Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Looks like the #1 obsession is contagious.

It seems that once na nagiging #1 ang himpilan mo, doon na naguumpisa ang pagmamayabang. I have to admit that it’s true, especially on stations which I will spotlight. Better stay tuned to find out why.

Kantar and Nielsen surveyed listeners and viewers on what station they listen or watch the most and the basis on their surveys will be forwarded to broadcasters and advertisers. Survey results will affect the outcome and performance of a certain station. Stations would be proud of being #1 on a certain time, but boasting about being #1 for a long time, pagmamayabang na yan.

Let’s talk about the stations that liked to boast about being the best, but survey results proved otherwise.

MBC FM TRIO (Love Radio, Yes The Best/Yes FM and Easy Rock)

First on the spotlight is the MBC FM trio. DZRH might be home to Mocha Uson and Greco Belgica, but they will be discussed on another time. Let’s spotlight the MBC FM triopoly first. First up on the MBC FM trio is MBC’s flagship FM station, Love Radio.

Love Radio loves to boast about being #1 for 15 years already, especially to its loyal listeners, as well as advertisers. But boasting about it for a long time actually hurt the station’s portfolio, as MOR and Barangay LS have beat them in Metro Manila Kantar and Nielsen surveys. Even their provincial FM stations have suffered ratings slump, as well, being defeated by stations like MOR (in Puerto Princesa, Legazpi and Davao), Barangay (in Cebu (Nielsen)) iFM (in Gensan (Kantar)), or even Brigada News FM (in Cebu (Kantar), Gensan (Nielsen), Zamboanga and Koronadal). Reason to blame? The loss of Papa Jack (he resigned his post on Love Radio and has since moved to Energy FM (as Papa J)) did hurt Love Radio. Even with the addition of Lloyd Cadeña, Love Radio slumped to #3 on the January 2017 Kantar Media survey, and we are certain for sure that Love Radio will stop boasting about being #1 and accept the fact that MOR and Barangay LS are the kings of FM radio in Metro Manila.

The second on the MBC trio is Yes The Best. Yes FM Manila changed its branding to Yes The Best to target millenials, while provincial stations kept the Yes FM name. Despite its focus to target millenials, Yes The Best even boasted about being #2.

So much for being The Millenial’s Choice. Based on January 2017 Kantar Media survey, Yes The Best is actually #6, trailing behind iFM (#5) and its own sister stations Love Radio (#3) and Easy Rock (#4). Even their playlist is actually masa-based and targeted jejeje millenials, not the real millenials. If you’re a real millenial, there are other options for your music mix. There’s Home Radio, or even music streaming sites you can listen to, if you’re sick and tired of Yes The Best’s masa playlist.

The third station on the MBC trio is Easy Rock. Even on the January 2017 Kantar survey, Easy Rock is #4 among all FM stations surveyed in Metro Manila. Want to know why? Their playlist is almost identical to its sister stations Love and Yes, and more and more PUJs and PUV drivers listen to that station. Even Ralph talked about why WRock is way better than Easy Rock. If you missed WRock, you can still listen to their Cebu station online.

GMA 7: NUMBER 1???

Another station who loved to boast being #1 is GMA 7. They have Nielsen ratings survey to back it up, but they insist on being #1 nationwide, especially in Mega Manila and Urban Luzon, without any regard to the rest of Luzon, as well as Visayas and Mindanao, where there are several major markets on these areas. Kapuso fanatics will defend their beloved network till death, but TV observers noticed problems the network must face: their beloved weekday Astig Authority block is sinking, lack of talent development, as referenced by negative reviews of Full House Tonight and overemphasis on veteran talent, especially ignoring younger talent, blurred lines between GMA Entertainment (producing a public affairs program) and GMA Public Affairs (producing much-criticized entertainment programs), closure of originating regional stations, producing expensive programming, and questions surrounding GMA’s digitalization plans. With GMA facing a lot of problems, the only way to save GMA is for Gozon to give up his controlling stake and to fire Rasonable for good.


Even some provincial stations are not safe on the yabang craze. They still claim that they’re #1 from here and there, but ratings figures proved otherwise. Even on my home market, Koronadal, Happy FM Koronadal boasted on being #1 (just like their sister stations in Cotabato and Kidapawan) but have not even reached #1 for five years already since 2011, either from Kantar or Nielsen (and they finished #2 on Q4 2016 Kantar ratings on that market, which I will tackle soon).

As a listener myself, I have the right to make choices on my music mix. If these stations insist on their pagmamayabang mantra, it might end up on their downfall. Just stop boasting and make quality listening and viewing choices more convenient to Filipinos. So stop boasting.

Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Four FM Networks Manileños Want to Hear

As government-owned 104.3 Business Radio relaunches as FM2 since February 2, the FM landscape in the Metro has become more and more competitive. As for the FM brands like Brigada, Oomph, Mom’s and Wild, having a full-powered FM frequency in Metro Manila is very far from being possible, thanks to the tough competition on Manila airwaves.

Manileños even want Bombo Radyo or even 8TriMedia to set up an AM station due to available AM frequencies. So, here are the reasons why I think Brigada, Oomph, Mom’s and Wild deserve a full-powered FM frequency in Metro Manila.

