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

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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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

Missing the Old Campus Radio

These days, the 97.1 frequency on the FM band is playing cheesy old love songs, Filipino Hot Adult Contemporary singles, and even novelty dance hits. But back in the day, there was Campus Radio, dubbed as the ‘No. 1 Pop Music Station in Metro Manila’.

Any old-time radio listener would remember the voices of John Hendrix, The Triggerman, Braggy, Master T, Joe Spinner and Jimmy Jam. They were the staples behind Campus Radio 97.1 WLS-FM, whose frequency is owned by the GMA network. For many years, Campus Radio played Top 40 pop, rock, OPM and RnB songs daily; the then-current songs on weekdays, and the classic singles on Sundays. They were also responsible for the longest-running chart show on Philippine radio, the Top 20 @ 12, which aired six times a week at noon, with a weekly countdown on Sundays and a year-end countdown before midnight of New Year’s Day.

Other Campus Radio trademarks include: ‘Other People’s Music’, a two-hour informative program on Saturday nights featuring interviews from various artists, ‘Campus Radio Aircheck’, an annual talent search and training ground for future jocks, ‘Campus Radio Movie Master’, featuring the then-latest movie releases, ‘RetroJam’, a Sunday format focusing exclusively on songs from years past, and ‘Front.Center’, a monthly feature on a specific artist.

Good thing DJ John Hendrix brought along a radio plug for ‘Other People’s Music’. Here is the plug from YouTube below.

Unfortunately, the Campus Radio era came to an abrupt end on Valentine’s Day 2007, when GMA management decided to change it to the popular yet criticized Hot AC format that eventually became Barangay LS. Primarily due to the heated rivalry with ABS-CBN, whose FM radio station DWRR Tambayan 101.9 already uses the format, GMA decided it was better to match its rival with a similarly formatted radio station. Thus the Campus Radio was no more. And even though it was briefly revived on the 99.5 DWRT frequency, it was at DWLS 97.1 where it enjoyed its greatest success.

While Campus Radio won’t be back anytime soon, the memories would live on ‘Forever!’, as its tagline suggests.

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