GMA Network News Theme (1997-1999) (re-edited)
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Published on Mar 10, 2012
GMA Network News Theme: "Raw Power", composed by Craig Palmer, featuring the Network Music Ensemble, published by Network Production Music Publishing (July 7, 1997 - July 30, 1999 as closing theme)
In 1997, the newscast was given a new set, new theme music, and a sleeker opening ident and graphics package. In the opening ident, Kaimo gave a sneak peek of the night's headlines with clips from the specific news items, after which, Mike Enriquez (and later, GMA continuity announcer Al Torres) provided the voice-over, "From the award-winning GMA News and Public Affairs team, this is GMA Network News..." to introduce the newscast and its anchorpersons. Rachel del Mar became the program's new weather girl, who would always end the segment (then retitled "GMA Weather Center") with her signature close, "This is Rachel del Mar, your all-weather friend." which became "Ito po si Rachel del Mar, ang iyong all-weather friend." when the newscast switched to Filipino to end the weather forecast. However, Kaimo and Hontiveros eventually left the newscast as well. The former would move to ABS-CBN (to host The Correspondents and the Studio 23 newscast News Central), while the latter ran for party-list representative in Congress. Morales became sole anchor of the newscast while it prepared for a reformat, while the opening voice-over was eventually dropped from the opening ident.
In 1998, Saksi anchor Enriquez joined Morales as co-anchor. It became the first Filipino newscast to do stand-up news delivery (inspired by US TV network newscasts). It also made a gradual shift in the language it used, first to "Taglish" (a mixture of Tagalog and English) and eventually, Filipino after a few months. The newscast became the first late-night news program in Filipino on Philippine television. This is also the first news program where the anchors are standing up, Due to this, GMA Network News ratings became higher than its rival English-language newscasts, The Big News of ABC, NewsWatch of Radio Philippines Network and The World Tonight of ABS-CBN.
Enriquez used his signature close, "Thank you for trusting GMA", which became "Marami pong salamat sa inyong pagtitiwala sa GMA" (when the newscast switched to Filipino) to end the newscast. The latter closing line was also used by himself in Saksi (when he returned and Morales transferred to the said newscast in 1999 after the premiere of Frontpage: Ulat ni Mel Tiangco on the late-night slot) and on his DZBB radio program. Mel Tiangco would later use the same closing line until now on 24 Oras.
Meanwhile, the newscast's weekend edition aired from 1996 to 2002, first, with Raffy Marcelo and Georgette Tengco, then Gin de Mesa, Martin Andanar, and finally, Bernadette Sembrano. The weekend edition also switched to news delivery in Filipino at the same time the weekday edition did. "GMA Network News" continued to be the weekend newscast's title until 2002, even as the weekday edition gave way to "Frontpage" in 1999.
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