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Execs resign as Inquirer.net folds back to PDI




Based on accounts from several reliable sources, the operations of online publication Inquirer.net will be folding back and joining the Philippine Daily Inquirer publication anytime now.

inquirer netThe site Inquirer.net will not be closing down, contrary to earlier rumors but will be consolidated with the operations of the print publication. Although the Inquirer.net team has not yet moved offices, the status of this consolidation is still “on hold”.

Several key people have already resigned from the team, including Editor-in-Chief JV Rufino and VP & Executive Editor Leo Magno, a couple of weeks ago.

Apparently, the online advertising business model that Inquirer has been swimming on in the last decade didn’t really pan out. While operations grew and content creation expanded to web videos and a blog network, the ad money wasn’t enough to sustain the business. Some part-time bloggers in the Inquirer Blog Network were also asked to stop writing a few weeks back.

Inquirer.net used to be Inq7.net which is a joint venture between PDI and GMA 7 until the latter bolted off of the partnership to put up its own website, GMA-News.tv. Inquirer.net is the top online destination in the Philippines and this development could have a huge impact in the online publishing industry in the Philippines.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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43 Responses

  1. this is bad news for pinoys

  2. Camillon says:

    Wow! Unbelievable. All the while I was thinking that the site was going strong. I visit it daily to have a peak of everyday news. I hope it doesn’t crumble soon.

    Ironically, this news should have been reported in their site. lol :)

  3. gelo says:

    yeah that bad news for a news site.
    dont worry, there’s still philstar.com and so many other news and gossips websites for all Filipinos around the world.

  4. gizno says:

    yeah, with all the ads posted all over their site you would think they’re raking in profits… and it’s just odd, the internet is supposed to be the future of future media… is it a case of mismanagement?

  5. Someone is sleeping on the job.

    How come the number one news site in the Philippines cannot make a profit a 13 year old can make thousands blogging? The content and the articles are on par with the news publication but the way it is managed and presented leave a lot to be desired. The links are a mess and I cannot find what I want quickly. It is just not steamlined enough. Typograpgy is bad, it is hard to post content, not enough images,and there are better news blogs that look better.

    A revolution wordpress theme and some plugins will work better than what they have now. hehe

  6. Essays.ph says:

    Not enough Internet Marketing

  7. Robert Tejada says:

    I wonder what the most profitable website in the philippines is? We also hear how easy it is to make money in the internet… but significant money?? It’s hard!

  8. Robert Tejada says:

    I wonder what the most profitable website in the philippines is? We always hear how easy it is to make money in the internet… but significant money?? Not Easy!

  9. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    too much expense maybe, i thought they made lots… time for someone to influx cash and fix things up

  10. elmer says:

    blame pep.ph, pinoys love showbiz more than your regular current events

  11. Not enough Internet Marketing? – NOPE

    How come the number one news site in the Philippines cannot make a profit – It’s because 75% of their news are outsourced. If you notice all of their news, 15% are local current event news and 5% local technology news, 10% local showbiz, and 75% are outsourced from either Associated Press, Reuters, and many more.

    If and only if they created their own news, that will never happen.

    Actually, there’s this news that I’ve seen last december which is about what happened in the Discovery Suites. I was the first one who created the news article before ABS-CBN and INQ7 posted theirs. When I checked Google, my website is on the top SERP when I typed the keywords that ABS-CBN and INQ7 is using.

    News from their website most of the time are late.

  12. marvin says:

    Believe me mis management yan specially sa TECH department. I was there with my team. Cream of the crop yung batch namen but eventually lahat yung umalis at napalitan ng mga inexperienced staff. There best people left dahil sa mis management ng TECHNICAL head and conflict of interests. and other dept ng inq7 can agree with that. tsk tsk super sayang ganda ng potential ng company nde na maximize bec of incompetent people.

  13. I think what they need to do is somebody who can convert those visit to money. Inquirer.net is really of big help to us OFW.

