Remembering Hit FM

January 9, 2017
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99.5 Hit FM

Last week was the 10th Anniversary of 99.5 Hit FM. Although I didn’t get the chance to experience much of the 1st RT, I enjoyed listening to Hit. As promised, I’ll talk about my listening experience with Hit. I can’t recall everything, but I’ll do my best to recall them.

Around mid-December that year, by the time RT was gone, I heard one of their stingers saying “You pick the Hit”.

BEGINNINGS

Came the 1st day of 2007, it was officially Hit FM. Its playlist was much similar to RT’s, albeit also playing some of the songs usually played on Magic. Its programs were launched a week later. Most of the DJs of the former RT manned the station, along with Ron Valentine (formerly from K-Lite), Sam Oh & Robi The Rascal. David’s House & Sunday Sessions were still there. Unlike RT, Hit had only a daily countdown called the 8 Ball, which is part of The Home Run.

I often listened to this station, even on my way to school & at home while finishing my homework. I often listened to The Hit Morning Crew & The Home Run, 24K & The Factory.

Since its inception, Hit had its own retro program called Old School Wednesday. It played only 80s & 90s and its playlist wasn’t much as big as 24K’s. However, I heard some of RT’s gems for the 1st time, such as All Sports Band’s “Opposites Do Attract” & Paul Pascal’s “Your Memory”.

Last Independence day, all the DJs spoke in Tagalog, in which I found it somewhat funny, and played only OPM. The latter was done in a lot of stations back in the day.

Come July, the station hit rock bottom. a few DJs, including Rain & Sam YG, left Hit for Magic & the then-newly launched Max FM. Hit suffered from the ratings, placing last.

A BIGGER HIT

August was a month full of changes for Hit. In the middle of the month, the cast of Strangebrew – Ramon Bautista, Tado & Angel Rivero – invaded the late night slot as The BrewRats. Robi, Kelly & Migz joined the Hit Crew. And Hit 99.5 became 99.5 Hit FM, along with a minor revamp of its programs & new stingers. I felt that they were going back on track once again, thanks to Ramon Bautista & the Brew crew.

Hitting you live from the Paragon Plaza.
D-W-R-T, 99.5 Hit FM.
Hitting you with the most hit music.
Hitting you with the most hit parties and happenings.
This is your station playing today’s hottest hits. 99.5 HIT FM.
Member: KBP.
With another winning round of today’s hottest hits starting RIGHT NOW!

At the 1st Wednesday of September, I was surprised that I heard no retro tracks. Old School Wednesday no more. However, I was so excited when the morning crew announced that they’d bring back 24K Friday.

Come that Friday was the return of the 24K. It played only 80s music. Its 80s coverage is much wider than before, but not as big as the coverage of the original 24K. I enjoyed it as much as I used to enjoy the old 24K, though. And they even had another retro program called #1 Hit Weekend, wherein it played only 90s music every Saturday. both of them have the same tagline The Best of the 80s/90s & more, and the same TOTH stinger, which was almost similar to its usual TOTH.

It’d have been better if 24K played 80s & 90s instead of competing with Magic’s Madness & Slam.

I thought 24K Friday would last throughout Hit’s existence. On the 2nd Friday of November, I was surprised that I didn’t hear any 80s. Instead, I only heard 90s music which should be only heard every Saturday. Looks like Hit phased it out in favor of the #1 Hit. This was the 1st time to listen to a station which a retro program which plays only 90s & beyond. I was wondering if their listeners are getting younger.

A month later, 24K was revived, this time during Sunday afternoon as the 24K Experience. Aside from playing 80s, it also played 70s as well. And it was hosted by none other than Joshua. It’s nice to hear 24K again albeit for only 4 hours (it’d have been better if it was aired for 12 hours on a Sunday).

At the beginning of 2008, Kelly & Sonny B. left, with the latter going back to Mix FM later on.

SILENT DEATH

At the beginning of March 2008, rumors of Hit reformatting into something else soon rose when Tracy left the station. It wasn’t obvious for me at that time. Despite being aware that the veteran DJs of LS (who were fired around 1 month prior) would revive Campus on a new frequency, I wasn’t aware of the rumors that they’d take over 99.5 soon. One Sunday night, Ron silently said, “How I don’t wanna think about moving. Like I’d just go to the 41st floor of Paragon Plaza and not look down anymore across the street.”

During Holy Week, I observed that there was a minor change in Hit’s playlist. It was somewhat similar to RT’s playlist. During the (what turned out to be) final 24K, Joshua said that we should look forward to something interesting come Easter Day. This must be a sign that Hit would reformat. Come Holy Wednesday, it was Hit’s final day. The Home Run had its final 8 Ball countdown, containing the top 8 songs played throughout its existence. One of the hosts of The BrewRats said that the remaining Hit Squad would still be part of the change.

After Hit FM signed off, I completely realized that the LS DJs would be invading 99.5 on Easter Sunday. So, I tuned in to 99.5 on the said day and it was Campus FM, the rebirth of an old spirit killed by Mike Enriquez. I’ll stop here, I’ll discuss that on another article soon.

CRANK IT UP

Hit FM was a good station to listen to. It sort of resembles of RT, hence considering it Nu RT. Its playlist was similar to RT’s with a bit of Magic’s. Too bad it didn’t sell that well. I recently thought, had RT been rebranded as Play FM, it’d have sold better. Hit is much like Play in terms of playlist, but the latter has a friendlier approach.

The “recent” Hit FM was much like what Play FM & Home Radio are today. The latter has Guilty Pleasures (2000s every Sunday) & Subculture (80s & 90s every Friday morning) as counterparts of #1 (90s every Friday) & 24K (70s & 80s every Sunday afternoon) respectively. The 24K & #1 programs were even adopted by Hit FM’s former sister station in Davao, Mix FM, since the time when Sonny B. went back there last 2008.