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More News on Philippine FM Radio

Before I start this post, I would like to offer a prayer to families affected by the flooding caused by TS Maring and the Habagat. Hope you’re safe, and prepare for any possible disaster.

The past few days have seen rain pour heavily into the streets of Metro Manila, causing floods and cancellation of classes and office work. This heavy rain was caused by the Southwest monsoon, exacerbated by the non-movement of Tropical Storm Trami (Maring). Throughout Monday and Tuesday all broadcast outlets were on hand to inform the people of the latest updates with regards to the flooding, evacuation of affected families, storm movement, and cancellation of classes, government and private employment, and live events.

Radio is one of the oldest forms of broadcast media, and still one of the most important. In the Philippines the demarcation between AM and FM radio is apparent; AM is for news, FM is for music. However, that divide was broken in 2010 when TV5 launched the first all-news FM station: Radyo5 92.3 News FM. In a changing FM landscape where ‘masa’ stations were growing at a fast pace, Radyo5 stood tall from the rest. And it is clear that other AM stations were envious of TV5’s daring approach.

The slogan ‘Iwanan Mo Na ang Lumang Tunog ng AM!’ (Leave the Old Voice of AM!) tells you how different Radyo5 is from AM counterparts DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and Super Radyo DZBB 594. The sound is clearer, the reception is better, and the reach is wider, typical of other FM stations. In only its first year on the air, Radyo5 became the fourth-most listened FM station in Metro Manila, and is also the top news radio station among motorists.

The daring approach of TV5 in adopting the news format to FM radio proved effective. With the music on ‘masa’ stations becoming cheaper, repetitive and less entertaining, I hope that more stations adopt the news format on FM. With that in mind, there is hope that ‘DWRR Radyo Patrol 101.9’ and ‘Super Radyo DWLS 97.1’ will be on the air in the near future.