BLOODY Friday for GMA 7 regional offices.

GMA 7 Network simultaneously closed its regional offices in Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and two other cities on Friday and laid of at least a hundred reporters, video cameramen and drivers who were essential part of its newsgathering team.

The network also closed down all morning show productions of their regional offices in Cebu and Davao City.

In a terse message sent to all its regional offices, GMA 7 Network said it is “streamlining its programs and manpower to ensure business competitiveness.”

“This has resulted in reduction of manpower and targets more efficient operations. Severance packages are offered by GMA to all affected personnel,” the network said.

“GMA Network greatly appreciates the contributions rendered by our Kapuso in the regions and we wish them all the best as they seek new opportunities outside the network,” it said.

The cut closed its regional offices in Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Naga and Ilocos.

In Cagayan de Oro, the announcement came after the local station aired its “24 Oras Northern Mindanao” at 5:30 pm Friday. It would be their last airing.

“Everyone was in tears when the announcement was made. We were not even given time to properly say goodbye to our loyal viewers,” a staff member said.

To make the situation worse, another staff member said security guards were posted at the doors to check their bags and pockets to see if they brought some equipment out from the office.

“We were treated like we work in the malls. We are journalists and we are not thieves,” the staff member said.

Most employees of GMA7 regional offices remained mum on their termination pending their final meeting with the management this coming Wednesday.

GMA 7 Network is expecting a 30 percent acquisition of its share from businessman Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation.