‘24 Oras’ marks 20 years on air

EMIL Sumangil, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF GMA Network

GMA Network’s top-rating flagship newscast 24 Oras marks a significant milestone in the broadcast industry as it celebrated its 20th year on Philippine television last March.

Airing weeknights at 6:30 p.m., 24 Oras is anchored by award-winning broadcast journalists Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales and Emil Sumangil.

They are joined by segment hosts Iya Villana-Arellano (“Chika Minute”), Kuya Kim Atienza (“#KuyaKimAnoNa”) and Martin Javier (“Game Changer”), as well as the rest of the GMA Integrated News team, which brings reports from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, as well as from other parts of the world.

In the past two decades, GMA Integrated News’s flagship newscast has shaped the news landscape of Philippine TV with its top-notch delivery of news and information to viewers and netizens. It continues to provide the public with information and public service through its news reports, special features and exclusive stories and interviews.

Looking back

To kick off the newscast’s anniversary celebration, 24 Oras took viewers on a trip down memory lane last 15 March, beginning with the program’s first broadcast airing date exactly 20 years ago.

As one of the pioneer anchors, Tiangco shared how nervous she was when she found out she was to work with the late Mike Enriquez for the Network’s newest newscast.

Naku! Nung nalaman ko na si Mike Enriquez ang magiging ka-partner ko, hala! Kumakabog, kabog, kabog!” she recalls.

Both Tiangco and Enriquez were previously at the helm of two separate newscasts back then: The former for Frontpage: Ulat ni Mel Tiangco and the latter for the late-night newscast Saksi.

The idea to have Tiangco and Enriquez lead a new news program came from GMA Network chairman Atty. Felipe L. Gozon.

 “Ako talaga ang nakaisip niyan. Sinuggest ko ‘yun at sa awa ng Panginoon tinanggap naman ng manonood, nagustuhan. That’s one of the reasons why 24 Oras was number 1,” Gozon points out.

Such was the enormous challenge of making this newscast work back then.

 24 Oras’ TV debut could not have come at a more crucial time in history. 2020 was a year of significant transition in Philippine history. Filipinos were to elect their next set of leaders, beginning with the most important position of all — the presidency.

The newscast stood its ground to be unbiased and nonpartisan since day one.

Forging ahead

Beyond news reporting, 24 Oras has been the Filipinos’ reliable source not just of news but also of hope and inspiration. It gives voice to those who demand and seek justice for various crimes, extends help to those who are in need and gives viewers a platform where they can also help others. At the same time, it brings good vibes and entertainment through its various segments.

Hindi naman nagkakalayo ang mga nilalamang kuwento at balita ng mga daily news program, pero bakit kaya mas pinapanood ang 24 Oras?” Tiangco muses. “Sapagkat ang 24 Oras ang may puso. Tumitibok at nagmamahal sa kanyang mga tagatangkilik!!! (Ngayon, bukas at magpakailanman!),” she adds.

Morales, on the other hand, shares her thoughts, “24 Oras to me is more than just a news program. It’s a commitment — and the past 20 years of showing up for super typhoons, political crises, attacks on press freedom and even the darkest days of the global pandemic validate that.”

Sumangil agrees. “Hindi natatapos sa paghahatid ng balita’t impormasyon ang aking tungkulin. Nais ko po na personal na maghatid ng aksyon at resolusyon sa ilalapit na hinaing at problema ng aking mga kababayan. Hindi para may maipalabas lang, kungdi para ipadama sa kanila ang dalisay na adhikain ng ating programa,” he says.

Morales adds, “I feel deeply privileged to be part of this team that pulls together to deliver news that people can trust.”

Philippines’ top evening newscast

Amid the changes and challenges in the TV news landscape, 24 Oras remains the Filipinos’ top choice of evening newscast, even taking over other programs in primetime.

It is the Philippines’ number one TV program of 2023 in Total Philippines (combined Urban and Rural) according to Nielsen TV Audience Measurement (TAM). From January to December 2023, 24 Oras tallied a combined people rating of 14.7 percent across GMA, GTV, I Heart Movies and Pinoy Hits channels.