hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

In 100 Words: Yes the Best? More Like Yes the Worst!

Looks like nothing has changed on 101.1 Yes the Best.

Despite a massive and heavily hyped rebrand that took several months to materialize (even going as far as labeling the station as the ‘Home of the Millennials’), the sound of Yes the Best remains virtually the same as its previous incarnation. They are still a ‘masa’ station with ridiculously named DJs, playing some OPM, dance and hip-hop tracks, and even classic rock ballads from years past.

If Yes wants to truly live up to their billing as the ‘Home of the Millennials’, the station should have morphed into a Top 40 CHR station ala Magic 89.9 and 99.5 Play FM. This is poor advertising on MBC’s part, one that will definitely fool the more educated listener.

Sorry, but the rebrand of 101.1 Yes the Best is a thumbs down. Get your priorities straight, MBC.

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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

Yes FM Rebrands, Targets Millennials

The similarities between MBC sister stations 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes FM have been well-documented.

Ever since the Manila Broadcasting Company converted Yes FM into a Hot AC (‘masa’) station in 1998, the competition between Yes and MBC’s older flagship station Love Radio became intense and at times cordial. Both stations were in the top two in the ratings, and they even boasted that so-called fact in various stingers.

Unfortunately, the similarity in format proved to be a hindrance for Yes FM. By playing virtually the same type of music and catering to the same audience as Love Radio, Yes was always in the shadow of its older counterpart, and thus, they were treated like a ‘puppet’ to MBC.

It was clear to MBC that Yes needed a facelift. So in July of this year, they decided to give Yes a new sound, rebranding the station as 101.1 Yes the Best.

While semblances of its old ‘masa’ self continue to exist, the new Yes the Best is now dominated by music that is typically heard in CHR stations, with some mix of OPM and other Asian pop music. The new format of Yes is also targeted toward millennials (i.e. those born in the 1980s to the early 2000s).

Yes the Best also had a talent exchange with older station Love Radio prior to the reformat. Erstwhile Love Radio DJs Shai Tisai and Raqi Terra were moved to Yes in exchange for Tanya Chinita and Kara Karinyosa, who were moved next door to Love Radio.

In all honesty, the new sound of Yes the Best makes sense. Though the new format may prove to be consequential to its ratings, distinguishing Yes from the older Love Radio may be the best decision that MBC made, which could also benefit the FM radio industry in general.

Let’s just hope that the new Yes the Best model can be sustainable for a long period of time. With a new generation of listeners now coming to their senses, Yes the Best should live up to their billing as ‘The Millennials’ Choice’.

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music, news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, songs

JRDV’s World Year In Review: PH Radio

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio.

Our friend JRDV’s World has more insights on the year 2015 in Philippine radio. Enjoy.

JRDV'S WORLD

With other blogs sharing their insights on Philippine Television in 2015, I will show you some big news in Philippine Radio.

CALM AFTER THE STORM

103.5_K-Lite.png After the various re-formats, 103.5 K-Lite settled in the Adult Contemporary format, which resulted in the station being #6 in Metro Manila ratings, based on figures released by Nielsen. (Photo: Advanced Media Broadcasting System, Inc.)

After the disastrous re-formats of 103.5 K-Lite (from AC on its launch last July 22, 2013 to CHR last April 21, 2014 to Adult Hits last August 18, 2014 (as a desperate attempt to compete against Retro 105.9 DCG-FM and 107.5 Wish FM) before settling in to the AC format last November 24, 2014), it seems that the listeners of 103.5 K-Lite have something to cheer on this year. A year after settling on the Adult Contemporary format, K-Lite was ranked #6 on Metro Manila FM Ratings, based on AC Nielsen…

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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.

Outlook

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.

 

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The Return of 103.5 KLite

103.5 KLite returns after a seven-year absence, using the lite alternative format of the early years.

The DWKX 103.5 frequency returned to its original brand after a seven-year absence. The KLite brand re-debuted on July 22, 2013, playing the lite adult contemporary brand from its early years. Though many clamor for the return of the lite alternative format of the later years, Quest Broadcasting decided to go back to KLite’s roots as the lite alternative and rock format is currently used by sister station Jam 88.3.

