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GMA Network's Long-Time CEO Announces Retirement: An End of an Era

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BNN Correspondents
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GMA Network's Long-Time CEO Announces Retirement: An End of an Era

Felipe L. Gozon, the veteran CEO of GMA Network Incorporated, the Philippines' leading broadcast company, announced his retirement at his 84th birthday celebration held at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City. As the end of 2023 approaches, so does the conclusion of Gozon's two-decade-long leadership. The baton is set to pass to Gilberto R. Duavit Jr., presently serving as the president and chief operating officer of GMA, who will assume the CEO role from January 1, 2024.

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The Legacy of Gozon's Leadership

Under Gozon's stewardship, GMA, initially known as the Republic Broadcasting System, experienced a remarkable transformation. Revitalized by Gozon, Duavit Sr., and Menardo Jimenez in 1975, GMA evolved into a formidable competitor to ABS-CBN Corporation, claiming to surpass its rival in 2011. The closure of ABS-CBN's frequencies in May 2020 further cemented GMA's dominant position in the Philippine television industry.

GMA's Extensive Reach

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With 95 television stations and 21 radio stations, GMA reaches 78 million Filipinos, capturing nearly 60% of the audience share. The network has diversified into a multimedia conglomerate, with interests spanning film production, music publishing and distribution, new media, and celebrity management through its Sparkle GMA Artists Center.

Challenges Ahead

Despite GMA's triumphs, the television industry in the Philippines faces a significant hurdle as audiences increasingly gravitate towards the internet for news and entertainment. This shift has led to a decline in television viewership from 66% in 2020 to 52% in 2023. Reflecting these challenges, GMA's revenues and net income witnessed a decrease in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. As Gozon transitions to the role of chairman of the board and adviser to the company, the incoming CEO, Duavit Jr., faces the task of steering GMA through this evolving landscape.

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