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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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Mo Twister Returns to Radio This Monday

Mo Twister is coming back on air this Monday, but his air time will be uncertain.

Mo Twister, the controversial DJ now based in the United States, announced on his Twitter that his program ‘Good Times with Mo‘ will make its return on the FM band this Monday. And most of his loyal listeners were excited about his latest comeback. However, a lot of questions await on his return.

Just five months ago, Mo was suspended by Magic 89.9 management after an on-air conversation with Tin ‘Suzy’ Gamboa regarding a sex-related topic. In the days that followed, Magic acquired Sam Oh and Gibb from sister station 99.5 Play FM to host ‘First Thing in the Morning’ as a replacement program. And then co-host Noelle Bonus moved to Play FM as a co-host of ‘The Playground’ with Nikko Ramos, while Suzy reunited with CJ Rivera on ‘The Big Meal’.

In the meantime, Mo continued to record podcasts of ‘Good Times’ online. That said, ‘Good Times’ remained on the air, albeit as an independent product of the new media. Despite the fact that some listeners found a new outlet to ‘Good Times’, many still clamored for the program to return on the radio.

Which leads to his comeback plans. On that same tweet Mo said that ‘Good Times’ is still searching for a more favorable timeslot. Considering that Magic 89.9’s ‘First Thing in the Morning’ has enjoyed a favorable following, and with the program’s mature and increasingly ‘sexual’ content already inappropriate to the kid-friendly morning slot, it is unlikely that ‘Good Times’ will be slotted back to its original timeslot.

Perhaps facing ‘Boys Night Out’ head-on may be the perfect solution for Mo to announce his return. And why not? Both programs are adult-oriented radio talk shows that specifically cater to the hardcore and no-frills listener, featuring topics that tackle human interest issues. And they also feature a slew of outspoken personalities in the radio industry. However, that matchup will only be possible if Mo moves to a different station.

In addition, Mo will have to find new co-hosts. ‘Good Times’ has had a revolving door of co-hosts through the years, and some departed with a bad taste in their mouths. If Mo somehow hires a co-host which he finds friendly and cooperative, then ‘Good Times’ should be interesting to listen.

For now, Mo Twister is definitely scheduled to come back on the air this Monday. The question is, at what time and what station will he take over? We’ll find out.

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