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FTT Year 2013 in Review: FM Radio

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the FM radio stations of Metro Manila, with the emphasis on the reformatted stations and DJ lineups.

Reformatted Stations

In July, two FM stations started airing under new on-air identities. ABS-CBN’s DWRR 101.9 rebranded from ‘Tambayan’ to ‘MOR: My Only Radio for Life’, in the process adopting the brand of its regional FM networks. While they still air masa-based music, they started to adopt more love advice shows in the vein of DZMM‘s ‘Dr. Love with Jun Banaag’, which other stations soon adopt.

Advanced Media Broadcasting‘s DWKX 103.5 reformatted from ‘Wow FM’ back to ‘K-Lite’. The rebrand came as a result of the departure of its lead DJ Mr. Fu.  Upon returning to the ‘K-Lite’ brand, they decided to adopt the station’s late-1990s adult contemporary format as opposed to the rock-laden format of later years. Veteran DJs Mondo Castro (from NU 107), Carl ‘McFly’ Guzman (original K-Lite) and Alex ‘Max Speed’ Gotinga (Magic 89.9) would form the core of the new ‘K-Lite’, alongside rookies and other established voices.

DJ Lineup Changes

Magic 89.9 created a huge roar from the radio community when they suspended ‘Good Times” Mo Twister, Tin ‘Suzy’ Gamboa and Noelle Bonus in June for an alleged sex-related joke. As a result, Sam Oh and Gibb from 99.5 Play FM filled in to host ‘First Thing in the Morning’. Mo would later return from suspension last December to co-host the program.

Meanwhile Noelle was moved to Play FM to co-host ‘The Playground’ with Nikko Ramos, while Suzy was reinstated by Magic to host ‘The Big Meal’ with CJ ‘the DJ’ Rivera. Suzy was moved because of Riki Flores’ transfer to ‘PopStop’. Riki was moved to pair with Andi Manzano after Jessica Mendoza left Magic for her post-graduate studies in Boston.

Other notable DJ departures include RX 93.1’s Jinri Park (studies), Play FM’s Tim Yap (other commitments), and Jam 88.3’s Julz Savard (vocalist for Save Me Hollywood). And as mentioned, defunct Wow FM’s Mr. Fu resigned before the reformat, eventually finding a new home on 106.7 Energy FM.


The FM radio landscape for 2014 will be more or less predictable. Some stations will reformat, while notable faces will either move to other stations or depart entirely. And the worst part of it all is that 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes FM will continue to boast their claim as the top two stations. Nevertheless, the incoming year should bring hope and prosperity for radio stations trying to reach out to a specific audience, and to maintain the kind of music they play.



33 thoughts on “FTT Year 2013 in Review: FM Radio

  1. gabby says:

    Expect the ups and arounds of FM radio this 2014. Ang maiiwang tanong, may masa station ba kayang magiging disente sa 2014. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata. BTW, i’m also monitoring the AM radio scene.

    • I think I’m warmed to the task of GMA’s 97.1 converting to an all-news station ala Radyo5. Maganda bang pakinggan ang salitang ‘SUPER RADYO DWLS 97.1’? Barangay LS is just a bad move for GMA IMO.

  2. James Ty III says:

    ralphierce, Noelle Bonus was no longer with Good Times when Mo was suspended. When she came back from her vacation, she was moved to PLAY FM. She also did courtside reportorial work for the ABL games on Fox Sports during San Miguel Beer home games.

  3. James Ty III says:

    ralphierce, you also forgot to mention that this past year, Neil Ocampo left Radyo Singko and is now with DZRH. Former Senator Orly Mercado took over the time slot of Ocampo in the morning.

    Also, Lourd de Veyra’s daily show on Radyo Singko was axed although he still has Chillax Radio on Saturdays. Danton Remoto’s Remoto Control now airs at 7:15 pm.

    • Radyo5 is not included since they’re all-news. And as much as I want the station to be included, I don’t want to since my article on FM radio refers only to stations with DJs spinning music and talk socially-conscious topics. I’ll reserve Radyo5 for another article, perhaps compare that station to DZMM and DZBB.

