2019 has come to a close, and so is this decade. Previously, we traveled back to 2009 and discussed this year’s Top 10 radio-related events. Before we flip to another decade, we will discuss the decade’s Top 10 events which changed the landscape of Philippine Radio.
1. Evolution of News & Music on FM
Brigada News FM in General Santos & Radyo5 in Manila are among the pioneers of introducing AM programming to FM. Brigada News FM, which went on air on October 2009, aired a balanced mix of news, talk & music, while Radyo5, which went on the air on November 2010, aired a majority of news & talk.
The success of these stations caused a number of local radio stations to adopt their format, notably Magnum Radio in Cagayan de Oro, Zagitszit News FM in Legazpi. Even Radyo Bandera & Muews Radio started following their footsteps in the mid-2010s.
In 2011, Radyo5 stations in Cebu & Davao began airing its original content. On February 2013, Brigada began its expansion by setting up stations in Koronadal, Cebu & Zamboanga. The same time, Brigada acquired Baycomms, owner of the then-faltering Bay Radio. Months later, these stations started carrying the Brigada News FM brand.
Over the recent years, Brigada, Bandera & Muews still continue to expand to various markets.
2. Retro All Day
95.5 Hit Radio in Davao & Retro 105.9 DCG FM in Manila (Now Neo Retro) are among the pioneers of airing Classic Hits. Hit Radio started in mid-2003 as Oldies Radio, one of the pioneers of airing Oldies; music from the 50s to 70s. Around 2008, it rebranded as Hit Radio & adjusted its timeline to playing 60s to 80s. Retro started in March 2014 and showcased a much vaster library of music from the 70s to 90s.
In the mid 2010s, Fox 89.9 in Legazpi shifted its focus from Variety Hits to playing music from the 70s to 90s. By this time, it occasionally calls itself Retro Fox. The success of Hit Radio caused UMBN to reformat its station in Cebu, Wild FM, as Retro Cebu in March 2015. Months later, Hit Radio renamed as Retro 95.5. In 2017, PBS reformatted DWBR in Manila as FM2, playing music from the 80s & 90s.
3. Change Has Come to PBS
A lot of changes had happened to the State-Run Philippine Broadcasting Service since its 70th year. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, DG Bong “Sonny” Aportadera and DDG Carlo “Carlo Jose” Villo made these changes possible.
February 2, 2017: 104.3 FM2 was launched with a Classic Hits format, with an emphasis on 80s & 90s.
June 5, 2017: Radyo Ng Bayan was rebranded as Radyo Pilipinas 1 738, along with some new programs. Throughout the next 2 months, its provincial stations started carrying that name.
September 18, 2017: Radyo Pilipinas 2 918 was launched, merging Sports Radio with Radyo Magasin. Its programming consists of mostly sports from SR, with some general information from RM.
November 1, 2017: 87.5 FM1 was launched with a CHR/Top 40 format. This is the 1st station on the FM band, as well as the 1st non-commercial station with such format.
August 1, 2018: FM1 launched its first provincial station, 87.5, in Davao. Prior to its launch, the frequency was temporarily used by Davao’s Radyo Pilipinas before moving to 88.7. By this time, its Mindanao Media Hub was under construction.
October this year: Radio Rehab program was launched, where several Radyo Pilipinas provincial stations have their offices & booths renovated and their equipment upgraded.
4. Wish 107.5
Last August 10, 2014, Wish FM in Manila was officially launched through the “Wish Concert” at the World Trade Center, along with its mobile radio booth called the Wish Bus. It currently carries a variety hits format
The bus is currently used by The Roadshow, which features certain artists performing their songs live from the Wish Bus. Wish also created a YouTube channel for their live performances called Wishclusive videos.
During the summer of 2016, Wish also launched its own singing competition called Wishcovery, and its annual Music Awards.
Despite not having a single provincial station, Wish 107.5 maintained its nationwide presence through its YouTube channel. In 2016, it became the top YouTube channel in the country, the 1st FM station to achieve such milestone.
5. OPM All Day
95.5 Pinas FM in Manila became the first station to air an all-OPM programming. Initially a masa station, Pinas FM shifted to its current format last October 5, 2014.
The success of the format led Viva Live to reformat its radio stations in Cebu, Davao & Zamboanga to that format under the Halo Halo brand last May 2017. Halo Halo also showcases music released by Viva Records artists.
6. AM Newcomers
The Inquirer Group (the owner of Philippine Daily Inquirer) & Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (the media arm of MCGI which runs UNTV) came into Metro Manila’s AM game during the early decade.
DZIQ Radyo Inquirer 990 first went on air on September 9, 2010 as the radio arm of Philippine Daily Inquirer. The station initially followed the format of its newspaper & online versions.
Prior to its launch, it was known as DWRT, Rock 990 & Nueve Noventa. The latter 2 incarnations only lasted for less than a year. That said, the frequency was off the air more than it went on air. In early 2010, the Inquirer group acquired DWRT.
Radyo La Verdad
Radyo La Verdad 1350 first went on air on January 16, 2012 as the radio arm of UNTV. Initially known as UNTV Radio, it was the first station in the Philippines to use a mobile radio booth, wherein the station can go on the air anywhere.
Prior to its launch, it was known as DZXQ 1350, which was home of commentators like Roger Arienda, Ducky Paredes, Nar Pineda & Rolly Canon. In March 2011, DZXQ quietly went off the air. It was revealed in late 2011 that BMPI acquired the station.
