Artists, managers of shuttered network ABS-CBN take pay cut

ABS-CBN artists and managers have agreed to take a pay cut as the embattled broadcast giant is about to enter its 2nd month of shutdown.

"Kapamilya artists with currently airing shows and their talent managers have agreed to take a cut in their talent fees to help the network deal with the impact of the shutdown of its TV and radio operations," ABS-CBN Corporate said in a release on Saturday, June 27. 

ABS-CBN chief operating officer of broadcast Cory Vidanes said the network was "grateful to all our artists for their understanding and support for the network during these difficult times."

ABS-CBN continued to air its shows on its online platforms, and over the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), cable, satellite TV, and iWant.

Some of its flagship entertainment shows like It's Showtime which had a one-month hiatus due to pandemic prohibitions, has also resumed airing.

"We thank them for keeping the passion and commitment to bring joy and entertainment to our audience in the midst of the pandemic and the shutdown,” Vidanes said.

ABS-CBN has earlier pegged its daily losses to P30-P35 million because of the shutdown. The network's main channel 2 turned off its broadcast on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order following the expiry of its franchise on May 4.

The House of Representatives continues to hold hearings on bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN's franchise.

ABS-CBN said the reduction in talent fee "is one of the cost-saving measures undertaken by ABS-CBN as it continues to lose P30 to 35 million in daily advertising revenues due to the broadcast shutdown."

ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak earlier told lawmakers that the network may have to begin retrenching some of its workers by August if it is not allowed to operate by then.

Professional Artist Managers Incorporated (PAMI) president June Rufino said managers did not object.

“In good times, ABS-CBN has been with us. In bad times, we want to be there for them. Ngayon alam nila, wala ang ABS-CBN. Naiintindihan nila iyon. We want to cooperate.  We want to help ABS-CBN in whatever way we can and taking a pay cut is one way to do that,” said Rufino.

 The Supreme Court had denied Solicitor General Jose Calida's quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN Corporation, but only on the basis of mootness, meaning the shutdown is still in effect, and the network is still in limbo. –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.