Brigada News FM is close to achieving a full-powered FM frequency, thanks to their Makati studios and their well-known personalities like Weng Dela Peña, but they’re forced to use their frequency from Batangas to broadcast its programs to listeners in parts of Metro Manila. (Source: www.brigada.ph)

The first network is Brigada News FM. They’re so close, but yet so far. Why? They’re broadcasting on 104.7 out of Batangas, transmits from Mt. Banoy from Batangas and its signal in the Metro is somewhat weak, despite its 25,000-watt transmitter power, Makati studios and prominent personalities. They’re the supposed alternative from the already-established Radyo5 92.3 News FM despite the obvious problems from PBA to reluctance to air important news stories in favor of regular programming to vacant slots filled with Easy Rock-esque music, but the signal is hampering those hopes. Brigada airs your typical news/talk format, commonly heard on AM, in the mornings and on late afternoon, and airs music programming similar to masa stations on the rest of the broadcast day, plus programs from the company-owned Brigada Healthline like Lunch Date and Drivemax Nationwide (sponsored by Guard-C and Drivemax), as well as Brigada News program (sponsored by the company’s flagship product Powercells Herbal Capsule). Brigada might be successful in areas like Metro Cebu, Zamboanga, Koronadal or its home base in General Santos, but as far as Metro Manila is concerned, it might not happen anytime soon unless one of the low-rated FM stations might consider selling their station to Brigada Mass Media Corporation. If that happens, Brigada might give Radyo5 a run for its money.

Oomph! Radio might have its highs and lows on its stations in Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga, but with its unique CHR/OPM (mostly dominated by Viva artists) format, Viva Live might pour in money to invest on its future station in Metro Manila. (Source: Viva Live)

The second network that I think deserve a full-powered Metro Manila FM frequency is Viva Live’s Oomph! Radio. After acquiring Ultimate Entertainment’s franchise, Viva Live invested on Ultimate’s three FM stations and gave them a fresh start as Oomph! Radio. The three stations briefly struggled last year as they dropped Oomph! branding and began to brand as UR (in Cebu and Davao) or UE (in Zamboanga) and added classic hits, but their station in Davao struggled the most, in part due to the dominance of Wild 92.3 WT on the CHR/OPM format, and the departure of the jocks (from now-defunct 105.9 Mix FM) who made Oomph! Radio possible. The Oomph! branding returned last July and are now gaining back lost momentum. As far as having Oomph! in Metro Manila, the station might give 97.9 Home Radio a run for its money, but with the CHR market getting more and more competitive and with the impending launch of government-owned FM1 on 87.5, Viva should be cautious on investing a Metro Manila FM station.

Mom’s Radio might be a good alternative to already-established but ratings-hungry 96.3 Easy Rock (thanks to the playlist being almost similar to 90.7 Love Radio), as long as Solar Entertainment Corporation (now owning SBN) makes the right moves on putting its own Metro Manila FM station in the future. (Source: Solar Entertainment Corporation/SBN)

The third network is Solar-owned Mom’s Radio. The relaunched and re-energized Mom’s Radio, now partnered with Estima, have recaptured the hearts of mommies in Cebu, Davao and Bacolod, just like the first incarnation of Mom’s Radio a decade ago, with better and newer programming. Just recently, Mom’s Radio flagship morning program “Breakfast With Moms” is also aired on Solar-owned home hopping channel Shop TV, aside from its stations in Cebu, Bacolod and Davao, and was dubbed as “the first radio program to air on national television”, but radio and TV critics were quick to dispute that claim. As far as getting a Metro Manila FM station, introducing Mom’s Radio to Manileños via Shop TV is a good start, but as far as Solar is concerned, they might wait for a right time to purchase a low-rated Metro Manila FM station soon.

UMBN-owned Wild FM is already successful in Mindanao as the younger alternative to the already-established masa stations, thanks to its CHR format and the unique disco mix they popularized. (DISCLAIMER: The logo used is from UMBN’s flagship FM station Wild 92.3 WT in Davao City) (SOURCE: UMBN)

The fourth network Manileños want to hear is the already-popular Wild FM, owned by Davao-based University of Mindanao Broadcasting Network (UMBN). After finding success in Davao City just years after the EDSA People Power Revolution thanks to its CHR format and the popular dance re-mixes, Wild FM expanded to places like General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Iligan, Zamboanga (now known as Mango Radio), Valencia, Bukidnon, Cebu (now known as Retro Cebu) and Bacolod (now in Iloilo), and proved to be popular in those markets. As far as Manila airwaves is concerned, Wild FM might be successful among Mindanaoans and Ilonggos, as well as Cebuanos living in Metro Manila, but as far as Manila’s already-competitive CHR market is concerned, it might easily outrank its already-established competition in the CHR format thanks to its hybrid CHR/Dance/OPM format, as long as UMBN has enough money to invest a Metro Manila FM station.


These FM networks might have a bright future ahead, but as far as Manila airwaves is concerned, they’re already overcrowded and the FM networks mentioned above might have a hard time penetrating the hearts of Metro Manila listeners anytime soon. Libre ngang mangarap, pero hanggang blueprint lang ang post na ito.

Four FM Networks Manileños Want to Hear