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Star Magic founder Johnny Manahan now with GMA-7, will help develop 'new breed' of artists for network

By CHUCK SMITH Published Jul 13, 2021 1:23 pm

It's official: Johnny Manahan, famed for being one of the founders of ABS-CBN's talent management arm, Star Magic, is now with GMA-7.

Manahan signed with the Kapuso network on Tuesday, July 13, reports. He will be part of GMA-7 as a consultant for the network's own talent arm, GMA Artist Center. 

Manahan was a director and producer for ABS-CBN, helming shows such as Palibhasa Lalaki and Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata for the network, before forming its Talent Center with ABS-CBN general manager Freddie Garcia in 1992. The talent arm was later renamed Star Magic and is often credited for discovering and developing many of the network's top stars such as Claudine Barretto, John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo, Jericho Rosales, Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and many others. 

He left Star Magic, where he was chairman emeritus, in September 2020. Laurenti Dyogi, currently serves as the head of Star Magic. 

After leaving ABS-CBN, Manahan went to direct TV5's short-lived Sunday noontime show Sunday Noontime Live, which aired from October 2020 to January 2021. 

During his virtual press conference following his contract signing, he said of his transfer to GMA-7: "Last year, I was working as a freelancer. Gumawa kami ng mga shows para sa TV5. And after finishing several shows, I thought magre-retire na ako... But andun yung itch. Whenever I think about it, baka it's hard not doing anything, you know? Tamang tama, some friends of ours in GMA-7 asked if we were interested. Sabi ko, 'sige, let's talk'. Maganda naman yung nilatag nila. In a way, I cannot refuse that offer. I go where there is work, where people need us."

Manahan said his main goal with the network is to help create a "new breed of GMA artists."

"What we want to do is develop a new breed of GMA artists and a new breed of ambassadors for GMA. But the immediate thing is to see how we can work with the GMA team, kung ano ang kailangan nila... That's what we want to do eventually, a new breed of GMA artists," Manahan said, adding he wants to meet with the young stars of the network. 

Banner photo from Philippine Star, file photo; GMA Network