#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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18 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.

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