TV5 a rising TV network in the Philippines is expanding broadcast operations to radio, taking on NewsTalk programming on the FM band. 92.3 NewsFM opened last November 8, a format flip from its predecessor DWFM U92. The claim is ambitious: the first NewsTalk Radio on FM, the catchphrase – “Iwanan mo na ang lumang tunog ng AM Radio”, ditch the old sound of AM Radio (referring to the mono static sound of AM band).
But is this going to work? Are Filipinos ready to listen to news on FM?
Indeed, it is a breath of fresh air for Filipinos to listen to news on FM. It’s not surprising for some however since FM stations have already been carrying hourly news segments on their programs. But a complete newstalk radio on FM is a novel idea.
It will take a lot of marketing however before TV5 captures an audience as huge as those of established AM stations like DZMM and DZRH. People will need to get used to listen to news on FM. TV5 will have to offer the same dynamism, quality content at par with those of major AM news stations. Quality sound does not guarantee a top rating. The leading AM station in Manila right now, DZMM broadcasts at 50,000 watts. 92.3 News FM is only throwing 25,000 watts. News FM may have CD-like quality sound, but DZMM still covers more places.
The establishment of this FM news station may also imply a new category on media awards and recognitions. 92.3 News FM cannot certainly qualify in the category “Best AM Radio Station”, so award-giving bodies will have to come up with a new category – “Best NewsTalk Radio Station”.
92.3 News FM has only been on the air for less than month, so there’s a lot to prove. The answer to the question “will it work” will depend on how the audience will react to the quality of the content News FM produces.