Retro @ 4

March 28, 2018

Today marks the 4th year of Retro 105-9. I’ve been an avid listener of Retro since day 1. And it’s been a few months since a lot of things have changed in this station. According to insiders, Domingo C. Garcia stopped funding the station months ago. As a result, Tito Ojeda was left as the only one running the station. This is probably the reason why management decided to cut back on costs. But that was not yet the big news.

TIMELINE

Last November 4, news broke that all the DJs, except Karen & Joshua, were fired from the station. It was initially planned that some of the DJs would be back with a new contract, but this was discontinued due to budget constraints. By this time, Retro is no longer at the top of the upscale ratings.

By November 20, the brand was shortened to just Retro 105-9. The DCG was dropped from the brand, and reinstated in a few stingers as a DCG Radio. Along that came a new Top-of-the-hour ID which was voiced by an Englishman (I have no idea who), and a daily show called Drive Time, which airs every 6-10 am/pm.

As for the Drive Time, each day has its own feature: 80s on Monday, 90s on Tuesday, Easy Listening (Feel Good music) on Wednesday, New Wave on Thursday, Disco on Friday & 60s on Saturday. Prior to their debut, it had its soft launch 2 weeks before. By that time, it seemed that management was planning on something.

Early December, Karen went back on the air, on the Morning slot. She still delivers the news after her timeslot, albeit pre-recorded, from mid-morning to the rest of the afternoon.

Retro welcomed the New Year with a new logo and a new set of stingers provided by the same Englishman. I’m not sure if they were made by a certain jingle company. This doesn’t mean Joshua is no longer the VO. He still provides some stingers & timechecks.

A week later, The Triggerman came back, albeit on Weekends only, with his Top 20 @ 12. And he’s doing it for free.

WHERE ARE THE JOCKS?

Now that Karen & Triggerman are running the show, along with Joshua providing the extra stingers, we may be wondering where Retro’s former DJs are up to nowadays.

Joey Pizza now goes on air on FM2 every Saturday afternoons, completing a Saturday treat for RT avid listeners. The Mole occasionally sits in with the Triggerman during Weekends. As for the other DJs, I have no Idea.

MY THOUGHTS

“As a radio programming student, I say it seems 105.9 FM is doing something good in terms of their Music Direction. I’ve been glued to the station for a few days already, and I say their mix is very good. I’ve heard stuff I haven’t heard on radio for quite a time. Except for a few bits which I believe could be improved, I have been enjoying their programming. Give it a listen.”

-Mike Pedero

Now that the station is automated, the playlist is consistent and the flow is good. A stark contrast to Retro with DJs coming from different stations, wherein each of them has his own playlist or musical bias. However, the song rotation pattern isn’t that good, we’d get to hear the same certain sequence the next day. For example, the songs you heard on the 10pm hour last night were also played on the 1pm hour today.

Regarding their music scope, they should axe the 60s from the playlist & create a Sunday morning block for that. Replace the 60s on the Saturday block with something else, perhaps OPM or Classic Rock.

Regarding its Drive Time concept, I’m fine with most of their daily genres, but there are some flaws. 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening is too much for a certain genre. It affects Retro’s ratings, since they air during primetime. It’d be better if Drive Time would be aired every night instead.

As for the names of the Drive Time features, We Love The 80s and Livin’ In The 90s are OK. But, the other names sound repetitive since we hear the same words twice. For example, Disco Friday, Drive Time Fridays. They should tweak the name a bit. I could suggest names for them: Midweek Feels Good for their feel good music, New Wave Mayhem for New Wave, Solid Gold Disco for Disco, and Groovin’ With The 60s for 60s.

I have no comment regarding the comeback of the Top 20 @ 12. I guess it’s due to listeners’ demand. There’s nothing I can do about it. For me, instead of bringing it back, it’d be better if he revived it as a syndicated Top 40 countdown, similar to AT40.

It’s a good move the DCG was dropped from the brand. The brand is now shorter and makes more sense. But, I’m puzzled that they still call it a DCG Radio, since Garcia is no longer funding the station (and its sister stations) anymore.

Even without the DJs around, and despite some flaws in its song rotation, I’m enjoying the flow so far. Not to mention I’d switch to FM2 or Home at times. The features I listen to the most are We Love The 80s & Feel Good. I hope they’d add at least 3 DJs in the fold to fill in the Weekdays. With this kind of setup, I’m sure Retro will survive for the months to come.

