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Delamar’s Last Day on RX

Chico and Delamar, a radio institution for over 20 years, is no more after the latter’s decision to depart ‘The Morning Rush’ on Monster RX 93.1. (Photo credit: The Morning Rush Official Facebook)

One of Philippine radio’s icons is taking a leave for good.

Monster RX 93.1 DJ Delamar Arias announced last week that she will leave ‘The Morning Rush’, the show she had been co-hosting with Chico Garcia since 1996. Her departure will leave a big hole on the long-running show, which earned numerous awards and even released three critically acclaimed books based on ‘The Morning Rush’ Top 10 segment.

Delamar’s decision to leave ‘The Morning Rush’ surprised and saddened many of its loyal listeners. After all, her partnership and chemistry with Chico and later with Gino Quillamor led to the immense popularity of the show, and in the process, led to the creation of other rival morning shows, such as Magic 89.9’s ‘Good Times with Mo’.

No reason was given for her departure, but according to Delamar, she had thought about leaving ‘The Morning Rush’ for over a year now. With two children to take care of, Delamar has been coping with both her family life and radio life for a long time now, which may have influenced her decision to leave recently.

Finally, to quell fans’ fears, she clarified that she will not migrate to another country nor work for another radio station. Considering how loyal she was with RX for over 20 years, this was a touching declaration for her.

Delamar’s last day on ‘The Morning Rush was Friday. After that, RX will need to figure out a way to fill a big void left by the popular DJ and mother of two.

For now, though, it will be up to Chico and Gino to hold the fort. Come this Monday, a very different ‘The Morning Rush’ will emanate the airwaves.

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The New Friday Madness on Magic 89.9

It’s 80s out, 90s in for Magic 89.9’s Friday Madness starting today. (Logo courtesy of Quest Broadcasting Inc.)

A new sound awaits Magic 89.9’s Friday Madness.

Gone is the long-standing tradition of playing songs from the 1970s, 1980s and some of the early 1990s every Fridays. Instead, the music of the 1990s and early 2000s will dominate the playlist of Friday Madness.

This means that Friday Madness will adopt the old format of Saturday Slam, which Magic dropped earlier this year in favor of its regular playlist. More importantly, the station will only have one day dedicated to throwback music instead of two.

The newly-reformatted Friday Madness was one of only several changes instituted by Magic 89.9 as preparation for its upcoming 30th anniversary. Two weeks earlier, their weekday programming was also reformatted; save for ‘Good Times with Mo’ and ‘Boys’ Night Out’, the rest of Magic’s programs were either rebranded or changed DJ schedules.

The change of format for Friday Madness was a result of Magic’s ever-changing demographic. While some older listeners may still be loyal to Magic, the station is also attracting a large amount of younger followers, most of whom grew up in the social media age.

In addition, the continued emergence of Retro 105.9 DCG-FM as the go-to station for 70s and 80s music buffs made it clear that Friday Madness needed a makeover. It also hurts that competitor stations are also dedicating one day for 90s music (e.g. Monster RX 93.1’s Riot Wednesday, Mellow 947’s Decade, 99.5 Play FM’s Playback).

That said, with the station’s listeners getting younger, there’s no point in feeding them songs that are unfamiliar to their ears. For Magic, change was inevitable, and today was it.

It remains to be seen whether or not the new Friday Madness will adopt the regular Monday to Thursday schedules of its DJs (save for ‘Good Times with Mo’ and ‘Boys’ Night Out’). But in any event, people should enjoy the music of not too long ago, now playing on Friday Madness.

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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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The Return of Mo Twister

The five-month suspension of ‘Good Times‘ on Magic 89.9 ended this morning with Mo Twister‘s on-air return. But instead of Mo running the show, he was joined by ‘First Thing in the Morning’ hosts Sam Oh and Gibb, essentially renaming the program as ‘Good Times First Thing in the Morning’.

For many, Mo’s return to radio signaled a return to normalcy. But others (myself included) remain skeptical. How will Mo fit in with his new partners? And how will he be able to maintain a more toned-down style in a minors-friendly morning spot?