    I am just wondering how come that a blog can earn much with a few traffic and a bog news network with huge traffic cannot earn.

    It is just a matter of a right person in a position

  14. Jumanji says:

    Actually, Marvin is correct… There’s the one guy in upper management that they should fire. We all have same feelings toward him because his management inexperience and very poor understanding of the technology side. He always relying on the skills and expertise of others and claim all the glory to himself. No wonder talented individuals come and go, it’s because of this guy. I just wonder what he did to the board of trustees at Inquirer and made them think he’s the right guy for the job. He is also the cause of the other people in the other departments to leave. They don’t like him to.

  15. jomar says:

    maybe their cost of “production” exceeded their profits. there are a lot of people maintaining the site – “too many people to employ”.

    in anycase, if the site’s still going to be up, then it’s just a matter of “changing of the guard” and not really bad news for pinoys.

    jomar hilario

  16. Leo Santos says:

    Well, it’s sad to hear that… We worked so hard when it was just a startup company, I came from GMA during that time and I asked to be transferred to the partnership. We did well on the ratings and I guess, the sales and marketing team were doing so great at that time. I had a wonderful opportunity working with the most creative multimedia team ever- Chuy, Brian, and Roy. We serviced all departments at INQ7. The editorial team was topnotch, back then our EIC was Rigoberto Tiglao who’s now ambassador… JV did excellent work filling in his shoes! My hats off to his work ethics, he’s a workaholic. So too with Leo Magno who always impresses me with how he always seem to get the job done. Joey, Erwin and Gerry and Ms. Linette were the team to beat at the newsroom writing news 24 hours as it happened, of course with the hardworking interns from St. Benilde and St. Paul, QC. The power team of Ms. Edna Belleza kept finances steady with Marilyn Dee doing marketing and Mike See handling the accounts, they got it all covered coz we were happy to receive our year-end bonuses. Who would never forget Dennis Valdes, he’s a great man to work with! I look up to his management practices and ideas, my only regret was he left the fledgling news website too early not to see what would later happen. Haay! Reminiscing the good days with INQ7. I miss the dining at the pantry with Ms. Lina, Ms. Joveee and Mang Nestor!

    My decision to leave INQ7 was the hardest. It was funny coz my team wanted to leave more than I do but I surprised them by being the first to resign but I talked them stay on. I loved working for the company, INQ7 was the turning point of my career… We received a Hall-of-Fame award for best current affairs website! We beat them all… everytime! We were innovative, we were dreamers and took pride of serving the Filipinos all over the world. We had the best programmers ever, you wouldn’t believe that INQ7 only had 3 senior programmers-Maui, En and Twinkle and 4 junior programmers, Tikoy, Karlene, Percy and Gabby not to mention Jesse the sole system adminstrator of the entire site. They are all very successful in their own businesses and careers. It’s really unfortunate that there were just some changes that I didn’t like and did not accept… The company had tremendous potential. I think it still has… I would be a dream to manage it and sail it back to sea again.

  17. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    maybe a lot of ad buyers cancelled upcoming campaigns due to the economy and are late on current payments. nevertheless you would think the #1 website in the Philippines can do better?

  18. EiBox says:

    I am so sad about this very bad news…and so surprised that the country’s top website is not making any money.

  19. marvin says:

    @Israel

    maybe u just using the internet a year ago, do u know that before wordpress was born, there’s already inq7.net ?
    better check internet history 101

  20. jhay says:

    Mismanagement and expensive maintenance costs?

    I think it’s more of the former than the latter, really surprising to know that will all those ads plastered all over the pages, they’d be doing well.

    It’s high time to put new minds and vision in the driver’s seat.

  21. They already have the traffic.

    The best move is to streamline the operation.

    Keep only the best people (or whatever is left of the best).

    Improve the website appearance — a little less clutter will make it easily readable.

    Get advertisers who will pay for a premium. (Most of their advertisers now are real estate companies)

    Bring back that start-up entrepreneurial spirit as described by Sir Leo Santos.

