After weeks of speculations, Johnny Manahan is officially welcomed to GMA Network as he signs with its talent management arm, GMA Artist Center. Welcome to GMA, Mr. M!
Yesterday, July 12, GMA Network’s social media accounts posted a teaser artcard hinting on the transfer of the former head of Star Magic, the talent management arm of rival network, ABS-CBN. The artcard put an emphasis on the two M’s with caption and text “A Pillar in Philippine Entertainment is Making a Move.” It also mentioned that the announcement will be made the following day.
Just this morning, GMA Network announced that the 74-year-old Mr. M is now part of the Kapuso family as a consultant to GMA Artist Center.
The virtual contract signing was attended by GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, President and COO Gilberto Duavit, Jr., and Executive Vice President and CFO Felipe S. Yalong.
Also in attendance were other GMA executives including Senior Vice President for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable, Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara, and Assistant Vice President and Head for Talent Imaging and Marketing Unit of GMA Artist Center Simoun Ferrer.
Mr. M started his showbiz journey as a singer on Uncle Bob’s show in GMA in the 1970’s.
He was the chairman emeritus of Star Magic, where he was known as a star-builder as well as a mentor to big names such as Piolo Pascual, Claudine Barretto, Angelica Panganiban, Diether Ocampo, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, and John Lloyd Cruz, and Bea Alonzo who has recently transferred to GMA-7 as well.
With ABS-CBN, he was able to direct a number of television shows including sitcoms, TV specials, and variety shows including the country’s longest-running weekend variety show, ASAP. He left in September 2020.
He jumped to TV5 and produced and directed two variety programs for Brightlight Productions, founded and owned by businessman Albee Benitez, who is a former congressman of Negros Occidental’s 3rd district (2010-2019). It was also Benitez who convinced Manahan to continue his showbiz career after ABS-CBN’s shutdown.
Mr. M worked with former Kapamilya stars for the noontime show Lunch Out Loud and the Sunday variety musical program Sunday Noontime Live (SNL).
The business relationship between Manahan and Benitez ended with the cancellation of SNL—top-billed by Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, and Catriona Gray—in January 2021.
Exciting times ahead with Mr. M as a Kapuso. Welcome back, Kapusong Mr. M!