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Remembering DXRJ 1476

February 15, 2018

Back in summer of 2010, I was searching for AM stations from Mindanao through eRadioPortal. And I discovered DXRJ 1476, a sister station of RJFM broadcasting from Iligan. It rarely went under the brand Radyo Asenso, which is the brand used by RadioCorp for all of its stations, and they weren’t affiliated with each other. Until now, I don’t know much about the history of this station. It probably was on air since the 80s. Anyway, here’s my listening experience on the now-defunct DXRJ.

MY LISTENING EXPERIENCE

I was an occasional listener of DXRJ since that summer. And that’s where I learned a lot of Bisayan words. There was a time when I didn’t get to sleep just to wait for it to sign on. That time, I was finishing my homework. It even opened its own UStream channel around late 2011, so we listeners would know what was happening inside their booth. Since then, I was more hooked on to its UStream than eRadioPortal.

DXRJ Booth

Booth of DXRJ (via UStream).

It signed on at around 2:30am and signs off at around 10:30pm, though there were times where, at around 10pm, it’d simulcast the feed of Voice of America. Ramon Jacinto’s Philippines, My Philippines was its sign-off song. And it even has around 20 SIDs. It aired hourly newscasts only during mornings, including its half-hour newscast at 7am. The name of its morning show was based from ABSCBN’s AM stations, I’m sure you know what I mean. It also had a show dedicated to its listeners called the DXRJ Fans Club. And it had a few shows which serve the community of Iligan, inculding City Hall Reports.

DEMISE

Back in mid-2013, they didn’t go on air, even on UStream & eRadioPortal. Later on, I realized that it closed shop at that time for unknown reasons. Recently, an RJFM relay station was opened in Iligan via 88.7 MHz (close to the frequency of its other relay in CDO). And the rest is history.


Turning Back Time

January 8, 2018

“The past is unchangeable, but the future is unwritten.”
-Jenna Petersen

Have you ever regretted something that should’ve or shouldn’t have been done in the first place? Have you ever thought of turning back time to fix your mistake? Have you ever done something and later on realize what you did was a big mistake? Have you ever had a lot of regrets and you don’t know what to do? Have you ever tried to move on from those regrets? I bet those are some questions you have in mind.

A lot of people say the only ways to turn back time are the music you grew up with and the old pictures of yours. But when it comes to real-life situations, it’s not the case. If only time travel is possible, then it would’ve been easier to go back in time to fix your mistakes. That would probably be the only way to prevent yourself from regretting something. However, it’s impossible since there’s no machine which can let you travel back. It kinda reminds me of the DeLorean in Back To The Future.

If you were to do it all over again, would you change a thing?

Here are a few examples. You took a course, but later lost interest in it & realized that you should’ve taken an easier course or a course you’re more interested in. You broke up with your girlfriend because of complicated problems, but later realized that you should’ve fixed that relationship & kept it from falling apart. These are the time where you’d think of turning back time.

Time is constant. Once you’ve done something, you can’t change it, whether you regretted it or not. You still have the chance to fix that mistake since it’s never too late. However, you’ll face some consequences. It may not be that easy, it may take a long time and you may not get the results you expected.

If you wanna go back in time, how far would you go?

Here are my Top 5 tracks about turning back time:

  1. Eddie Money – I Wanna Go Back
  2. Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
  3. Kenny Rankin – Regrets
  4. Aqua – Turn Back Time
  5. R. Kelly – If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time

Writer’s note: I was supposed to call this post Regrets, but I find it too sad for it to be a title.


PRR 2017 Part 2: Philippine Radio in Review

December 31, 2017

2017 has come to a close. But before we bid goodbye to this year, here is a look back at what happened in the world of Philippine Radio. Previously, we traveled back to 2007. For this part, we will discuss the Top 10 radio-related events in Metro Manila (and other key cities).

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1. Change Has Come To PBS

pbs

As the State-Run Philippine Broadcasting Service celebrated its 70th year, a lot of changes had happened to its stations. Thanks to DG Bong “Sonny” Aportadera and DDG Carlo “Carlo Jose” Villo for making the changes possible.

Last February 2, 104.3 FM2 was launched with a Classic Hits format, with an emphasis on 80s & 90s. This gave in some competition with Retro 105.9.

Last June 5, Radyo Ng Bayan was rebranded as Radyo Pilipinas 1 738, along with some new programs. Throughout the next 2 months, most of its provincial stations rebranded to that name.

