LAWYER Felipe L. Gozon has stepped down as president of GMA Network, Inc. after a tenure of more than a decade, which saw the listed broadcaster surpass rival ABS-CBN Corp. in Mega Manila television ratings.
GMA Network, Inc. announced yesterday Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr. as the firm’s new president. Mr. Duavit, who was executive vice-president, will remain chief operating officer.
Mr. Gozon, meanwhile, remains chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Gozon took over the helm of GMA Network in October 2000, replacing Menardo R. Jimenez.
Mr. Duavit, who joined the firm’s board in 1999, was named president in a board meeting yesterday, GMA Network said.
He told GMA Network’s early evening newscast he would push for a free-to-air all-news channel next year.
Meanwhile, in a press briefing yesterday, network executives said the firm was on track toward reaching its year-end target of P3 billion in profits as it posted a net income of P2.272 billion from January to September, up by 6% from last year.
The network, however, reported a 26% decline in net income for the third quarter at P583 million, compared with P788 million in the same period last year. “But we are not very disappointed. We were actually expecting the drop,” Mr. Gozon said.
Mr. Gozon said the decline in profit for the third quarter was due to the absence of political advertisements. “We should note that for the past two quarters, we had P1.8 billion revenues from the political advertisements. But this dried up after the election season,” he said.
GMA Network also had to hike its rates this year, to match ABS-CBN, he said.
Consolidated revenues stood at P10.876 billion for the nine-month period, up by 8% than the P10.025 billion in the same period last year.
“The hike in GMA’s top line was backed by the accumulation of airtime revenues from media platforms and subscription revenues from international operations, which overtook last year’s performance,” the company said in a statement.
Flagship Channel 7 reported a 7% increase in revenues to P9.262 billion while Q Channel 11 recorded a 10% improvement to P346 million. The network also reported a 10% increase in international revenues to P700 million. Radio revenues reached P443 million, up by 73%.
Operating expenses went up by 11% to P6.181 billion while general and administrative expenses rose by 8% to P2.692 billion.
“The times ahead are rosy, and even if revenues for the company went on a short-term hiatus, we are positive that we can finish the year with another banner performance both in ratings and profits. Our advertising load is on the uptrend as big advertisers have returned and made huge commitments with the network,” Mr. Gozon said. — A. M. P. Dagcutan