MANILA, Philippines – What does it take to be a “favorite radio station?”
Is this decided by the kind of music that a station adopts for its daily programming? Or by the format? Or maybe the deejays, how large a following they command among listeners? Or does it all boil down to the much-valued Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) survey, the results of which are trumpeted by whichever station takes top spot for a certain period?
These days, at least three FM stations in Metro Manila are goading listeners with intermittent promotional plugs, each one starting with, “What’s your favorite radio station?”, followed by the station’s tagline.
Love Radio 90.7: “Kailangan pa bang i-memorize ‘yan? Bisyo na ‘to!” (
Yes FM 101.1: “Derecho, Yes FM, Yesterday pa!”
WRR 101.9: “Alam mo na ‘yan, 101.9, For life!”
Love Radio claims it’s been the number one FM station for four consecutive years, based on KBP surveys that the deejays read on the air from time to time. The accuracy of said surveys may be questioned by the competition, of course. Apparently, the more binding proof is determined by what is heard in buses, jeepneys and taxicabs, in the malls and also in offices where radio music is played.
The operative word is “heard” – because a cab may be brandishing a Love Radio sticker, but the driver is listening to Yes FM.
In any case, Love Radio does seem to be top dog at the moment, at least among stations that count on the teeming masses to be their faithful audiences. Consider: Yes FM, WRR and, lately, LS 97.1, emulate Love Radio’s street-wise Tagalog and running gag-fest broadcasting style.
To challenge the winning tandem of Love deejays Chris Tsuper and Nicolehyala (“Tambalan ng Isang Balasubas at Isang Balahura”), Yes FM has posted Tito Potato and Mama Sugar in the intensely competitive 6 to 9 a.m. drive slot, while WRR has Martin D and Billie (“Tambalang Mabangis, Inyong Mga Kabagis”) on board from 8 to 10 a.m.
A little sluggish
Tito Potato and Mama Sugar have yet to match the snap and spontaneity of Chris and Nicole. And while WRR’s Martin D is engaging, with his solid, textured voice and comic timing, the jokes he throws around with Billie are at times a little sluggish.
For example, this one scripted like a radio drama:
“Naku siguradong uutangan na naman ako nito, di naman nagbabayad!”
“Hi, kumusta, lalo ka yatang gumaganda ngayon. Pautang naman ng P100…”
“Ayoko nang magpautang sa ‘yo; nakakasira ng pagkakaibigan ‘yan…”
“Ganu’n ba, e di galit na tayo simula ngayon, hindi na tayo magkaibigan. O, pwede nang umutang?”
Similarly, Yes FM should try to crank up the hilarity. This joke was heard a few nights ago:
“Sumakay ng elevator sina Brownie at Bruno. Tanong ni Brownie: “Magkano ang ibabayad natin?”
“Sagot ni Bruno: ‘Ano ka ba, Brownie, para kang inosente a, bakit magbabayad ka na, hindi pa nga tayo binibigyan ng tiket?”
Fast talk on LS
The former Campus Radio WLS 97.1 now goes by the call sign ’97. 1 Barangay LS, Forever! – with fast-talking deejays like Johnny Baby working at sounding cool with street lingo, but ending up just a tad cutesy:
“Ang oras po natin, alas nine o’clock ng morning!”
In a press release announcing its new name and strategy, the Barangay LS station manager said the move was meant to deliver what advertisers wanted. That supposedly meant sponsors nowadays would rather put money where deejays clown around and crack jokes throughout the day.
But the jokes, not a few of them sent by listeners, tend to fall flat:
“Anong kulay ng prutas?”
“Anong shampoo ang nakakahilo?”
“Anong net ang hindi ginagamit sa sports?”
A fourth station, right beside Love Radio on the dial, likewise subscribes to the Pinoy talk-and-humor approach. The bandwagon effect is beginning to insult listeners’ intelligence, as if everyone tuned in is presumed to be a dimwit:
“Hi Pangga, may energy ka ba? 91.5, Energy FM! It’s … joke time”:
“Ano ang pagkakaiba ng elepante at langaw?”
“Ang elepante, pag namatay, nilalangaw. Pero nakakita ka na ba ng langaw na namatay na ine-elepante?!”
And the music?
What happened to the music?
In the 1970s and ’80s, the jocks of DZRJ wooed and won listeners by playing some of the most engaging and enlightening music that was not necessarily on the charts. At one point, RJ even became a top-rating, album-oriented radio station because it was playing music not heard elsewhere.
The only station that succeeded with a joke-oriented format then was WKC 93.9, whose former station manager at the time was Mike Enriquez.
But, of course, times have changed, even if there’s more variety today with several stations playing jazz and acoustic rock, and the rest retaining Top 40 formats.
Jacinto says his current modified retro hits (“The Greatest and the Latest”) format on RJ 100 is very successful. And incidentally, NU 107, the only modern-rock station in the city, has maintained a large fan base without changing formats since it started operating in 1987. Proof is the rabid audience response to its annual rock awards.
In other words, listeners will always have their own different preferences and hardly anyone can claim there’s a dominant “favorite radio station” at present.
One good thing that’s come out of the competition is that all the stations are now playing more Original Pilipino Music (OPM). Just recently, Barangay LS featured seven local artists within the same hour, far exceeding the old KBP requirement of four OPM songs per hour. Cheers!
This story is lifted from Inquirer.net and RadioJingles does not take full ownership of this article.