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PRR 2015: Philippine Radio in Review

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 MC’s Corner will look back at the events that shaped Philippine radio in 2015. Enjoy.

MC's Corner

2015 is about to end in a few days. But before we bid goodbye to this year, here is a look back at what happened in the world of Philippine Radio. This article will analyze on the Top 10 newcomers, comebacks, reformats & restructures in Metro Manila (and a few in other key cities).

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This list ranges from newcomers to restructures to ventures.

1. 8TriMedia’s Big Move

8tm 8TriMedia Broadcasting

Late last year, 8TriMedia, a media company of Jojo Soliman, began as a blocktimer on DZJV 1458, airing its programs during nighttime (6pm onwards).

Last April, 8TM bought time from DWBL 1242 to air its programs. From 4 programs, they expanded to 7 on this 20-Kw station. The roster is consisted of veteran newscaster Miguel Gil, singers Lloyd Umali & Ima Castro, showbiz columnists Shalala & Rodel Fernando, and former Manila mayor Fred Lim, among others.

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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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Why is Retro 105.9 Worth a Listen?

It took them only two months, but Retro 105.9 DCG-FM is beginning to find its own niche in the industry.

When Retro 105.9 DCG-FM took over the airwaves in late March, few took a chance at the station with a novel concept. In fact, the classic hits radio format has never been utilized before in Philippine FM radio. Fast forward to May, and the station that plays nothing but classic hits is now emerging as a force in the FM radio industry.

So why is Retro 105.9 worth a listen? Here are some reasons behind the station’s emergence.

Retro 105.9 has them all: three decades of music (70s, 80s, and 90s), and DJs with over 20 years in the industry. Unlike other stations that play classic songs on either a sporadic or a limited basis, Retro 105.9 plays a deep library of throwback songs on a daily basis, usually featuring both established hits and underrated tracks. More recently, classic OPM songs have been introduced.

Because of that, listeners need not to wait for the weekend to find the type of songs they want to listen. Retro 105.9 has that, and more. But that’s not the only reason why listeners were attracted to Retro 105.9.

True to its name, Retro 105.9 DCG-FM features a cast of jocks that have over 20 years of experience on the mic. For instance, both Jimmy Jam and Triggerman were alumnus of Campus Radio 97.1, while Joshua and Joey Pizza were part of the original 99.5 RT. These jocks are legends in the radio industry, and for teenagers with a knack towards listening to classic hits, the experience of listening to these veterans for the first time are worth it.

The combination of both factors make Retro 105.9 DCG-FM an interesting station to listen to. And while the station will continue to grow from hereon, it is clear that listeners have finally found a station where they can share memories of their youth to others, not just in a particular day, but every day.

 

 

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Radio Programs Deserving of a Comeback

Today’s FM radio landscape is being littered by ‘masa’ stations that play basically old love songs and novelty singles. The proliferation of ‘masa’ stations practically hurt the FM radio industry, which led to audiences tuning out and turn to other means of listening, such as internet radio and digital downloading. But back when the radio industry in the Philippines was full of diversity, several radio programs stand out, and here are the top radio programs that deserved to return on air.

Top 20 @ 12 – Campus Radio 97.1 DWLS FM 

No one does it better than the Triggerman to count down the top 20 songs at the stroke of noon. The program is the top chart show on radio for many years, and even its counterparts can attest to that. While the Top 5 at 5 on Magic 89.9, The Playlist on 99.5 Play FM, and the Countdown Top 7 on Monster Radio RX 93.1 carried on its tradition, no one can still beat the legacy of the Top 20 @ 12, and it deserves a comeback, wherever station it may be.

In the Raw – NU 107

This program introduced us to several upcoming bands that went on to achieve success both in the box office and in the record store. NU 107’s flagship program proved successful that more bands signed up to perform on the program. Unfortunately changes in the radio landscape led to the reformat to ‘masa’-flavored 107.5 Win Radio, but ‘In the Raw”s legacy is secured. So much so that it deserves a radio comeback, preferably on Jam 88.3.

24K Friday – 99.5 RT

It is the oldies show that is more diverse, versatile and enduring than other oldies shows. Not even Friday Madness and Saturday Slam of Magic 89.9, Wave Back Wednesday on Wave 89.1, Monster’s Riot on RX 93.1, and Decade and Turn of the Century on Mellow 947 can attest to the longevity and popularity of 24K on 99.5 RT. The long-running radio program is just as identifiable as ‘The Rhythm of the City’, as it was the staple of the network during its two incarnations, and even during its run as 99.5 Hit FM. Sadly, management wanted to go younger, thus the program had to end its run once 99.5 became Play FM. Nevertheless, the veterans of the network are trying to revive the program as a full-time online radio site, but its heart will always be on terrestrial radio.

Pinoy Rock N’ Rhythm – 105.9 RJ Underground Radio and DZRJ 810 AM

This was the program that made Dante ‘Howlin’ Dave‘ David famous. It introduced listeners to Pinoy Rock and bands such as the Juan dela Cruz Band, Asin, Sampaguita and Freddie Aguilar during the Martial Law years. The program was cancelled once DZRJ-AM became Radyo Bandido after the EDSA Revolution, but was later revived on 105.9 RJ Underground Radio. After Howlin’ Dave’s death in 2008, the program endured through various jocks, but was cancelled again after UR ended operations in 2011. The program was such a classic that it needs a second chance, preferably on RJ 100.3 FM.

Talk Back – 103.5 K-Lite

Before ‘Boys Night Out’ even existed, there was Talk Back on the original incarnation of 103.5 K-Lite. It was basically under the format of ‘talk radio’, featuring listener and DJ interaction. The program may be only running for an hour, but listeners are keen and willing enough to gather information regarding the topic being discussed. Talk Back lasted for much of the original K-Lite’s tenure, but when the current K-Lite debuted in July, Talk Back was not included among the returning programs. It was a radio classic that deserves a revival.

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