Sotto bares reasons behind hosts' decision to leave TAPE

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 5) — TV host Tito Sotto on Monday disclosed a number of reasons behind the decision of Eat Bulaga’s hosts to leave TAPE Inc., the production company behind the country's longest running noontime variety show.

“Bottomline, they (TAPE) helped us decide because we were not in a decision at that time, at that point yet,” Sotto told CNN Philippines’ The Source, referring to when the hosts were barred from doing a live show on May 31.

Last week, Tito, his brother Vic, and Joey de Leon (TVJ) as well as the other mainstays announced their resignation from TAPE.

READ: 'Eat Bulaga' resumes live TV airing with new hosts

Sotto said mistrust of the new management was among their reasons to quit.

He said the new management led by Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Romeo Jalosjos Jr., who replaced Tony Tuviera as chief executive officer and president, wanted the old hosts including TVJ replaced.

They also want to discontinue top-rating segments like “Juan for All, All for Juan,” and “Bawal Judgmental,” Sotto said.

“After all these years, 44 years, hindi naman sila nakikialam sa amin (they are not getting involved), it was Tony Tuviera who was coordinating with us the whole time… Lahat ng ginagawa namin doon kami-kami ‘yun, wala naman silang (Everything that we did were only done by us, they do not have) contribution,” Sotto said. “You should’ve left it alone, it was doing well.”

He also criticized the initial plan of management to introduce a segment that was similar to the old “Maid in the Philippines.” 

Aside from having the same concept, Sotto said they opposed it since advertisers no longer favor such segments.

Sotto said the salary of the hosts and staff was another issue.

The former Senate president said everyone agreed to a 10% across-the-board pay cut after management said the company is facing financial challenges.

While they agreed, Sotto said they did not believe the financial angle since TAPE ended 2021 with a net profit, including earnings from political advertisements during the 2022 elections.

Sotto said TVJ is in talks with at least four TV stations about their possible transfer. He added that the final decision on the matter this will be out this week.