With other blogs sharing their insights on Philippine Television in 2015, I will show you some big news in Philippine Radio.
CALM AFTER THE STORM
After the disastrous re-formats of 103.5 K-Lite (from AC on its launch last July 22, 2013 to CHR last April 21, 2014 to Adult Hits last August 18, 2014 (as a desperate attempt to compete against Retro 105.9 DCG-FM and 107.5 Wish FM) before settling in to the AC format last November 24, 2014), it seems that the listeners of 103.5 K-Lite have something to cheer on this year. A year after settling on the Adult Contemporary format, K-Lite was ranked #6 on Metro Manila FM Ratings, based on AC Nielsen survey. I’m pretty sure that learning their mistakes from last year actually helped them a lot and I hope that it will continue in the years to come.
Another station that struggled last year was 97.9 Home Radio. After dropping its Adult Contemporary format last February 28, 2014, the station was relaunched and became 97.9 Home Radio Natural! and went masa. They dropped Home Radio on its station branding, fired all of its female DJs, and even hired Duncan Ramos and Jimmy Bondoc on its roster, but it doesn’t help at all. After realizing that they have no chance against stations like 90.7 Love Radio, 101.1 Yes FM, Barangay LS 97.1, MOR 101.9, 93.9 iFM and 106.7 Energy FM, they decided to reformat from masa to CHR last August 2014, which continued until today. The Home Radio branding returned last November 3, 2014 and broadcasting in full English last January (for the first time since dropping the AC format in favor of masa). It seems that 97.9 Home Radio learned their lessons this year, like 103.5 K-Lite, and it should help them to succeed in its new format. To remove such connection from the masa disaster, 97.9 Home Radio decided to drop its slogan “Natural!” for good. The station now targets millennials with today’s hottest music.
It seems that Brigada Mass Media Corporation’s expansion continued this year. Even though 104.7 Brigada News FM National became #1 in Batangas and Lipa (based on 2015 KBP-Kantar Media Survey), the station faced lots of issues in Metro Manila, especially on its signal reception. To solve the problem, BMMC launched 92.7 Brigada News FM Pampanga based in San Fernando City, Pampanga (which initially relayed programs from 104.7 from April before launching its own programming in September 14) and 93.5 Brigada News FM Olongapo (launched last April and aired its own programming).
BMMC made headlines in Davao after acquiring the 91.5 frequency from its previous owner Primax Broadcasting Network (which also occupied Jacinta Building 2 in Makati and occupied the 10th floor of the said building, while Brigada’s National Headquarters occupied the 5th floor of the said building). BMMC even constructed the station’s new transmitter st Shrine Hills, replacing the old one. Test broadcast started last August 10 before being formally launched last August 23, in time for Davao City’s 30th Kadayawan Festival. The new station now competes against 94.7 Radyo Ni Juan (which occupied 94.7 Mellow Touch Davao’s blocktime since May 2014), Radyo5 101.9 News FM and 105.9 Balita FM. Brigada’s expansion might continue as stations in cities like Tuguegarao, Cauayan and Roxas City will be airing soon.
CEBU GETS RETRO-FIED!
After years of success as 103.5 Wild FM Cebu, Ditan Communications (University of Mindanao Broadcasting Network’s Visayas subsidiary) shocked Cebuanos after signing off 103.5 Wild FM Cebu last January without any announcements. The station went off-the-air for over a month. Last March 16, the station was relaunched and it became 103.5 Retro Cebu. Unlike the previous Wild FM format which played CHR, Retro Cebu played the greatest hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The success of the format even convinced UMBN to rebrand its station in Davao from 95.5 Hit Radio to 95.5 Retro Davao next year. For those wondering if Retro 105.9 DCG-FM and 103.5 Retro Cebu have the same ownership (even though they have the same format), THE ANSWER IS NO. The Manila station is owned by DCG Radio-TV Network with radio stations in CALABARZON, while the Cebu and the soon-to-be relaunched Davao stations are owned by UMBN.
DREAMS DO COME TRUE, BARANGAY LS GOES NATIONWIDE
Dreams do come true, after all. After eight years of waiting, Mike Enriquez’ dreams of 97.1 being the #1 FM station came true. Based on the 2015 Nielsen survey, Barangay LS 97.1 recently proclaimed as the new #1 station in Metro Manila. It seems that the nationwide integration of some of Barangay LS’ programs to provincial Barangay FM stations have finally worked. We have to see if Barangay LS will hold on to the #1 spot after 90.7 Love Radio held on after more than a decade.
Speaking of Barangay LS, at the height of the recent closures of GMA’s regional stations in Ilocos, Naga, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos last April, GMA decided to made Barangay LS more available to listeners nationwide and have a nationwide simulcast of Barangay LS. The programs that simulcasted to Barangay stations nationwide include “Barangay Love Stories” and “Talk To Papa”, in order for the network to fulfill its promise as stated in its slogan “Isang Bansa, Isang Barangay”. Both programs started airing in provincial Barangay stations this year.
GOODBYE, CHICO LOCO AND TROUBLES FOR PAPA JACK
The shocker this year is the unexpected cancellation of the Friday night program “Gabi Na, Gising Na!” earlier this year, hosted by Chico Loco of 101.1 Yes! FM and Papa Jack of 90.7 Love Radio. The real shocker is the announcement of Chico Loco’s resignation last March, after 7 years of service at 101.1 Yes! FM and 5 years of hosting “Yes! Diaries”. Chico Loco eventually settled in Dubai and is now working on Tag 91.1.
As for Papa Jack, his loyal listeners, as well as netizens have wondered why Papa Jack went off the air after Chico Loco’s unexpected resignation. After two months, Papa Jack returned to the airwaves and continued hosting “True Love Conversations” on 90.7 Love Radio. The companion program “Wild Confessions” was cancelled.
As for the replacement of “Yes! Diaries”, Yes! FM launched “Usapang LDR” and even hired 2 ex-iFM DJs Megan and Kara, to do the job. Despite these woes, expect Love Radio and Yes! FM to recover its lost ground.
HOME SHOPPING ON RADIO
We always thought that home shopping will forever stay on TV. I guess we’re all wrong. Last December 24, listeners of DZEC Radyo Agila 1062 and Pinas FM 95.5 were greeted with EZ Shop products, and is aired from Monday-Sunday on both stations. It might be a first in Philippine radio history, it might help EZ Shop to gain more exposure, especially on a medium that is reached by more people, especially in rural areas. I’m not sure if MOR will add O Shopping, Radyo5 adding Shop Japan and Barangay LS adding Shop TV in the future.
It seems that Mom’s Radio returned to the airwaves after five years. Estima Content revived the said brand and even re-negotiated with SBN, resulting in Mom’s Radio’s revival. So far, Mom’s Radio is currently heard in Bacolod (90.3), Cebu (88.3) and Davao (97.9).
Expect Philippine radio to be exciting in 2016 since the elections are coming up soon.