Friday, May 28, 2010

Gabby Lopez talks about Willie in ABS-CBN stockholders' meet!

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III discussed the recent controversy involving the network and its biggest talent, "Wowowee" host Willie Revillame, during the firm's stockholders' meeting on Thursday.

In response to a question raised during the meeting held at the Dolphy Theater, Lopez acknowledged that what happens to a star like Revillame definitely has a financial impact on the network.

"There are ongoing discussions now with Willie, and we prefer to keep these discussions at this point between ourselves and Willie. Suffice it to say that we are cognizant of the financial impact that a star like Willie brings to the network. But we are also aware that an institution like ABS-[CBN] will deal with stars all the time. And stars come and go, but the institution stays," Lopez said.

"So we will take into consideration the wide variety of factors that are involved in dealing with stars like Willie. He is not the first or the last star that will reflect this kind of behavior. It goes with the territory," he added.

"These decisions will be made in the proper time. I think the best decision we made is for both Willie and I to decide that, for the interim, we will both keep silent about what's going on, and these discussions will be made in the course of the next several months.”

Lopez talked about the controversy when one of the stockholders asked management about Revillame. The visibly irked stockholder even added that if it was up to him, he would kick Revillame out.

'Indefinite break'

On Tuesday, ABS-CBN announced that Revillame is taking an “indefinite break” from his popular noontime show, but his contract obligations with the network remain.

“ABS-CBN management and Willie Revillame pushed through with their scheduled talk yesterday afternoon. Willie has realized his mistake and apologized to ABS-CBN management for his outburst on air in 'Wowowee' on May 4, 2010, and his failure to report to work since May 5, 2010. ABS-CBN management has accepted Willie’s apology.

"ABS-CBN and Willie agreed that he takes an indefinite break effective immediately, but his contract obligations with ABS-CBN hold. This disallows him to perform similar work for any person or entity in direct competition with ABS-CBN. At some point, ABS-CBN management and Willie will discuss what will be in the best interest of the viewing public.

"Meanwhile, 'Wowowee' will continue to provide entertainment and inspiration to Filipinos worldwide,” said Bong Osorio, head of ABS-CBN Corporate Communications."

The statement was released after Revillame and the big bosses of the network met Monday evening.

'Release me'

Prior to the meeting, Revillame sent management a letter dated May 12 asking that he be released from his contract.

The letter, which was addressed to ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III and president Charo Santos-Concio, was written in light of the controversy involving him and entertainment journalist Jobert Sucaldito. A copy of the letter was leaked to the media.

Revillame had slammed Sucaldito for the latter’s alleged non-stop criticisms about Wowowee. Revillame, in particular, got irked after Sucaldito allegedly insulted the contestants of “Wowowee." The contestants were reportedly high school students with general averages of 75 to 79.

Sucaldito has repeatedly denied that he insulted the “Wowowee” contestants.

Revillame demanded that the network fire Sucaldito and threatened to leave the network if this was not implemented. The “Wowowee” host then went on indefinite leave.

"Wowowee" is currently being hosted by action star Robin Padilla.

Award-winning director and actor Cesar Montano has been offered to host the show for two weeks, but Montano and ABS-CBN have not made a final decision.



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