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#LessThan200Words: On 105.9 Like FM

Retro 105.9 quietly signed off without any publicity. So what are the reasons why this station fell from grace, and how will its replacement Like FM be able to fare in a tough radio environment?

Timow's Turf

(Requested by Rexdel Yabut Mallari. Apologies for the rush writing but the Turf is not done yet.)

THE RUMORS and observations this closing month from PinoyExchange over DWLA 105.9 FM in Metro Manila came true.

Retro 105.9 shut down last Friday without formal notice — despite the warning signs — and is replaced with 105.9 Like FM, for the sixth try (fifth under blocktimer since 2003), the following day. The genre of the newly branded radio station is leaning to adult Top 40 or a mix of current and classic hits.

For the shocked and non-oriented loyal listeners, many reasons why the format change: both neighbors’ (FM2 104.3 and Wish 107.5) rise, dwindling listenership (translating into low revenue), migration of DJs and outstanding and unsettled obligations from the last blocktimer.

Because of that, the aforementioned requester knew the situation will go worse but he made suggestions on who would be…

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26 thoughts on “#LessThan200Words: On 105.9 Like FM

  1. Anonymous says:

    While FM2 was probably the point of no return, I heard that their problems had existed even before FM2 was launched. Even during its peak, I already noticed that they had relatively few commercials, and the ones they did have were usually by the same sponsors (like restaurants, resorts, and Veterans Bank), so I guess their financial issues had been around for so long. The departure of Hillbilly Willy I suppose was another major blow, and while FM2’s rise probably by itself would not have taken the station down, his departure could have started the slow decline.

    Anyway, considering FM2 itself doesn’t really have high ratings to begin with: perhaps the downfall of Retro has more to do with their internal personnel and financial issues than competition?

    BTW, are you going to write a full article on Like FM at some point? Considering my comments in the previous post about its niche already being crowded.

      • There wasn’t much news on radio of late that’s why most articles this year are on PHTV. Most of the time, radio news are focused on station reformats or prominent DJs leaving for greener pastures but so far there wasn’t much to talk about.

        As far as Like FM is concerned, we’ll wait until they announce its official launch. They are still in test broadcast mode at this point. Perhaps Mr. Anonymous should sign up to PinoyExchange and give us his thoughts there as well instead of just reading them.

        Regarding Retro, we can agree on two things: they were financially unstable from the start and were unable to keep their talents happy one way or another. But FM2 was really the last straw and unfortunately, Retro’s inability to keep up notwithstanding their meager earnings signaled its demise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Its death knell was rung as early as November last year when they fired all their DJs bar Joshua and Karen and became automated. And the takeover had been rumored for months.

      As for Like FM’s format, it’s hard to say given it seems to be over the place at the moment, but it seems to be more-or-less Top 40 of the past and present. So like a mix of FM1 and FM2.

      • Either Adult Top 40 (like what someone said) or Rhythmic Adult Contemporary (a-la 103.5 K-Lite) ang format ng Like FM. Masa and CHR formats are already overcrowded. IDK if this kind of approach will be a hit to 105.9’s listeners.

        Retro was a pioneering classic hits station in the Metro and when it became a hit, it triggered changes on CHR stations regarding their throwback formats and K-Lite having its own format mess in 2014 (similar to Home Radio’s own mess) and even triggered UMBN to launch their own classic hits stations in Cebu (replacing longtime favorite Wild FM) and Davao (replacing Hit FM, which itself was already established). FM2’s sudden rise in popularity and them becoming #1 on the upscale market was the last straw for Retro. Tinalbog pa nga sila ng Energy FM sa upscale market, back when Saved Radio was aired on 106.7 every Sundays.

        Retro did have a huge impact on radio and it will be missed. Thanks for the great memories.

      • It’s a shame that investors messed up a good thing. They didn’t get enough advertiser support, their DJs came and went until only Karen and Triggerman remained, and they didn’t quite get the taste that listeners wanted. Suffice to say, 105.9 is a cursed station with so many reformats and management changes.

        If Like FM fails to survive after four years, it’s going to be interesting on who is to blame this time around.

      • Offtopic: Mr./Ms. Martin, whoever you are, may Facebook account ka ba? Gusto kitang iinvite sa PHTV at PHRadio groups. Baka magiging useful ka doon sa dalawang grupo. Ok lang sa ‘yo kung pwede?

        Also, paki-explain kung bakit naging Lindsay Lohan ng FM radio ang Retro 105.9.

      • Tapos Kim hindi mo pa sinasagot yung tanong ko sa ‘yo. I repeat, may Facebook account ka ba? Kung meron, ilagay mo ang link dito sa comment section. Iinvite ka namin sa PHTV at PHRadio groups since may alam ka sa Philippine media.

  2. BTW Ralph, the main reason when I said that Retro 105.9 is the Lindsay Lohan of FM radio it’s because like LiLo, Retro had a meteoric rise and then came the sudden decline.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mukhang hirap si Like FM ngayon. Mababa ang ratings nila, their DJs (mostly newbies or ex-student jocks) are getting mixed-to-negative reviews, pati format nila tila di sila sure (dati gusto nila Retro, tapos naging AC + Top 40, ngayon naman same thing but they want to be called “Manila’s Premiere Talk Station”). Kasi ngayon base sa narinig ko at sa reviews, mahilig sila sa mga questions on air, pero di masyadong nagciclick sa mga tao. Mukhang Like FM is not a station to Like at the moment.

    • More like a dislike. Hindi talaga nag-click. Just sell 105.9 to Elmer Catulpos and his gang in Gensan (via Baycomms) at gawing Brigada News FM Metro Manila. If that happens, 105.9’s years of unstability will soon be gone.

      • Anonymous says:

        I really wonder what’s going on with Like FM. They’ve been going through at least three different formats from when they were on test broadcast until now. Plus, although there have been improvements with the new DJs’ quality, they’re still not up to par. Finally, the sound quality is really bad (to quote the PHRadio group: “sabog”). What went wrong?

      • Let’s just say the likes of Jimmy Jam are not used to managing a station. Lack of experience is not helping Like FM. I won’t be surprised if it gets reformatted anew after only a few months like what happened to Campus 99.5 FM.

      • Like is now on life support right now. If ever na mareformat, ewan ko na lang kung ano ang maging kinahihinatnan ng Like FM. RJ100 wannabe? Home Radio wannabe? O magiging Brigada News FM?

        The only company that would rescue 105.9 from instability is Brigada Mass Media Corporation. They even managed to turn around the fortunes of Cebu’s low-rated 93.1 Club Radio of Vimcontu for good, eventually becoming #1 in Metro Cebu after two to three years.

        If Bright Star management sees this, they should negotiate with Elmer Catulpos in Gensan regarding the acquisition of 105.9 by Brigada’s Baycomms subsidiary, as well as possible technical adjustments sa 105.9 transmitter since Anonymous pointed out na parang sabog ang audio quality ng 105.9 as of late.

        Like and 105.9, in general, is now in life support. Sell 105.9 to Brigada (or any company) and say 105.9’s instability woes goodbye.

      • There is no other option for Bright Star. They can’t keep this up any longer. A hard-luck station like 105.9 really needs a long-term partner, not an unstable one who keeps on losing money with questionable decisions.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s been less than four months since their official launch in July, and already they’re made several changes to their program lineup. Like their DJ Joey lost his solo show and now has to share with another. One of their DJs hasn’t shown up in a while, and she happened to be one of their newbie jocks. And finally, the station ranked very poorly in the recent Kantar Mega Manila radio survey: it got outranked by even DZFE (the classical music station). A sign of the times?

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