It's official: CNN Philippines to launch in 2015

Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific will be launching a local version of 24-hour news channel CNN starting next year via a partnership with Nine Media Corporation.

According to an official statement, the move will see the rebranding of 9TV, formerly Solar News Channel, to CNN Philippines which will operate from studio facilities in Manila.

Kayen Zialcita from Nine Media confirmed with Marketing that the CNN Philippines will be headed by Nine Media president Reggie Galura while its current affairs will be led by veteran journalist and former ABS-CBN news channel head Jing Magsaysay.

CNN Philippines will be primarily an English-language channel but will offer a mix of locally-produced and international programs, which include news, feature programming and documentaries. This means that all 9TV and 9News branded programs will be discontinued.

Working closely with its TV counterpart will be the dedicated website, in a bid to gain massive reach in the internet and mobile-savvy country. CNN Philippines and will officially launch first quarter in 2015.

As for job creation, Zialcita said that "it will be determined once we start the CNN training and review of standards and practices."

CNN Philippines on free TV

Gerhard Zeiler, president of Turner Broadcasting International said: “This agreement is yet another example of Turner’s commitment to growth in the Asia Pacific region. We are thrilled to partner with Nine Media Corporation – a news organization that shares our vision, mission, and values – to serve this hugely important audience.”

Instead of keeping it a cable TV exclusive like CNN International, CNN Philippines is boosting its reach further by being available on free-to-air TV. The news channel will be aired in Manila, Cebu and Davao via RPN-TV9, Zamboanga RPN-TV5, Baguio RPN-TV12 and Bacolod RPN-TV8.

As for cable TV, CNN Philippines will be aired thru Sky Cable Channel 14 (Metro Manila), Sky Cable Channel 6 (Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo and Baguio), Destiny Cable Channel 14, Cablelink Channel 14 and Cignal Channel 10.

Antonio Cabangon-Chua, chairman of Nine Media Corporation, said: “By integrating local elements and content in its programming, CNN Philippines brings together world-class local and international content for Filipino audiences.”

The rebrand comes around two months after media magnate Cabangon-Chua acquired Solar TV and a majority stake at former state-owned network RPN 9. The deal lead to the rebrand of RPN 9 to Aliw Channel and Solar News Channel to 9TV.

READ ALSO: RPN 9 rebrands to Aliw Channel, Solar News to 9TV

CNN Philippines is the latest addition to the news channel’s expanding network in the region which includes CNN Indonesia, CNN IBN in India, CNN Turk and CNN Chile. Its Asian operations is headquartered in Hong Kong