Philippine media

RPN 9’s NewsWatch to be revived

Ralf Rivas

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RPN 9’s NewsWatch to be revived
Former anchors Joyce Burton-Titular or Loren Legarda won't be returning, for obvious reasons. But former CNN Philippines staff will give NewsWatch a new life.

If you’re old enough to remember NewsWatch, the flagship newscast of the long-defunct RPN 9, you are up for a major throwback.

NewsWatch will soon be revived and will both have an online and TV presence, according to reliable sources.

But don’t expect the original anchors to return. After all, most have shifted to other careers, while others are now prominent anchors of other news networks. Its most well-known anchor died 10 years ago.

Sources said that it will be called NewsWatch Plus, and will be comprised mostly of former CNN Philippines staff. Recall that when RPN 9 was sold to private hands in 2012, it transformed into Solar News Channel, and eventually, CNN Philippines.

There’s no definite date yet when NewsWatch Plus will launch, but some of the reporters have started to cover events and join Viber groups of various agencies.

For the Gen Zs

If you’re Gen Z and have no recollection at all of the newscast, here’s a lowdown.

NewsWatch was one of the Philippines’ most watched and among the longest-running English newscasts, which aired from June 1970 to October 2012 on then-government controlled RPN 9. Post-1986, it aired alongside ABS-CBN’s The World Tonight and ABC 5’s The Big News.

RPN 9’s NewsWatch to be revived

Among the anchors of NewsWatch through the years were the late Harry Gasser, Cathy Santillan, Coco Quisumbing, Dodi Lacuna, Cielo Villaluna, Lulu Pascual, Mike Toledo, and Eric Eloriaga.

Jing Magsaysay, who eventually led Solar News Channel and CNN Philippines, was also a NewsWatch alumni alongside Loren Legarda, who eventually became senator. Legarda, now 64, was only 21 when she co-anchored the show with Gasser.

Mel Tiangco, among the most prominent anchors of GMA 7, briefly anchored for RPN’s newscast as well.

RPN 9’s NewsWatch to be revived

The last sets of anchors included former beauty queen Joyce Burton-Titular, Marigold Haber-Dunca, and Orly Mercado – who, at one point, became the company CEO, as well as defense secretary and senator.

When RPN 9 was privatized, NewsWatch was axed and last aired on October 29, 2012. By then, the most-watched news shows in the Philippines were those using the national language.

Will you be watching the new NewsWatch? –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.