MANILA, Philippines—“My house is the only souvenir from [my years in] ABS-CBN,” Willie Revillame jested. He was referring to the former conjugal home of Gabby Lopez and Panjee Gonzalez, which he bought from the network head.He’s being modest, to be sure. Aside from the Quezon City property, he is leaving the Kapamilya network considerably richer with a Tagaytay rest house and a yacht, among other assets. “Intact lahat ’yon,” Revillame told Inquirer Entertainment. He’s saying goodbye to ABS-CBN with the confidence and resources to become his own producer … maybe his own network head, too. The embattled host plans to build a new company that he would call Wil Production Inc. Like Oprah He’s fashioning himself as a local version of Oprah Winfrey, the US TV host who built Harpo, a media empire, on the strength of her daily show. “We intend to launch Wil early next year,” he said.
The network’s headquarters and studio will be housed in Wil Tower, the building he is constructing with Sen. Manny Villar’s Vista Land in Quezon City, right beside ABS-CBN. “We start construction on Aug. 15,” he said. He is no longer managed by Arlene de Castro, wife of former Vice President Noli de Castro, he said. “I will manage myself. My career will be handled by Wil Production Inc.