Miguel “Mike” Enriquez, 71

Photo from GMA News website.

GMA NETWORK’s long-time broadcast journalist Miguel ‘Mike’ Enriquez passed away on Tuesday, August 29. Enriquez battled with diabetes, underwent a heart bypass operation in 2018, and a kidney transplant in 2021. He was 71.

Mel Tiangco, announced the death of her co-anchor at the end of GMA’s 24 Oras. She said, “Sa mahigit limang dekada niya sa industriya ng broadcasting, hindi maikakaila ang tatak at kontribusyon ni Mike Enriquez sa trabahong kanyang minahal nang buong puso,” (With more than 50 years in the broadcasting industry, his mark and contribution in the work he truly loved cannot be denied). 

The broadcaster started what would be an impressive career in the media industry quite by accident in 1969. In an interview with Pia Arcangel in 2022, Enriquez recounted a visit he made to a friend from high school who was working at the Manila Broadcasting Company. The visit ended with Enriquez filling out an application after his friend introduced him around as a “prospective employee.”  He then worked at the Freedom Broadcasting Network and Radio Mindanao Network where he became vice president of the company. He made his move to GMA Network in 1995, leading the expansion of the company’s radio services, increasing the number from four radio stations to 60 stations around the country. 

In 1998, as management prepared for the election coverage that year, discussions noted the absence of a male anchor and asked Enriquez to take on the job. It was an assignment that would make his name a household word and his face seen TV nightly. As Enriquez recalled in a 2010 article about his career: “I thought it was a joke, and so I told them: ‘If this is your idea of a joke, it’s not funny.’ It turned out they were serious, so I agreed to give it a crack. And the rest led to what I am doing today.” 

Enriquez did much more, hosting the network’s other TV news programs: Saksi: GMA Headline Balita, GMA Network News, Imbestigador and 24 Oras. The network’s DZBB also featured him as anchor in DZBB’s Super Balita sa Umaga and Saksi sa Dobol B.

Enriquez also played key roles in management. He was President of RGMA Network Inc. and GMA Network’s Senior Vice President and Consultant for Radio Operations.

The industry recognized Enriquez with multiple awards, including the 1999 Golden Dove Award for Best Male Newscaster and the 1999 Ka Doroy Valencia Broadcaster of the Year Award. 

He received recognition from international bodies: including the Best Newscaster Award at the Asian Television Awards held in Singapore in 1999. A documentary he produced on war-torn Iraq received the Silver Camera Award in 2004 from the US Film and Video Festival in Hollywood. He shared honor with his team when Saksi received a gold medal at the New York Festivals in 2003. 

A graduate of De La Salle University, he was also a professor for broadcast management in the university. Most recently, he was honored by his alma mater when the university’s Gawad Lasallianeta Awards named him the Most Outstanding Male News Anchor in 2022.

Even as health problems disrupted his work with medical leaves, Enriquez proved a trooper, returning to work and was back on air to lead his network’s coverage of the 2022 elections. 

He is survived by his wife, Lizabeth Yumping.