hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

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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DZMM at 30 Special This Sunday on ABS-CBN

It has been over 30 years since DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 debuted on the airwaves.

The flagship AM radio station of ABS-CBN first arrived on the air on July 22, 1986. Like ABS-CBN which struggled to survive the early years of its comeback, DZMM had to endure some growing pains as well, due to the network’s retention of aging facilities that were used by MBS-4 during the latter years of Ferdinand Marcos’ presidency.

From there, DZMM evolved as technology improved, not only serving the millions on the AM band, but also on television (as DZMM TeleRadyo) and online (as DZMM.com.ph). Charitable efforts were also established, from its TLC (Teaching, Learning, Caring) program to its Takbo series of marathons.

Along the way, DZMM’s Radyo Patrol stable of reporters was born. Given a specific number, these men and women serve the station by reporting various news as it happens, from on-the-spot incidents to ongoing news coverage of important events.

For those who grew up listening to DZMM, they will forever recall these names. Older folks may remember the voices of ‘Kabayan’ Noli de Castro, Ted Failon, Korina Sanchez, the late Ernie Baron and Tiya Dely Magpayo, and even former personalities such as Mel Tiangco and Jay Sonza during the formative years of the station.

For younger folks in the TeleRadyo era, names such as Julius Babao, Karen Davila, Vic de Leon Lima, Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna may ring a bell. Heck, even the voice of ABS-CBN Peter Musngi continues to make his presence felt on DZMM programming.

Today, DZMM is considered among the ‘Big Three’ in AM radio, which includes MBC’s DZRH 666 and GMA’s Super Radyo DZBB 594. It is also the no. 1 AM radio station in the country according to Kantar.

Indeed, DZMM had come a long way from its first broadcast in 1986. While it is the youngest among AM’s ‘Big Three’, its rise and the many accomplishments it received in such a short time will forever be cherished by listeners, hosts and reporters alike.

And to commemorate the said occasion, ABS-CBN will air a special documentary entitled ‘DZMM: Kwento ng Tatlong Dekada’. The documentary will focus on the rich history of DZMM, from its roots as a fledgling station that rose from the ashes of the EDSA Revolution, to its ascendance atop the AM radio hierarchy.

Several of DZMM’s current and former voices will be invited to tell their storiess. For all who have witnessed the rise of DZMM into the station it is today, this is the documentary to watch.

This documentary will air this Sunday after ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’.

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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

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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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

97.9 Home Radio Shuts Down

97.9 Home Radio ceases to exist after 14 years.

The end of February saw another radio station in Metro Manila sign off for good. 97.9 Home Radio (DWQZ), owned by the Aliw Broadcasting Corporation, ended its broadcasts after a 14-year run. Its replacement has yet to be announced.

Home Radio’s format was basically similar to rival 96.3 Easy Rock (DWRK), playing mostly adult contemporary songs. But unlike Easy Rock, Home Radio’s playlist lean more towards the most recent singles in order to draw younger listeners. On Sundays, Home Radio eschews its AC format in favor of contemporary hit radio for ‘Variety Hits Sunday’. As the name suggests, the playlist featured dance, rock and pop tunes not normally heard on the station.

Home Radio also operated without the use of disc jockeys, but later in its run they would employ DJs to their staff. Despite that, the DJs at Home Radio speak less than other stations, as Home Radio emphasized its ‘less talk, more music’ style.

Sadly, the growing influence of the masa-based Manila Broadcasting Company to Easy Rock proved to be Home Radio’s undoing. With Easy Rock now playing a more ‘masa’ style, Home Radio simply failed to keep up, and on February 28, it was decided that Home Radio will be shut down, and a new station will take its place.

Home Radio tried its best to attract a new generation of listeners who crave a different brand of ‘light and easy’ music. But while it was never able to create a worthy following, its attempt to stay afloat amid the growth of so-called ‘masa’ stations will always be remembered. And Home Radio’s legacy as a station that ‘likes it easy’ will never be forgotten.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, radio

Love Radio and Yes! FM Don’t Deserve to Be No. 1

Love Radio and sister station Yes! FM claims to be the top two radio stations. However, they do not deserve be in such regard due to their unfair competitive advantage.

For the past decade or so, Manila Broadcasting Company‘s 90.7 Love Radio reigned as the No. 1 radio station in Metro Manila. More recently in their station IDs, they promoted 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes! FM, both of whom were owned by MBC, as the top two radio stations in Metro Manila. This was according to various surveys conducted in the past two years.

But why they have been able to reign atop the surveys the past few, if not many, years? Many point out to its clear and polished sound, toilet humor, high power and reach, and an automated playlist consisting of old classic rock love songs, novelty hits, and OPM favorites. While rival 102.7 Star FM started the ‘masa’ station craze in the late 90s, it was 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes! FM who took it to the next level, prompting several stations (e.g. 97.1 Barangay LS FM, 107.5 Win Radio) to embrace the ‘masa’ concept as well.

Despite the survey that stake their claim, I believe neither 90.7 Love Radio nor 101.1 Yes! FM deserved to be in the top two. Both stations typify the cheapskate radio station: playlists that have fewer songs and are played repeatedly, and DJs and on-air characters that often pull out various forms of cheap humor. In addition, they were in the top two unfairly because of their high broadcast reach, something that other stations could not afford. In short, for all their claims as the No. 1 and No. 2 stations, they are still classified only for the ‘masa’ audience, and that their unfair advantage should not be taken for granted.

The real and sophisticated radio stations in Metro Manila today play more recent hits on a daily basis, and then reserving classic songs on specific days only. On some points of the day DJs talk about topics that interest people, and oftentimes interact with them through an open forum. Sometimes promos announcing an upcoming film, event or prize are included as well. Such radio stations include Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM, Monster Radio RX 93.1 and Mellow 94.7, among other stations.

Unfortunately, some radio stations reformat because of loss of audience share and the need for more advertising money. This was the case when NU 107 became Win Radio when it became apparent that a rock-oriented radio station cannot compete anymore due to loss of operating funds and competition from other sources. There is a reason why several radio stations became ‘masa’: new technologies such as the internet, MP3 downloads and the iPod, threatening the radio business as a whole.

In the end, it is hard to prevent the proliferation of ‘masa’ stations in an attempt to undermine the so-called ‘success’ of Love Radio and Yes! FM. Still, as long as there are a dedicated number of radio stations playing music that caters to a higher class of society, radio’s balance of power will be tipped on an even scale.

 

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