Last September 18, 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.

Last November 1, 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.

Big news also came to 2 of its stations towards the end of this year. According to the latest Nielsen Radio Survey, FM2 is ranked #1 on the ABC market, and RP1 is ranked #7 among the AM stations.

2. Oomph! Goes Halo Halo

halo

Last May, all Viva radio stations were relaunched as Halo Halo, with an all-OPM format. This is another first of its kind in Cebu, Davao & Zamboanga.

Prior to this, the Oomph! brand was axed last February. However, its Top 40 brand was retained.

3. A Smooth Reformat to Memories

memo

Last March, Smooth FM stations in Baguio & Cebu rebranded as Memories, with a Classic Hits format. They now play music from the 70s, 80s & 90s. These left Baguio with no Smooth AC outlet, and Cebu with Crossover as its only Smooth AC station in the market.

4. Home Radio is Back Home (Literally)

home (2)

Last June 30, Home Radio scrapped its Top 40 format in favor of its old Easy Listening format. Management realized that the station would sell better with its original format. Over the next few days, its. A month later it launched its special programs, notably Emotions in Motion & Solid Gold Sunday (later known as Sunday All-Day Classics).

Prior to this, Home Radio Cebu was the first one to revert to its old Easy Listening format last February. After the Manila station, the other provincial stations followed suit.

5. Former MBC Alumni Get Energyzed

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Energy FM’s “Sarap” concept, which was introduced back in 2014, didn’t fly as a lot of listeners liked its old concept better. Around 2 years later, it scrapped that concept in favor of its old one, but it wasn’t much back on track until the former DJs of MBC stations moved to the station.

On December last year, Papa Jack resigned from Love Radio after 12 years due to timeslot problems. A month later, he moved to Energy FM. Last March 20, he went back on air in his usual timeslot as Papa J, which later on became Papa Jackson.

On May 20, Kuya Chico, who was formerly from Tag in Dubai, followed suit. He became the station’s morning DJ. A few days later, he & Papa Jackson brought back their Friday night program Gabi na, Kabahan ka na!, a revival of Gabi na, Gising Na!.

Justin Taylor, who left Easy Rock last May, also joined the station this July. Now known as Justin, he became one of the station’s voiceovers. Last October, he launched his weekday program called Punto Dekada, which plays 90s music.

Recently, Sisa Usisa (formerly known as Glenn Garci) joined the station as Kapitana Sisa.

6. The Return of Dobol B on News TV

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Last April 24, GMA News TV became relevant once again by returning its DZBB teleradyo portion, Dobol B sa News TV. This time, it has a longer timeslot, running from 6am – 11am.

7. Bible on the Radio

dzbr

At the beginning of this year, DZBR began its test broadcast. On March, it was launched as Bible Radio. It is currently the only AM station in Batangas.

8. The Return of the Bandido

rjam

At the beginning of December, DZRJ returned the Radyo Bandido brand. The following week, the 8TriMedia brand disappeared, with some of its programs, such as Kasangga Mo Ang Langit and Lapid Fire, integrated to DZRJ’s programming.

9. Monsters are Alive Again in GenSan (and Zamboanga)

Last June, after around 10 years off the air, the station in GenSan went back on air as Monster EZ 88.7. It plays a mix of Top 40 & Smooth Jazz music. It used to be known as City of Dreams, airing a Smooth Jazz format. And recently, there are times where it’d relay Davao’s BT.

Last December, after 10 years off the air, the station in Zamboanga went back on air as a relay of Manila’s RX.

10. Big Shoes to Fill in

This is also the year 2 DJs have entered the competition between late night programs of mass-based stations.

Last February, YouTube star Lloyd Cadena returns to radio via Love Radio to fill in the timeslot left by Papa Jack(son). He now hosts Let’s Talk About EX with Kara Karinyosa. Prior to this, LC used to be with iFM back in 2015-16 with his program, Gabi ng Hanash.

Last March, Papa Dan, after around 13 years with the station since its Campus Radio days as Dan the Man, left Barangay LS to be with his girlfriend in Australia. Papa Bol (formerly from Barangay FM GenSan) took over Dan’s place.

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Sorry if I missed some other events. But, the list goes on.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


PRR 2017 Part 1: 2007

December 25, 2017

2017 is about to end in a week. But before we bid goodbye to this year, here is a look back at what happened in the world of Philippine Radio. This year’s PRR is divided into 2 parts. For this part, we’ll travel back to 10 years ago. That is 2007, the year big changes occurred on PH radio. We’ll discuss the 7 stations which either made its debut or met its demise.

