to look for documents as evidences,” he said.
He narrated one expose that ran in Ratsada for over a month.
“With the help of a straight government worker, it resulted to the resignation of the employee involved,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mabilog is passionate about stories involving women and children “as it is necessary to protect their rights first and their welfare over and above the story itself.”
In GMA release, Isyu Subong host Gretchen Varela said, “Being an anchor has made me realize how much I can contribute to society and how much I need to be aware of the things that are happening around me. It has made me want to influence people to help other people in need.”
Meanwhile, GMA Iloilo’s “Arangkada Ang Trip Mo Kun Aga!” has posted a household rating of 6.7 percent ahead of other networks’ morning shows, according to another GMA press release. The other networks posted 6.0 percent and 0.9 percent.*