entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

After NU and Win, It’s P.S. on 107.5

107.5 P.S. FM, an easy listening station, will officially launch on August 10. (Logo courtesy of the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation)

For the third time since 2010, DWNU 107.5 has a new name and a new format.

After the hard rock and alternative approach of NU 107, and the masa-based Hot AC style of 107.5 Win Radio, the station has decided to go the softer route.

Starting this August, 107.5 will now be called P.S. FM. A grand launch for the said network will take place on August 10 at the World Trade Center.

107.5 P.S. FM will play mostly easy listening and adult contemporary songs, similar to 96.3 Easy Rock and defunct stations such as Mellow Touch 94.7 and 97.9 Home Radio.

The rebrand of 107.5 actually began on June 26, when Daniel Razon took over the management of the station from Manny Luzon. Win Radio held its final broadcast on that day, while Razon’s Breakthrough and Milestone Productions International, Inc. held a soft launch for the upcoming station at the World Trade Center.

Luzon and Win Radio then moved to the 91.5 frequency, formerly known as Big Radio, on June 27. 91.5 Big Radio was once Win Radio’s sister station before Luzon left 107.5.

Despite the rebrand, the studios of both Win Radio and P.S. FM will remain inside the AIC Gold Tower at Ortigas Center in Pasig City, though plans are in the offing for P.S. FM to move into the current UNTV headquarters in Philam Homes, Quezon City.

Razon’s takeover of 107.5 coincided with the 10th anniversary of UNTV (actually the station’s 13th but Razon and company disregarded any technicality). In addition to the rebrand of 107.5, UNTV broke ground on a new broadcast center on the former Plantersbank branch on Philam Homes, North EDSA, Quezon City, with the future site expected to house UNTV’s studios, equipment and production rooms, as well as the radio booths of both P.S. FM and UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350 AM.

The new station is expected to compete with 96.3 Easy Rock in the easy listening pop format.

Philippines, radio, Uncategorized

Why W-Rock is Still Better than Easy Rock

In 2008, the Manila Broadcasting Company acquired the 96.3 frequency and renamed it Easy Rock. Though it shares a similar format as its previous incarnation W-Rock, it increasingly started to add songs from the Hot AC category that sister stations Yes! FM and Love Radio use. (Logo courtesy of Manila Broadcasting Company)

Before the Manila Broadcasting Company acquired the 96.3 frequency in Metro Manila, 96.3 W-Rock was the station of choice for a majority of the white collar, upper class audience. The format is basic and straight-forward, consisting of a combination of classic and modern hits from the Adult Contemporary and soft rock formats. On Fridays, older listeners tune in to Friday Classics, featuring hits from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. At 8 am and 8 pm, ballads and mid-tempo singles gave way to dance tracks, courtesy of the program Past Dance. And at 3:30 pm, listeners enjoy three straight songs from the same artist or band, known as Three of a Kind. In 2008 however, a change of ownership and style was about to unfold.

That year, ACWS-United Broadcasting Network sold the 96.3 frequency to the Manila Broadcasting Company. Subsequently the W-Rock name was dropped and MBC adopted the station name Easy Rock on the said frequency. W-Rock was briefly revived as an online station before it closed shop two years later. At first, Easy Rock featured almost the same playlist as its predecessor, along with a ‘less talk, more music’ feel, but for the past few years, they deemphasized up-and-coming and current AC hits in favor of older songs, some of which go as far as the 1970s. In addition, on-air jocks were also being used in an effort to widen their audience. This ‘change’ made me wonder if Easy Rock had turned into a ‘pang-masa’ station.

Listening to Easy Rock lately has been unbearable. They added songs that are more for the masses than for the upper class. To think that Easy Rock is a lite rock station is both an insult and a disgrace. MBC, who built 101.1 Yes! FM and 90.7 Love Radio to the top of the Philippine radio hierarchy, seem to influence the evolving playlist of Easy Rock. They managed to relegate some of current and modern AC songs in favor of power ballads such as those from Nazareth, Scorpions and Air Supply. Such a change made me realize that Easy Rock is becoming a more manipulated clone of MBC’s two other stations, albeit in a softer format.

In contrast, W-Rock features only a playlist aimed for A, B and C social classes. The latter is also well-polished, sweet and pleasant to listen to. In fact, back in my youth, I grew up listening to W-Rock because of its ‘less talk, more music’ feel, which means that music is the star of the station rather than the on-air personality. W-Rock’s playlist is also incomparable. You can listen to a pop ballad by a 90s boyband such as the Backstreet Boys first, then follow it up with a classic hit single from either the 80s or the late 70s, and so on. And they feature none of the excesses aimed at the masses. So when it comes to the best combination of the classic and modern Adult Contemporary playlist, W-Rock is the best.

To this day, I continue to despise Easy Rock for its adoption of a softer, older and less controversial playlist from its sister stations at MBC. And even with W-Rock already faded into history, it remains an influential station for listeners who still enjoy its playlist and approach.