7. Death of Legends
Last November 7, 2010, NU 107 went off the air for the last time. It was first announced the month before by former DJ Jaedee & confirmed at the 2010 NU Rock Awards. On the day of its final broadcast, a crowd consisting of musicians and supporters gathered around NU 107’s studios, carrying candles as a sign of support. The DJs thanked the supporters during the station’s final hour. After the final words from Cris Cruise, “This has been NU 107, the Philippines’ one and only Home of NU Rock. This is NU 107, we are signing off”, the station played its final song, The Eraserheads’ “Ang Huling El Bimbo”.
The day after it closed shop, it was confirmed that Manny Luzon took over the management. The following day, Win Radio made its debut with a masa format.
Last December 9, 2012, 99.5 RT went off the air for the second and last time. It was first announced during late September as management decided to reformat the station to target younger audiences. The reformat was slated to take place in mid-October. However, it was postponed and instead started a slow transition, where half of its on-air crew were dismissed & replaced by selected Junior Jocks from Magic 89.9, albeit still using 99.5 RT, but with new teasers (which began a week before). On the day of its final broadcast, Koji Moralez was the last DJ on board and its last song was “Kings and Queens” by Thirty Seconds to Mars.
The following day, Play FM made its debut. It still retained its Top 40 format, albeit targeting younger audiences. The station is manned by the Junior Jocks & a few RT mainstays.
105.9 Mix FM
Last February 28, 2013, 105.9 Mix FM in Davao went off the air for the last time after 13 years as a Top 40 station. Its last song was “Keeping the Dream Alive” by Münchener Freiheit.
The following day, Power FM made its debut with a news & music format. Because of its format, it was dubbed as the all-in-one station.
Last August 3, 2013, Rock 104 in Roxas, Isabela went off the air for the last time. For many years, it was the only station in Isabela which aired a Modern Rock format. Later on, Radyo 1014 made its debut with a masa format.
8. Hope Invasion
DXCR in Mountain View College, Valencia is the core station of Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Hope Radio. It was in 2011 when Hope Radio began its expansion in Mindanao by setting up stations in Valencia (Bagontaas), Butuan, Mati, Iligan, Tagum, Matanao (South Philippine Adventist College), GenSan, Gingoog & Tangub. Recently, it expanded to Toledo & Palawan.
9. The Rise & Fall of Masa Stations
Not all masa stations last. Majority of the stations in most markets, notably Metro Manila, carry the same format.
103.5 Wow FM
103.5 Wow FM first went on air on August 23, 2010, using the tagline Lavheet!. Among its DJs were Laila Chickadora (who left for Radyo5 after a few months), Mr. Fu & Francine Prieto. Most of their DJs were named after celebrities, with the likes of Dehins Trillo and Vhong Nabago.
This is the first time for The Radio Partners to venture into such market. Its programming is much different from the ones of a typical masa station. It played some songs which weren’t heard from the latter. Its throwback program, Wow Luma, resembles Magic 89.9’s Friday Madness. It was also home of showbiz program hosted by Shalala.
The resignation of Mr. Fu, who returned to his home station Energy FM, marked the end of Wow FM. On July 17, 2013, the remaining DJs made their last hurrah. A few days later marked the return of K-Lite. Overall, Wow FM lasted for almost 3 years.
97.9 Home Radio
97.9 Home Radio flipped from its original easy listening to masa on the start of March 2014. Their DJs were named after fruits, with the likes of Juan Banana and Pam Pomelo. Their names reflected its slogan at that time, Natural. At this time, Bryan Quitoriano, who also had his stint with DWIZ, served as the station manager.
Its programming is very similar to the ones of a typical masa station. It aired all-OPM during early mornings, classic folk and rock music during late afternoons & love songs during graveyard shift. However, its Sunday programming was different. Despite airing oldies during early mornings, Halo-Halo Espesyal resembles its former Sunday program Variety Hits Sunday. For a time, it was home of The R&B Show, hosted by Jimmy Bondoc and Duncan Ramos.
Home Radio’s masa take failed to make an impact on its listeners. From July to November July, the Home Radio brand was retired in favor of its slogan. The same month, after a few months as a masa station, the station began its slow transition by shifting into Top 40 with an OPM lean and its DJs started using a mix of English & Tagalog. However, it was in late 2015 when the Natural slogan was retired and the station became a full-fledged Top 40 format.
91.5 Big Radio first went on air on June 1, 2011, becoming Win Radio ‘s sister station. This was probably the answer to MBC’s Love-Yes tandem. The day before, the frequency was owned by Energy FM & continued its broadcast online until it finally moved to 106.7 the following month. Among the DJs in the roster were from Energy FM.
On June 26, 2014, Big Radio had its last broadcast to make way for Win Radio the next day. At that time, BMPI took over management of the latter’s frequency, where Wish was launched a few months later.
10. Brand Unifications
MOR: My Only Radio
While ABSCBN’s Manila FM station carried various brands from WRR to Tambayan, MOR has been the brand of ABSCBN’s regional FM stations. On July 8, 2013, the former started carrying the MOR brand.
Campus Radio used to be the brand of all RGMA’s FM stations. In 2002, its Cebu & Davao stations rebranded as 99.5 RT & 103.5 Wow FM respectively. In 2007, its Manila station rebranded as Barangay LS & switched to its masa format. Its remaining stations still carried the Campus brand until February 17, 2014, when they started carrying the Barangay brand. In mid-2019, most of its stations brought back its old tagline Forever!.
The evolution continues as we enter the next decade.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!