In a morning show landscape, stability is a must. However that is not the case for Mo’s program. Having suffered through numerous co-hosts (e.g. Mojo Jojo, Andi Manzano, Grace Lee), I wonder why Mo continues to survive amidst these changes? Simple, because Mo has many loyal listeners to keep his show afloat. The listeners don’t care about his revolving door of co-hosts, they just wanted to hear Mo. And that was the reason why ‘Good Times’ has been on the air longer than any current morning radio show except ‘The Morning Rush‘ on RX 93.1.

And with regards to a more subdued style of addressing his listeners, I doubt that. Some of Mo’s recent suspensions were attributed to inappropriately adult topics that are not applicable to hear in the mornings. If Mo wants to keep his job he should talk about more ‘teenage-friendly’ topics that are worth listening in the morning. In addition, Mo should take a cue from the ‘Boys Night Out’ hosts, whose five-month suspension in 2010 helped them change their style without sacrificing their entertainment value.

Over the next few days Mo Twister will be adjusting to new co-hosts and an existing radio show. Not to mention some added employment baggage. It is up to Mo to deliver to these expectations.

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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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What’s Up with Mo Twister Lately?

Mo Twister is back on the air, but only on podcast, as listeners of ‘Good Times’ found a way to connect with the controversial host on the new medium.

Two months ago, Mo Twister and his ‘Good Times‘ morning program on Magic 89.9 was slapped a five-month suspension in part to an alleged sex-related topic that is deemed inappropriate for a morning program. To fill in the void, Magic brought in 99.5 Play FM DJs Sam Oh and Gibb to host a new morning show ‘First Thing in the Morning’. And it looks like Sam and Gibb’s show is here to stay, at least for the time being.

So what’s up with Mo Twister lately? Well, he is currently hosting ‘Good Times’ via podcast, and recently he also hosted the popular and heavily criticized ‘Forbidden Questions‘ segment from his Los Angeles ‘headquarters’. It appears that his suspension from Magic 89.9 is not hindering his on-air career. Meanwhile his partners Noelle Bonus and Tin ‘Suzy’ Gamboa have moved on to other programs. Bonus moved to sister station 99.5 Play FM, while Suzy reunited with CJ ‘The DJ’ Rivera to host ‘The Big Meal’ at noon. Suzy took over hosting ‘The Big Meal’ on a permanent basis after Riki Flores moved to the ‘Pop Stop’ with Andi Manzano following the departure of erstwhile on-air partner Jessica Mendoza.

With Mo relegated to the sidelines, at least for the time being, the morning show of Sam Oh and Gibb is developing as a better alternative to the otherwise offensive and controversial ‘Good Times’. And that’s a good thing for morning radio programming, as programs such as Monster Radio RX 93.1’s ‘The Morning Rush‘, Mellow 94.7‘s ‘The Wake Up Show’, and 99.5 Play FM’s ‘The Playground’ aimed to be healthier and ‘kid-friendly’ radio programs, something that ‘Good Times’ obviously lacked. And why? Because mornings is where the kids wake up to go to school, and the radio is usually the first piece of entertainment for children on the road.

While Mo will be back on the air, Magic 89.9 may have found the perfect radio duo in the morning. And sorry Mo, Sam Oh and Gibb are a better radio combination than you alone.

Speaking of podcasts, the hosts of Magic 89.9’s nightly radio program ‘Boys Night Out’ recently launched their podcasts, which are recorded every Monday before midnight. In doing so, hosts Eric ‘Slick Rick’ Virata, Anthony ‘Tony Toni’ Bueno and Sam ‘Sam YG’ Gogna have also made the decision to move their popular ‘Confession Sessions’ segment exclusively to the podcasts, in order to add more sexually-oriented language that may be inappropriate to live radio. The move of ‘Confession Sessions’ to the podcast is also good for radio, as the more offensive style of conversation heard on the segment may be inappropriate for the younger listener.

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