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1. RT to Hit

January 1: 99.5 RT rebranded as 99.5 Hit FM. A week later, it launched its new programs. David’s House & Sunday sessions were the only programs retained. Hit was similar to RT, but it targeted the younger audiences and focuses more on content than music. It was managed by Dick Rees, who was also an RT DJ.

Prior to the change, RT signed off for the last time on December 18 the previous year. And it remained on air without a brand throughout the remaining days of that year.

2. Heart: Liter than K-Lite

January 1: 103.5 K-Lite rebranded as Heart 103.5 with a Soft AC format. It was managed by Joe Mango, a former Magic DJ who also managed Jam & Wave at that time. However, Heart lasted for only less than 6 months. This will be further explained at #5.

Prior to the change, the DJs of K-Lite bade goodbye on air on November 30 the previous year. And it remained automated throughout December of that year.

3. From Campus to Barangay

February 14: Campus Radio 97.1 rebranded as 97.1 Barangay LS and reformatted from Top 40 to mass-based. It also used its slogan Forever!, which was used back in the mid to late 90s. Most of the DJs remained, albeit under different names.

Prior to the reformat, WLS was ranked #7 on the overall market, making the only Top 40 station to enter the Top 10, hence the slogan the #1 Pop Music Station. Despite the ratings, the sales were low. This paved RGMA head Mike Enriquez to reformat the station in order to reclaim their losses. The avid listeners were disappointed about the reformat big time.

4. Joey & XFM

April 9: 923 Joey rebranded as 92.3 XFM. It was the only station in the metro which played ambient, chill, down-tempo, electronica, house & club music. After a few months, the format didn’t sell. In late July that year, it added tracks which were played during the Joey era.

5. Heart Got Maximized

June 19: 103.5 K-Lite rebranded once again as 103 1/2 Max FM with a Top 40 format. It was managed by Sgt. Pepper, another former Magic DJ. Bearing the slogan In Tune with Manila, its format resembles of its sister station Magic.

6. RJ Went Underground

July 16: After almost 6 months off the air, 105.9 went back on air in low power, playing mainstream rock. It was later identified as RJ UR 105.9, aka Underground Radio. Similar to RJFM, it followed the 3 songs in a row rule, consisting of 1 classic rock, 1 modern rock & 1 pinoy rock. A few months later, it launched its new programs. And every 5am, it played an hour of Eraserheads music, a counterpart of the all-Beatles program aired at the same time on RJFM.

Prior to this, Ramon Jacinto bought its airtime lease in late 2006. By this time, the station was known as Blazin’ 105.9, which held an Urban format. And Blazin’ went off the air by late December that year.

7. Dazzling Music No More

January 11: DWDM 95.5 went off the air unannounced. I was very disappointed about it. I had been listening to this since 2002. Around May 8, it went back on air, albeit during mornings only. It went off the air again the next month. It remained off the air for the next 4 years.

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Stay tuned for Part 2, wherein we’ll review this year’s Top 10 events on PH radio.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Kaibigan Ng Masa: Remembering DZXQ 1350

November 9, 2017

Back in High School, I was surfing through the end of the AM spectrum. And one of the stations I discovered was DZXQ 1350. This station wasn’t like any other station which offers brokered programming, since its timeslots were fully occupied from morning to midnight (except Sunday). Its pre-recorded timechecks used for the top and middle of every hour had bells ringing on them. It had its own set of stingers, assigned for Either before and after a particular program. I used to own a recording of most of its stingers, but I lost them since the hardware where they were located was destroyed.

It didn’t have its own online streaming until around mid-2010, when it began streaming via UStream.

PROGRAMMING

DZXQ was the home of Powerhouse Broadcasters, coined by Nar Pineda for most of the veteran commentators who went on air during weekdays. They are Roger “Bomba” Arienda, Robert Arienda, Nick Tolentino (As I See It), Annie Rentoy, Horacio “Ducky” Paredes (Deretsahan), Zosimo Paredes, Rolly Canon (Kanyon), Ruben Ilagan, Popo Villanueva (Kayo Na Po Ang Bahala), Roland Lumagbas (Hataw ng Bayan), Ben Figura (Misyon Aksyon Ngayon), Sixto “Kilatis” Lagare, Erick San Juan (Whistleblower) and Nar Pineda (Kape at Kuru Kuro). And what’s also interesting is that Kape at Kuru Kuro had 2 editions. And every evening, DZXQ was known for airing Chinese programming until sign off, making it the only station in the Metro to do so. I still don’t know where management got their programming.