In the seven years between the two iterations of KLite, the 103.5 frequency was known by its three brands: Heart 1035, 103 1/2 Max FM, and 103.5 Wow! FM. The Heart 1035 brand lasted from January to June 2007, playing soft R&B and adult contemporary music, similar to what the ‘masa-fied’ station 96.3 Easy Rock is playing these days, albeit with less emphasis on the older music. From June 2007 to August 2010, the 103.5 frequency was branded as 103 1/2 Max FM, playing both classic and modern Top 40 Pop and Adult Contemporary, before shifting to house music and dance later on. Then from August 2007 to July 2013, the frequency was known as 103.5 Wow! FM, playing ‘masa’ music consisting of Hot Adult Contemporary, OPM and classic rock ballads typical of stations such as 101.1 Yes! FM and 90.7 Love Radio. The face of Wow! FM has been Mr. Fu; however the brand’s demise was assured after Mr. Fu’s resignation and return to 106.7 Energy FM.

Which leads to the return of the 103.5 K-Lite brand that is now playing on the radio. The returning brand started airing at 6:00 a.m. of July 22 with ‘The Morning Buzz’ hosted by DJ Electric. Soon after a mix of fresh blood and veteran voices began to take over the K-Lite booth, including a pair of veterans from the defunct NU 107 in Mondo and Trish, Alamid frontman Carl McFly, and Max Speed from the Max and Wow! eras. The station’s return to form was a needed boost for Philippine FM radio that is being invaded by ‘masa’ stations.

The second KLite brand is nearly a month into the airwaves, and so far, many of the old listeners and some of the new ones were impressed with its playlist. It was like having a second wind, a station desperately needed by listeners who were disenchanted by the ‘masa’ stations that is overwhelming the industry. With it comes the responsibility of keeping it on air for several more years, provided that listeners were satisfied with the brand of music that KLite is playing.

KLite is definitely back, and stronger than ever. It remains to be seen whether it will stay on air for a longer period of time, but with further positive feedback from listeners, the brand will remain as long as the listeners like it.

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Love Radio and Yes! FM Don’t Deserve to Be No. 1

Love Radio and sister station Yes! FM claims to be the top two radio stations. However, they do not deserve be in such regard due to their unfair competitive advantage.

For the past decade or so, Manila Broadcasting Company‘s 90.7 Love Radio reigned as the No. 1 radio station in Metro Manila. More recently in their station IDs, they promoted 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes! FM, both of whom were owned by MBC, as the top two radio stations in Metro Manila. This was according to various surveys conducted in the past two years.

But why they have been able to reign atop the surveys the past few, if not many, years? Many point out to its clear and polished sound, toilet humor, high power and reach, and an automated playlist consisting of old classic rock love songs, novelty hits, and OPM favorites. While rival 102.7 Star FM started the ‘masa’ station craze in the late 90s, it was 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes! FM who took it to the next level, prompting several stations (e.g. 97.1 Barangay LS FM, 107.5 Win Radio) to embrace the ‘masa’ concept as well.

Despite the survey that stake their claim, I believe neither 90.7 Love Radio nor 101.1 Yes! FM deserved to be in the top two. Both stations typify the cheapskate radio station: playlists that have fewer songs and are played repeatedly, and DJs and on-air characters that often pull out various forms of cheap humor. In addition, they were in the top two unfairly because of their high broadcast reach, something that other stations could not afford. In short, for all their claims as the No. 1 and No. 2 stations, they are still classified only for the ‘masa’ audience, and that their unfair advantage should not be taken for granted.

The real and sophisticated radio stations in Metro Manila today play more recent hits on a daily basis, and then reserving classic songs on specific days only. On some points of the day DJs talk about topics that interest people, and oftentimes interact with them through an open forum. Sometimes promos announcing an upcoming film, event or prize are included as well. Such radio stations include Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM, Monster Radio RX 93.1 and Mellow 94.7, among other stations.

Unfortunately, some radio stations reformat because of loss of audience share and the need for more advertising money. This was the case when NU 107 became Win Radio when it became apparent that a rock-oriented radio station cannot compete anymore due to loss of operating funds and competition from other sources. There is a reason why several radio stations became ‘masa’: new technologies such as the internet, MP3 downloads and the iPod, threatening the radio business as a whole.

In the end, it is hard to prevent the proliferation of ‘masa’ stations in an attempt to undermine the so-called ‘success’ of Love Radio and Yes! FM. Still, as long as there are a dedicated number of radio stations playing music that caters to a higher class of society, radio’s balance of power will be tipped on an even scale.

 

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