  22. I feel very sad to learn about this too… INQ7.net was my first ever job after college…thanks to Leo Santos ^ who took me in as intern for his multimedia team in 2003, and then to JV Rufino, Leo Magno and Joey Alarilla who became my 3 “bosses” when I moved to the the editorial team after =) I have nothing but good memories from INQ7.net and will miss visiting the office whenever I’m in the area =(

  23. marvin says:

    Or maybe because those times, INQ7.net has no “real” competition, so everything they do is a real success.

  24. Twinkle Tuason says:

    I was with INQ7 as a senior developer for over 6 years. In that time, I got to work with such great people. I got to work closely with the editorial team. JV Rufino and Leo Magno have always been years ahead in terms of visions and plans for the web site. I remember getting emails or calls in the early morning for updates and changes and plans :) The editorial team worked in shifts, 24/7 to make sure that the latest news be available to everyone. On those times like the Impeachment or Edsa II, some worked even longer than that, not just because they were asked, but because they WANTED to cover it.

    The tech team shared the same spirit in pulling all-nighters, as well as hours of research, just to make sure that the readers who have no access to local tv or radio, get the news on time and as it happens. The goal was to have a site up hours or even minutes after an event happens :) It was exciting stuff.

    I remember that the Marketing and Sales team’s biggest challenge in the first few years was explaining to prospective clients, not just what INQ7 was or why it was a good idea to put up ads, but what the internet or web site was. They did a great job at getting advertisers and coming up with promos.

    Though this is a truly sad development, I do hope that for the next incarnation of the Inquirer news site, for whatever mistakes or missteps were made in the previous one, that the current team be successful in managing it, not just for their sake, but for all the millions of Filipinos who patronize Inquirer.net.

  25. marvin says:

    btw, the first marvin’s comment is an impostor, wla na bang available n pangalan and website na magamit at pati un sakin ginamit pa para manira?

  26. When I was still with Sun.star, Inq7.net was one of our benchmarks, we would continually strive to match their traffic and the speed of their news delivery as well as quality. Having the best as the leader of the pack and a direct competitor brings everyone to higher level. It would be ashame if quality of service will degrade with the folding back to PDI.

  27. artist_ako says:

    HAHAHAHAH si MARVIN may pa internet 101 pa nalalaman akala mo sino magaling. bayaran mo na muna yung mga utang mo sa mga credit card company bago ka magmagaling dyan. Hanggang ngaun may tumatawag dito sa office hinahanap ka :P

  28. Liza Caña says:

    When I heard that JV Rufino have already resigned from INQUIRER.net, this is really a bad and sad news for the company. I’m formerly intern and Editorial Assistant for almost 5 years at INQ7.net (known now as INQUIRER.net).

    JV Rufino, our EIC, is a very dedicated man to his work. Not only in Editorial dept but also for the whole company. With the help of our editors, from morning, mid and night shifts, I can say that no one can ever beat the team and will satisfy your knowledge on news in any part of the world using your computer and cellphones.

    I guess, this is a BIG trial for the company. And I hope, from my former colleagues and friends in INQUIRER.net, is to find a way again to have the success for the company. I agree with Leo Santos, the company had tremendous potential. Don’t let the company down as many are wishing it to fall.

  29. manu says:

    Whew! This is really one huge news!

  30. “Let be by-gots be by-gots.” – Anonymous

  31. marvin says:

    the grapes are sour when i tasted them.

  32. Yao says:

    Wow, this is really a big blow in the internet industry and ang dami pala issue na lumalabas sa organization na ito. Pati utang na kalkal na. tsk tsk. Anyway its a tragic day for all of us.

  33. Marlon says:

    I ve been reading news in this site for 5 years. Its sad that it will all come down to this.The site served as the link between Filipinos abroad and our country. The contents were rich but lately the site became like an online GUADALUPE BILLBOARDS. Instead of improving they have gone backwards, design wise and features wise.

