MANILA — ABS-CBN executives on Friday formally thanked its homegrown artists who “chose to stay with us,” amid the back-to-back crises that beset the network this year.
At a media event held by the network’s talent agency, fittingly titled “Star Magic Shines On,” ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak and newly appointed Star Magic head Laurenti Dyogi each thanked Kapamilya stars who continue to be part of the company.
The event saw eight current Star Magic artists — Kim Chiu, Jane de Leon, Enchong Dee, JM de Guzman, Andrea Brillantes, Kira Balinger, Joseph Marco, and Robi Domingo — sign exclusive contracts with ABS-CBN.
It also introduced new Star Magic talents — the ABS-CBN-trained P-pop groups BINI and Star Hunt Academy Boys — who similarly inked contracts with the network.
“Ang hirap-hirap po ng taong 2020,” Katigbak said in a speech opening the event. “But ABS-CBN has always been at its best in its most difficult times. This year is no exception.”
Compounding the halt of showbiz due to the coronavirus pandemic, ABS-CBN was denied a fresh broadcast franchise by the Duterte administration, forcing it off free television and radio, and resulting in the retrenchment of thousands of its workers.
“Our commitment to serve the public is the foundation of our company,” Katigbak said. “And so, even without everything that we’re used to, we have not stopped finding new ways to be in the service of the Filipino.”
Katigbak then addressed the stars, whom he said “represent ABS-CBN to the world outside.”
“Kayo po ang nagbibigay ng liwanag at ligaya sa ating mga Kapamilya,” he said, referencing the recently released ABS-CBN Christmas ID.
“Thank you for choosing to be part of our mission. Thank you for believing in our company. And thank you for supporting us in our most difficult moments.”
Over the months since ABS-CBN’s free-TV and radio broadcast were forced shut, many of its stars, both homegrown and long-time contract talents, rallied behind the network through social media and by joining demonstrations.
Among them were the eight Star Magic artists who formalized being an exclusive ABS-CBN talent on Friday.
“I hope you believe, as we do, that working in ABS-CBN is not just a career move, it’s not just a job; it’s a calling to serve.”
Katigbak ended his message by introducing Dyogi as the new head of Star Magic, succeeding founder Johnny Manahan and Mariole Alberto.
“Thank you to Mr. M and Mariole, Star Magic is known to produce, to hone, and to manage the brightest and most talented stars in Philippine show business,” Dyogi said.
“Today, we continue this legacy and tradition.”
Dyogi, known in showbiz as Direk Lauren following his visible stints as “Star Circle Quest” judge and “Pinoy Big Brother” director, is also head of ABS-CBN’s entertainment production.
“As we welcome new artists to the Star Magic family,” he said, “we also want to express our deepest gratitude to the Star Magic artists chose to stay with us, as we continue to rebuild and explore new opportunities.”