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  5. James Ty III says:

    Noelle Bonus has left for the States and she has resigned from PLAY FM. Bea Fabregas replaced her on the morning show there with Nikko Ramos.

    Also, WAVE 891 now plays remixes almost every hour because of DJs like Marlon and Ron Poe. It’s becoming more of a remix station already.

  6. James Ty III says:

    Wala si Bea noong Saturday sa Bro Show. But she was at the UAAP and she was happy that UP won over FEU sa volleyball.

    She will be a full-time DJ once her UAAP CSR stint ends.

    Going to Wave, talagang house station na sila ngayon, just like MAX FM 103.5 which is also owned by the same people behind Wave.

    King DJ Logan, who used to be on Magic, is on the 6-9 pm daily time slot with DJ Ron Poe. He is the same former actor Ronian Poe.

      • James Ty III says:

        I also noticed that. Parang DMZ na nga ang Wave. Their oldies are on Fridays na pero wala na ang mga 80s songs, which are now played only by Magic.

      • Dapat na lang sana ni-retain ng Real Radio yung DMZ name noong kinuha nila ‘to from IBC in 2001. Masyadong papalit-palit ng format ‘tong mga owners. Magic lang ang pinakastable of the four Real Radio networks.

  7. James Ty III says:

    Kaya nga yung 103.5, ilang beses na pinalitan itong pangalan.

    Magic has been stable because of BNO and Mo Twister. Even if Mo talks too much and gets into trouble, Magic still keeps him because of the fact that he brings ads to them.

    And BNO gets a lot of listeners when FHM cover girls guest there because Magic is a radio partner of Summit Media. Even other Summit magazines are promoted a lot on Magic and its sister stations.

    Expect Phoem Baranda to guest on BNO within this week to promote her FHM cover. I will keep you posted. Probably I may drop by the radio tour. Wala kasing autograph signing for the January issue with the Banana Nite girls.

    • Also, BNO just keeps on attracting new hosts. Like a few years ago, si Jojo the Love Survivor from a phone call about his attempted suicide, then si Mr. Excitement from being a mere visitor on the booth to a guest host. Tapos nagpapainvite pa sila ng Feng Shui, Horoscope and Law experts.

      • James Ty III says:

        Sports5’s Aaron Atayde is also a Magic DJ aside from his work in TV. His show airs after BNO which ends 15 to 30 minutes late. He has Junior Jocks and UAAP courtside reporters Ina Ongsiako and Katz Salao as co-hosts.

      • Si Ryan Seacrest pag Mondays, tapos siya Tuesday-Thursday.

        Correction: American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest has ceased airing on Magic 89.9. IDK if Aaron will do Mondays now that AT40 is gone.

  8. James Ty III says:

    Magic played some of its current hit songs on its playlist during the vacant time slot of American Top 40 last night. Some not-so-old songs were also played.

    By the way, Magic DJ Carla D is a candidate for Ms. Cali Burger. Vote for her on the Cali Burger Facebook page. Carla used to be the GF of Christian Bautista.

    Andi 9 is back from her vacation in Korea at bumalik na siya sa Pop Stop kahapon.

  9. James Ty III says:

    Boom and Rikiflo are going to the NBA All-Star Weekend. They will be away from Magic 89.9 for a week. Aaron Atayde aka Josh Strike will be with Carla D for On Demand while a Junior Jock will be with Andi9 for The Pop Stop.

    Also, DJ Pat will take over Aaron’s 10 pm time slot while a Junior Jock will handle the 2 am slot.

    • Pat’s show for now won’t be ‘Daybreak Sounds’, but ‘Midnight Sounds’. Si JJ Santi, unlike the other Magic JJs, he’s always at Friday Madness, but not on other regular programs. Siya ata yung apprentice ni CJ sa pag-mix ng 80s songs.

  10. KG says:

    In a sad note, another RH anchor Ruth Abao (kapartner ni Deo Macalma) resigned in that station, a few days after the 75th anniversary of the AM station due to problems with her and the management under SM Atty. Regie Jularbal.

    This was confirmed thru my friend.

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