    Just a side comment who is this marvin guy keeps on posting? Is this the culprit who took this once great company into its fall? It seems some people here knows him well.

  34. Gina Tan says:

    Contrary to most of the comments I read below, the article above says “Inquirer.net WILL NOT BE CLOSING DOWN but will be consolidated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer”. This might be the best move for Inquirer.net to have a cost-efficient operations.

    I’ve always thought that articles on this site were from PDI and/or GMA7 when they still had that partnership with GMA7. That way, the costs would have been less and advertisements would worked to their advantage. In other printed news companies, they have online publications at hand … meaning they manage their own people and own website. The news they print are the same news they publish online. How can you pay more with that kind of set up?

    Inq7.net then, Inquirer.net now, never ceased to update me for a period of 4 years when I was still working in Hong Kong. It may have been due to my loyalty to where my sister, one of the junior programmers mentioned by Leo Santos, was working at that time or it simply became very “handy” as compared to buying newspaper from the stands which would cost at least 2x its regular price.

    Lastly, may it be mismanagement of people or misappropriation of funds, let the new “owner/s” do their thing in bringing Inquirer.net right back on track. Continue to patronize your favorite online publication, as long as you’re happy with the contents. :)

  35. John says:

    If the comments above praising the staff and execs of inquirer.net were true then we could have seen a site better than CNN. The fact is somebody has fucked up and now they are suffering the consequences.

    They have put too much importance on Tech that they have more than five reporters covering this beat, this section however is the most failure among all the sections it gets only less than 10% of the traffic. Entertainment section gets 90% of their traffic.

  36. Mike Abundo says:

    Meanwhile, publications abroad are going Web-only.

    The Philippines exists in a time warp. Trends here go backwards.

  37. Randy says:

    If the problem of inquirer is tech related, why is this so? Wala na bang top notch developers ang inquirer? Is this the reason they are aggressively trying to hire new developers. This is surprising.

  38. Randy says:

    I also noticed their web site is getting slower and slower.

  39. angelo_a says:

    on the contrary, i just stumbled upon “The Ten Major Newspapers that will fold or go digital” at http://247wallst.com/2009/03/09/the-ten-major-newspapers-that-will-fold-or-go-digital-next/

  40. Millerlite says:

    Actually, may problem talaga tong website nato e. Pano nyo nasabi na the best ang mga nagwowork dito? Super bagal nitong site nato.

    Wait nyo na lang sa NEWS mga katoto kung bakit hindi na malaman dito kung ano gagawin. Lalabas na within a couple of days. And you will know na related sya sa topic dito. Someone messed up and ayun na nga, malaking scandal ito.

  41. dentorrecampo says:

    i’m not part of inquirer management, but this view comes from years of having led several e-commerce content management projects here and abroad.

    from a business perspective, consolidation sounds like a logical if not eventual development for inquirer.net. we must remember that paid readership (subscription and repeated purchases) and sponsorship (ads) form the lifeblood of any publication.

    the bigger picture will tell us that inquirer is not alone in this battle as hitherto print-version buyers may resort to online-only access–which is free, thus no revenue from readership, save for ad sponsorships.

    it remains a tricky balance and unfortunately the online presence still has to serve to supplement the “more vital” print business, and to not forget the “subscription” part of the business.

    fortunately, when it comes to building communities and brand ambassadors, online is tops. from there can arise support for subscription. not to mention the ability to make global impact.

    let’s ask ourselves: we may love publications like wired, natgeo, time, pcworld, and the likes, but how many of us actually have regular subscriptions to them? we all want to keep updated, but those keeping us up-to-date also have to keep their business afloat–so, are their print and online versions doing the job? and as readers, are we doing our share?

    (ultimately, the idea is to pay less for more towards a “happy reader” cycle: more readership, more ad-buyers, less subscription cost, more demand for excellent articles, more writers employed, and who knows, maybe even less ads–or only relevant ads)

  42. Montemarano says:

    I came across this while taking a break from facebook. I think you’re on to some good info here.

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