Sunday is the only day the station had the lightest load. After a program or two, it’d sign off early. And it was pretty convenient for them. There was a time when it had a lot of programs, including What A Wonderful Show, Moral Force Radio & By Request, and it’d sign off at around 3pm. From what I remembered, Salita ng Buhay is the only consistent Sunday program throughout the station’s final years.

Every morning before signing on at 6:30, it played music of the 70s & 80s as part of its warm-up. And most of the time, it played a ton of Carpenters music.

SUDDEN DEMISE

In early March 2011, I wasn’t aware that DZXQ went off the air a few days ago until I heard Nar’s voice on DWSS. I called DZXQ’s office regarding that matter and they told me that it was bought by another company. I even left a comment on Ducky Paredes’ website regarding that matter and emailed me his (and the other commentators’) new schedule on DWSS. Since then, I realized that most of the broadcasters were moved to DWSS.

DZXQ remained off the air for unknown reasons until around December 2011, when I heard UNTV’s Ang Dating Daan on that frequency. It turned out that UNTV bought the frequency and launched its own AM station, Radyo La Verdad, a couple of months later. I just wished that DZXQ would’ve lasted longer.


Home Radio is Back Home

September 30, 2017
home

97.9 Home Radio (FB)

It’s been 3 months since 97.9 Home Radio went back to its original format. On the morning of the last day of June, Home Radio abruptly axed its Top 40 format and went back to its original Easy Listening format. Management realized that the station would sell better with its original format.

During its first few days, its playlist shifted between mainstream AC & Variety Hits and it even had 60s in it. However, over the succeeding days, it finally settled on with Soft AC. Come the 2nd week of July, there were some changes. They uploaded Home Radio’s new logo & deleted the posts from its last 4 months, including the last one which was somewhat bombarded by Christian Maloles.

THE ORIGINAL HOME

Home’s Easy Listening format isn’t the same as the one before. The original one had a modern-leaning Soft AC, playing more on the new stuff and a little of the old stuff. And every Sunday, it took a break from Easy Listening & aired a variety hits-oriented program (similar to RJFM) called VHS: Variety Hits Sunday.

Initially, it was automated, with Jackie serving as the station’s iconic voice-over. A lot of its former stingers, especially the ones used in VHS, were unusual for a Soft AC station. Around 2009 or 2010, they recruited female DJs, following the less talk, more music rule. Soon, they created a  weekly countdown called the Easy 10.

THE NEW OLD HOME

The new one now focuses more on the old stuff and less on the new ones, which is the usual programming for Soft AC stations. And every Sunday, it plays 70s & 80s music, in which it was later called Solid Gold Sunday. It kinda reminds me of WRock’s Friday Classics. In addition to that, it even has daily programs, Emotions in Motion, a daily version of Solid Gold Sunday, albeit with a newer timeline, focusing on the 80s & 90s, and Morning Melodies, which focuses more on acoustics.

As of this writing, Home is manned by 4 DJs who used to be part of the Top 40 era. However, they only open their mics for newscasts & time checks.

MY VIEWPOINTS

After 3 years of experimenting with different formats, from Masa to Top 40, management decided to go back to Soft AC format because they thought it’d sell better. (It took me some time to find out the reason) And it did. However, a lot of listeners from Home’s Top 40 era were disappointed with its abrupt reformat. And so was I, although I didn’t listen to it much. It reminds me of Campus’ abrupt dismissal when it used to be on 99.5 back in 2008. And they even called its Easy Listening format as trash, even if it really isn’t, since the music is kinda good. Those scumbags should be thankful it didn’t go back to its Masa format. They should’ve known that Home is known for its Easy Listening format.

When Braggy (who used to be with Campus Radio) took over as Home’s station manager, he sort of brought back the spirit of Campus Radio in some way. In my opinion, some of its programs have their resemblance. H20 & Aircheck 979 sort of resemble of Top 20@12 & Campus Radio Aircheck respectively. Since the reformat, Braggy has a different take on Home’s Easy Listening format, which isn’t the one we’re familiar with. It looks like Home Radio is slowly getting back on track. So, I wish them luck on its new old format.