Last Monday at 6am, 99.5 reveals a new brand for this year, 99.5 Play FM. This is the 4th time 99.5 has rebranded. From RT, to Hit, to Campus, back to RT, to Play. I can’t believe this station has rebranded a lot for the past 6 years. Anyway, Play FM had a good start this morning.
Tim Yap (socialite & Phil Star Supreme columnist), Sam Oh (one of the RT mainstays), and Nikko (formerly known as Tyler from Magic 89.9) were the first jocks to board on that morning (6am) with their program, The Playground. Tim Yap, on his 1st time being a DJ, shares to us listeners his friendship with celebrities, experiences in other countries, notably Thailand, etc. At 10am, Jing, one of the RT mainstays who was formerly known as Dirty J, goes solo once again in his program, The One-Stop Shop. It’s like his former show on RT, The Nightcap, wherein he airs news about sports & a bit of showbiz. There was one time when he was about to play Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam when he was about to air his sports update, but he stopped it after the whole intro. Come 2pm, Inka (one of the RT mainstays) goes on board for her program, The Play Pen. Looks like she’s back on the afternoon slot. And at 6pm, Lil Joey & Jaz (both came from Magic, the latter being its junior jock) go on board for their program, Nitetime Playtime. Jaz doesn’t sound that bad on air, she sound kinda nervous, just like she was during her 1st time boarding on RT. Initially, Justin (junior jock from Magic) subbed for Joey during its initial week, while he was on leave, until he began going solo since yesterday at 10pm for The Jungle Gym.
Claude (one of the RT mainstays who was formerly known as Jack Master 8 & Claude 9), Scarlett (one of the RT mainstays), Tino, Bea Fab & Guile (junior jocks from Magic) take over the weekends. Special programs include Playback (Wednesday), playing songs from mid-90s to mid-2000s, and Play It Live (Friday), which features OPM Bands & Artists play live. Those are its special shows for now, but there will be more of those, maybe it will have its own countdown just like RT30. We’ll see, sooner.
There are some changes around this new station. It’s that this station caters to the youngsters. It’s like Magic & the defunct Hit FM. The hot hits playlist are downsized to half, replacing the other half with songs that are more pop, such as as LMFAO, One Direction, Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, etc. Well, Foster The People, Rita Ora, The Script, Maroon 5, Owl City and Bruno Mars, those which were usually heard on RT, are still part of the playlist, but there is no more M83, Black Keys, Florence + The Machine, Matchbox 20 & Metal Heads. And did you realize that every show is supposed to last for 3 hours on weekdays & 4 hours on weekends? Now, it lasts for 4 hours on weekdays & 3 hours on weekends. It’s kinda confusing with this swap, but we have to get used to it. And, its retro program, Playback, which airs every Wednesday, plays songs from mid-90s to mid-2000s, or, in other words, songs that teens are very familiar with. It’s kinda similar to Hit FM’s #1 Hit Weekend to me, which plays 90s, and its competitors are Wave 891’s Wave Back Wednesday & RX 93.1’s Monster Riot.
I gotta admit, no offense, this is not the station I kinda expected to rebrand to. I expected a station quite similar to Hit FM, which targets people 16 to 30 years old, & a retro program which plays 80s & 90s stuff, similar to 24K, and falls on a Weekend. Looks like Ron Valentine was right, he doubted that those things will happen. It turns out to be a station for the youngsters, the “new generation” of people. The management has dumped the songs older than 1994, which includes hard-to-find songs, which RT only has. And Saturday is never the same without 24K, I don’t know what to listen to for my Saturday soundtrip. Well, I decided to switch to Jam 88.3‘s WRXP, which plays mostly classic rock, & 105.1 Crossover‘s Classic Weekend, which turned out to sound a bit like 24K, I could also listen to this on a Sunday. Christopher Cross’s Never Be The Same remains stuck in my head, thinking that radio is never the same without RT. I still like Play FM & its DJs, but I still also like RT.
I know you guys are disappointed about the change, but we have to accept it. RT is gone, but not forgotten. Looks like RT listeners have to move to another station, or to VSORT, and help AFT create The Vintage Jukebox. Anyway, congratulations on 99.5 Play FM’s launch last Monday, and we’ll expecting more from this station on the long run. I hope it will last long, attracting the youngsters out there.