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CNN Philippines anchors, employees say goodbye to company amid shutdown

By NICK GARCIA Published Jan 29, 2024 8:13 pm

Employees of CNN Philippines, as well as their media colleagues, took to social media to say farewell to their company after it announced its shutdown on Jan. 29.

On Monday, the news organization officially announced that it is closing after nine years of operation.

“Turning the final page of the CNN Philippines newsroom's story,” CNN Philippines wrote in the caption of its Facebook post. “We are forever grateful for the stories we've shared, the audience we've served, and to our dedicated team for their commitment to uphold the values of truth, accuracy, fairness, and accountability.”

Christine Jacob Sandejas, one of the anchors of the morning show New Day, told PhilSTAR L!fe there’s no anger or resentment about what happened, though she’s heartbroken as she’s been a part of CNN Philippines for eight years.

“It’s saying goodbye to Family that celebrated the good times and held hands through the difficult moments,” Sandejas said. “And now it’s time to all together let go, wish each other well and hope our paths cross once again.”

Her co-host Paolo Abrera on Instagram shared a clip of their appearance on Monday’s final episode, which also served as the channel’s last live broadcast.

“What a privilege to have been part of this brand. This organization. This family,” Abrera said.

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Pia Hontiveros of the primetime newscast News Night, on Instagram shared a carousel containing the behind-the-scenes of its final episode last Friday.

“Maraming salamat sa panonood. Karangalan po namin ang maglingkod sa inyo,” Hontiveros wrote in the caption.

Pinky Webb of The Source, meanwhile, on Instagram shared a photo of her holding hands with Hontiveros, as the company logo can be seen on their office’s wall.

“My debate partner,” Webb wrote in the caption with the hashtag #IWillMissYou. The duo popularly hosted past presidential debates on the network.

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Rico Hizon of the flagship late-night newscast The Final Word, on Instagram shared a clip of the final episode last Friday. He quoted American journalist Fred Flagler as saying, “So long, see you around. But never a final goodbye.” He also shared his selfies with the company staff.

Reporters Mai Rodriguez and Andrei Felix shared photos of them posing by the company logo in their office, calling the company their home.

Sam Sadhwani also shared a clip of her extro.

Cliff Clyde Ambid, an executive producer of CNN Philippines for eight years, thanked the company for taking care of them despite its financial struggles.

"I know that the cessation was long overdue but delayed for the love of their employees," Ambid told L!fe. "I'm saddened, but mostly looking forward to the next chapter of my career."

'Heartbreaking,' 'tough' loss

Media colleagues, meanwhile, took to X to mourn the shutdown.

ABS-CBN News' former news chief Ging Reyes described the closure as a "heartbreaking loss."

"One less source of legitimate news & factual, non-partisan reporting," Reyes said. "Newsrooms have been suffering losses since the tech disruption. Disinformation continues. We must be vigilant!"

Gretchen Ho of TV5 said it's a "huge, tough loss for the whole industry."

"Prayers for our colleagues at CNN Philippines, and a salute to the quality work delivered all these years," she said.

Atom Araullo of GMA offered CNN Philippines staff a virtual hug.

CNN Philippines announced that it’s shutting down operations due to “serious financial losses.”

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), for its part, said the shutdown meant “one less source of reliable information for the public at a time when disinformation and misinformation are rampant.”

“Just as important is the loss of livelihood to dozens of our colleagues who have stayed in media because of the public service aspect of journalism,” the NUJP said.

While acknowledging that dominant media is a business, the organization said it’s wary of the industry’s financial issues, which it said “will not lead to media workers being further overstretched to cut costs and improve bottom lines.”

“Media workers look forward to helping chart the profession’s next steps alongside newsroom leaders,” it added.

It also stood in solidarity with CNN Philippines and offered its gratitude.

“Thank you for being in the trenches with us,” the NUJP said, “and we hope to see you again soon.”