hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

103.5 KLite’s Identity Struggles

103.5 KLite underwent a third reformat in over a year, this time with the more recent hits (90s-2000s) dominating its playlist. (Logo courtesy of Tiger 22 Media Corporation)

103.5 KLite’s endless turnover continues.

In what has become a continuing theme, the embattled station decided to change its format again. Under the tagline of ‘Metro Manila’s Official Take Me Back Station’, the playlist now leans more on the 90s and 2000s tunes rather than the current ones.

The format change also featured a revamped cast of DJs. Among the new hires of the station was Fran (Monica Tobias in real life), a long-time DJ on Monster Radio RX 93.1.

As a result, KLite’s new format now resembles that of Retro 105.9 DCG-FM, albeit in a younger tone and in an adult contemporary spin.

It is clear that 103.5 KLite is becoming a shell of its former self. In a competitive industry such as Philippine radio, finding an identity and a niche are crucial ingredients in the viability of a particular station, and so far, KLite has not done that.

In fact, I went as far as dubbing 103.5 under the name ‘Wow, It’s Heart to the Max na KLite’, due to the station’s recent history of format changes. Since Tiger 22 took over management of DWKX 103.5 in the mid-90s, the station endured nine format changes and four different brand names, with the original KLite lasting the longest at 11 years.

On the other hand, sister stations Jam 88.3 and Wave 89.1 basically kept their respective alternative and urban formats with a few tweaks in between, while DWRT-FM 99.5 (as 99.5 RT, 99.5 Hit FM, Campus 99.5 and 99.5 Play FM) maintained their brand of contemporary hit radio despite several changes in identity.

If KLite were to reformat again (assuming that they decided to do the unthinkable after six or seven months), it would be best for them to combine the formats of their previous incarnations (Heart, Max, Wow, original KLite) and integrate into the current KLite.

Under the proposed format, KLite should add a select number of dance tunes (from Max), R&B singles (from Heart), rock songs (from original KLite) and ‘masa’ hits (from Wow) to their trademark adult contemporary playlist. It may be a combustible mix, but this is the best that KLite can do.

But right now, 103.5 KLite is a station that is suffering from an identity crisis. And unless they finally settle with a format that is distinctly theirs, things will only get worse.

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14 thoughts on “103.5 KLite’s Identity Struggles

  1. Nameless says:

    Tama ka nga. 1 year pa lang ang Red-colored KLite pero tila nahihirapan pa rin silang i-distinguish kung ano ba talaga sila.

    1. I suggest also to reformat it into a more Rave-oriented, EDM station since mas in-demand ang EDM songs sa industry nowadays, at para at least ay may space din ang BigFish Radio blocktime sa airwaves natin. In that way, mas magkakaroon ng promotion ang mga rising EDM music festivals dito sa bansa. Yung dating Max FM kasi for me, parang more on house/underground dance rhythm kasi. And besides, mukhang hindi rin nila kasi kayang mag-venture sa pang-masa eh. Nasanay na sila sa foreign hits.

    2. Tutal naman, may rock, may urban (na puro rap) at may CHR/Hollywood-oriented stations na sila, why don’t they try to venture into radio newscasting & follow the footsteps of Radyo5? I suggest na dapat makipag-partner sila sa 9news and/or sa Rappler, since those news outfits are known for delivering news in English. At may Menchu Magapagal & Roanna Jamir rin naman ang Tiger22 who also appear sa 9TV.

    • Tiger22’s foray will always be music, so it’s unlikely na magiging news station ang 103.5. Hindi sila yung parang TV5, ABS or GMA na malaki. Saka yung 9News nakapartner na with Aliw’s DWIZ, while Rappler is better off focusing on new media rather than chasing more traditional media practices.

      As for EDM on 103.5, will the listeners buy into it? That’s a great suggestion but I doubt if that will pay off since mas habol ng Tiger22 ang mainstream than alternative.

      • Nameless says:

        I think yes (on EDM format) kasi mas hanap talaga ng younger listeners nowadays ‘yung dance rhythms eh. So far kasi, ang “so-called pirate” na 107.9 URadio ang huling station in Mega Manila to serve dance music.

        3rd suggestion: Why don’t they try naman to compete the 105.1 Crossover? Sila na lang kasi ang only surviving “socialite-inspired music station” dito sa Manila by playing Jazz songs. I remember those days of Dream FM, Joey 92.3, Radio High, Citylite.

        But in all fairness, what I like w/ KLite is ‘yung playlist ng songs nila as more “office-friendly” kasi talagang nakaka-relax ang majority ng songs nila na kahit puro 90s. Pero ‘yun nga, confused pa rin sila sa kung ano’ng format ba talaga sila.

      • I think they should stick to what they really are: a younger man’s Easy Rock.

        Pwede rin lagyan ng konting jazz, pero not to the point na gagawing jazz station ang KLite.

  2. James Ty III says:

    K Lite should be a better version of Easy Rock. The latter station is closely identified with Love Radio and YES FM as far as music playlists are concerned. Minsan, yung mga songs ng Love at YES, pinapatugtog din sa Easy Rock although the difference is, English-speaking ang mga DJs.

    Justin Taylor, who is an Easy Rock DJ, used to be with YES FM.

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