While frustrated listeners are still recovering from the reformat of 97.9 Home Radio into a ‘masa’ station, another radio station has decided to undergo a similar process.
105.9 Radio High, whose format consisted of smooth jazz and adult contemporary music, decided to end its broadcasts after three years on the air. The station, owned by Francis Lumen, was the fourth to occupy the 105.9 frequency, after the rock-oriented LA 105.9, hip-hop based Blazin’ 105.9, and the rock-oriented RJ Underground Radio 105.9.
Replacing Radio High will be a classic hits radio station known as Retro 105.9. The upcoming station will be helmed by some of the industry’s ageless veterans like Jimmy Jam, The Mole, and the Triggerman, and will essentially be patterned after another competing radio station in RJ 100.3. Retro 105.9 is expected to debut after the Holy Week.
Radio High, as the tagline suggests, was basically ‘not for everyone’, as it only targeted a more sophisticated part of the population. The format itself was influenced by Lumen’s previous experience in running Citylite 88.3 and Joey 92.3.
Unfortunately for Lumen, his reentry into the industry came at the onset of a ‘masa’ revolution, in which several stations eschewed niche radio formats in favor of the revenue-generating hot adult contemporary (‘masa’) format. And with financial losses looming, Lumen had no choice but to end his lease on the 105.9 frequency.
Radio High’s brief three-year run was, in essence, another forgettable chapter in the history of radio. In an era where ‘masa’ is becoming the norm, a few niche-based radio stations have managed to weather the storm by maintaining a loyal audience and finding other ways to survive. Unfortunately for Radio High, they were unable to do just that. And as a result, its departure only adds pressure to its successor in Retro 105.9.