"Hey, Mayor Bloomberg. I heard you took a shot at us in the Post. What's with all the swearin' like a sailor? Fleet Week is over. It's just music." — Howard Cogan of then Jack FM in New York, picking up on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's criticizing about WCBS's sudden change in format.
I haven't thought of another flip in Philippine radio.
They're doing it again.
I turned the radio one day on 99.5 MHz while doing schoolwork, and I was surprised to hear stingers of a new station. The tagline: "This radio station is under construction..."
After undergoing two reformats and going back on the air, 99.5 RT will change. The so-called "Rhythm of The City" will be replaced. Some of the programs were dismissed, including the famous The RT30. Some of the DJs, as my sources said, bid their goodbyes, but you can still hear other DJs on the air.You can still hear the name 99.5 RT, but it's already clear that the station is working on a new identity as the "Station for The New Generation", as the stingers promote.
I don't suppose this would be another masa station(meaning for the mass audience), as said by fellow netizens. And I don't believe they would become a masa station with tedious jokes and corny, green fanfare. Good thing, it was already confirmed it won't be.
Once again, the management decided on a reformat, the station's 4th reformat. This station makes the many reformats in Philippine radio history. Again, I think it's a problem of attracting advertisers, getting revenues(if that's what they call it), and even getting more listeners. But, I think there are many who patronize this station, which started its existence in the 70s, playing the latest hits to its audience ahead from other music stations, and still bringing the "Best Music on The Planet".
"99.5 RT became famous for playing the hits three months ahead of most other music stations because its programming philosophy did not pander to the masses nor cater to the lowest common denominator. It was more concerned with bringing the latest hits to the audience as soon as they were released by the artists."— Article from Wikipedia
It's surprising for me to know this, knowing—as an avid radio listener—that this station went on several changes, from 99.5 Hit FM to Campus 99.5. I thought that after the original was brought back, 99.5 RT would remain as it is, but then, I'll miss it.
RT has been on my ears always, aside from the defunct Campus 97.1 WLS-FM(now a masa station) as a young elementary child.
One time I listened to RT last year, I discovered electronic music band M83 with their song "Midnight City", and I instantly liked them.
Also, RT is my second choice for 80's music, tuning in to it on Saturdays for its 24K Weekend, especially for its New Wave Xtra. I'll miss that show (FYI: I like New Wave, that's why I like 80's music).But we don't know if they'll retain the oldies flavor on the new station.
I don't have a clear view of the new station yet, but what we could expect for now is a new sound on 99.5. I think it would cater to a younger demographic, just as they did on Hit 99.5. I also suppose it would be more of a CHR/Top 40 format, with more music to play and to be heard. But some suggest it could be more of an reiteration of NU 107, since they also played more modern rock and was therefore called as "The Drive". They predict the new station would be named "Play FM".
I then remember upon knowing this reformat a radio station in US that I stumbled upon on Wiki—WCBS 101.1. It plays classic hits, like our own RJ 100. It stayed for a long time, when suddenly it changed in 2005 as Jack FM with a wider playlist, playing what they want, as their slogan went. But their format failed, so they decided to bring back the original WCBS. The rest is history, being a hit station in New York to "people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s."
But it's different for RT. I don't know. I'll just miss how they beat the airwaves as the rhythm of the city, and I'll miss their good, old jingles. RT has been a legendary in radio. After two changes of format they went back, and again they'll leave.What's next? Whatever it would be, I hope it would be a good station to listen to, now that I like today's music more.
I just hope 99.5's cycle of reformat will stop to an ideal identity. But in this industry where tastes of music change, as well as demographics, we can't avoid station changes for the sake of getting various audiences hooked, of getting us awakened to new sounds, and—in turn—getting more profits.
But I won't be surprised if one day they'll bring it back again.