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

Gino Out: Long-Time DJ Leaves Monster RX 93.1

‘The Morning Rush’ lost another of its well-known voices.

Gino Quillamor announced his departure from Monster RX 93.1 this past week. He made his last appearance on Wednesday, June 20, and following the show he tweeted “Peace out!”, which led to questions from some of his followers with regards to his departure from the station.

Gino initially joined ‘The Morning Rush’ as a substitute to Delamar Arias in 2011. Almost immediately, he and Chico Garcia clicked as a tandem, with ‘Rushers’ dubbing the duo as ‘ChiChi and GiGi’.

Under Chico and Gino, ‘The Morning Rush’ introduced new segments to keep up with an increasingly younger audience. Two of these segments, Epic Pic and Epic Rap-offs, became immediate hits with the listeners.

Even as Delamar returned from maternity leave in late 2011, RX management was so impressed with Gino that the station promoted him to work ‘The Morning Rush’ on a full-time basis. The trio of Chico, Delamar and Gino would remain together until July 2016 when Delamar left the station to focus on her family.

After Bea Fabregas briefly filled Delamar’s role, Chico and Gino continued to host the show without a female co-host for the next several months. Then in April of last year, RX found a new co-host in Rica Garcia, and this setup remained until last Wednesday.

In the wake of Gino’s departure, RX decided to keep ‘The Morning Rush’ as a three-person team by adding Hazel Aguilon as its newest co-host. But it remains to be seen if this will be an temporary experiment or a full-time gig.

Much like Delamar’s departure two years ago, RX will find it difficult to replace a Gino Quillamor. Hazel may be an established voice within the station, but filling the shoes of Gino is easier said than done.

Unless ‘Rushers’ are convinced that Hazel is a worthy replacement, ‘The Morning Rush’ will once again have to endure some growing pains. But for a show that has accomplished a lot of late despite a revolving door of female hosts (see the 2018 KBP Golden Dove Awards), they will do just fine.

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

In 100 Words: Delamar Returns to Radio

Delamar Arias has come out of retirement.

Nearly a year after her departure from Monster RX 93.1 and ‘The Morning Rush’, Delamar shocked the world when she decided to return to the radio booth. But instead of rejoining her mates at RX, Delamar announced that she will instead move to Magic 89.9 on a part-time basis.

Delamar will join fellow DJ/mothers Riki Flores and Andi Manzano for a new program called ‘The Mother Show’. As its title suggests, the show will focus on issues concerning motherhood.

The premiere date of ‘The Mother Show’ is yet to be determined, but Magic 89.9 said it will air on Fridays during Friday Madness. As mentioned earlier, this is only a part-time role for Delamar, but at least listeners are more than happy to have her voice back on the radio.

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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

Home of the Millennials No More: 97.9 Home Radio Returns to Old Easy Listening Format

The final logo of 97.9 Home Radio during the ‘Home of the Millennials’ era. (Logo courtesy of Aliw Broadcasting Corporation)

It is back to basics for 97.9 Home Radio and its affiliates.

After over three years playing both hot adult contemporary and top 40 songs, Aliw Broadcasting Corporation decided to convert Home Radio back to the more popular easy listening format. The unveiling was quiet and unexpected; there was no announcement nor press release to accompany this change.

It can be recalled that in March 2014, Aliw turned Home Radio into a ‘masa’ station akin to more popular standouts such as 90.7 Love Radio. Initially keeping the Home Radio name, Aliw rebranded the station to Natural 97.9, a move that did not sit well with listeners.

In July, the ‘Home Radio’ name was brought back, while any reference to the ‘Natural’ brand was gradually dropped. Along the way, Aliw realized that the ‘masa’ format was not working out, and they decided to convert Home Radio into a contemporary hit radio station similar to those used by Magic 89.9.

Despite some aggressive social media promotion, the use of student DJs, and catchphrases such as ‘Home of the Millennials’ and ‘The Music of Now’, 97.9 Home Radio failed to catch on with the millennial market. Thus another revamp is needed, one that will bring them back to their roots.

Thus on Friday, June 30, the original format of 97.9 Home Radio was brought back, much to the delight of loyal listeners who were disenchanted by the network’s foray into the ‘masa’ and top 40 market. Despite that, the website and social media accounts of the station were not updated as of today, thus putting the station on ‘test broadcast’ mode until further notice.

Still, the prospect of a return to form gave listeners some glimmer of hope. With the emergence of classic hits stations in 104.3 FM2 and Retro 105.9 DCG-FM, Aliw found out that tapping back to the listener market of 30 and older is the best path for Home Radio moving forward.

Listeners can only hope that the return of Home Radio into its familiar adult contemporary format will be one of the most successful comeback stories on Philippine radio. It may be long overdue, but it should be all worth it.

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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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In 100 Words: The Morning Rush’s New Recruit

Monster RX 93.1 found a permanent replacement for Delamar, and they didn’t need to go outside.

RX recently announced that Rica Garcia will be the new third host of ‘The Morning Rush’ alongside Chico Garcia (no relation) and Gino Quillamor. The announcement came amid clamor from TMR’s long-time listeners who wanted a female voice following the departures of Delamar Arias and now-Magic 89.9 DJ Bea Fabregas.

Prior to earning the gig with ‘The Morning Rush’, Rica joined RX in 2016 as part of the Radio 1 student DJ program. Rica, according to her social media pages, is also a freelance makeup artist and has her own YouTube channel dedicated to makeup tutorials.

Only time will tell whether or not Rica will be a good fit to ‘The Morning Rush’. For now, good luck to her.

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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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