concerts, entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

103.5 K-Lite Remains a Work in Progress

The newly-revived 103.5 K-Lite continues to be a work in progress as it entered its ninth month on the air.

Since returning to the airwaves in August 2013, 103.5 K-Lite has endured numerous changes in both personnel and programming. This quick change of pace was a far cry from the first incarnation of K-Lite, and for listeners of the old K-Lite, the adjustment period is not what they were used to.

When K-Lite was reintroduced last August, none of the DJs from the previous incarnation were hired, save for Carl (of Alamid fame). What they hired instead were several industry veterans that have nothing to do with the old K-Lite, and some young jocks looking to find their own niche.

So instead of Jessica Zafra, the Blade, Ron South and Vitto Lazatin (all of whom moved on to other jobs), they got NU 107 vets Mondo and Trish, RT’s Sonny, Scarlet and EJ Electric, and Max/Wow/Heart talents Janice, Max Speed, Jacob and Tim Kong. With a new cast of characters, it all seemed a matter of time before K-Lite recaptures the flame that they once stoked in its original incarnation.

But over the last few months, the station suddenly had to deal with the departures of both Carl and Mondo, who decided to focus on their bands. And more recently, Sonny (better known as the voice-over talent of ABS-CBN Sports + Action) was assigned to 99.5 Play FM. Whether or not they were unhappy with the direction that K-Lite is taking remains to be seen. The turnover of talent was not the only problem for K-Lite, however.

Its recent programming changes also became a source of frustration for listeners. In its first few months on the air, K-Lite revived its old programs such as ‘Lite Wave’, ‘Faster than Lite’ and ‘Black & Lite’, but were axed at the beginning of 2014. They also attempted to do an all-oldies day called ‘Classic Lite’ on Mondays (a different version from the all-classic rock show aired on the original K-Lite), but it was also axed. The reasons behind their cancellations remain unknown.

As it turned out, K-Lite’s current programming lineup is clearly different from its original incarnation. No longer boasting of programs that either play only specific musical genres or feature all-talk formats, K-Lite’s programs now run in the same vein as those from its sister stations on the Real Radio umbrella, featuring their brand of hot adult contemporary music mixed in with DJs talking about various topics of interest. And for loyal listeners of the old station, it is difficult to accept.

But like all aspects of life, the show must go on. Consider this as a ‘new era’ in K-Lite, a different identity, a different approach. The departures of its DJs and the change in programming are all part of the evolution. By all means, this K-Lite is different from the one that once identified themselves as ‘The Right Kind of Lite’ and ‘Manila’s Lite Alternative’. But after nine months on the air, K-Lite continues to be a work in progress, and with stability still in question, expect more changes in this station within the next few months.

hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs, talk show

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.


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.