“Get high on the rhythm with XFM 92.3!”
This is one of the last few station shouts I heard from a jazz station found on this part of the frequency module, XFM 92.3. After news broke that XFM will undergo a complete reformat, I was a bit shocked and at the same time excited on what will happen once the reformat takes place. Shocked that I won’t be able to listen to my alternative to 106.7 Dream FM (another jazz-oriented station), and excited that the owners will bring in something new, appealing and, hopefully, long-lasting to 92.3. They marked the date of the change on 1st October so I decided to tune in to XFM’s last days up until its last broadcast before dawn.
Right after the last song the station played as XFM, it finally made the flip with three familiar voices gracing its airwaves: Jimmy Muna (of Wave 891), KC Montero and Cesca Litton (former VJs for MTV Philippines).
After the “unique Light’n’Up” sound left, the station rechristened itself as “U92: Cool to Be U”. The first program in the new line-up is called the “Morning WuD”(?) or something to that liking and is hosted by the abovementioned: KC, Jimmy and Cesca. They started out on a rough start, probably suffering from first- day jitters. A bit annoying with their extensive use of sound fx’s, but knowing that one of them used to handle mornings before, they may get better in the long-term.
From the sound and feel of U92 during the first four hours of its life, the station sharply veered away from the smooth jazz sound that it was identified with for many of its years in existence and now leans to a contemporary hit radio format similar to Magic 89.9 and Monster Radio. I couldn’t help but notice the jocks frequent mention of MTV Philippines but considering that the new management are affiliated with the cable channel, that made that and U92 “sister stations”. Early on, they mentioned a lot of people who will be gracing the station in the coming days like Sarah Meier, Sib (of JackTV and MTV fame) and The Brewrats (recently left its “third-first” home, 99.5RT, exactly a week ago) and their band of Brewsters (Ron-not-the-DJ, and company).
Worth noticing as well is the frequent mentions of the letter “U”, besides being the name of the station, and words pronounced with a certain “U” sound (Like “you”, “boo”, “who is you?”)/words containing the letter “U”.
Following the morning show is another program from 10am until 2pm: “U Know What” hosted by Eri Neeman (another ex-Wave jock). From that point on, the choice of music being played on air have somewhat normalized with him on board. Eri also introduced some cool new segments on his first day on-air like Lunch Box every Thursday noon, where he invites celebrity guests bringing their own “lunch box”every week while he interviews them over lunch, and U-Tunes every last hour of the show where listeners could call-in to request three songs to close the program.
After Eri is, much to the surprise of many, Joshua Z…er—Make that Joshua “Yu” (See? What did I tell yah?!) formerly of 99.5RT. He is one of RT’s longest serving deejays, having been around for about ten years, from the time RT was sold to its current owners (Real Radio Network) to the time RT tried to reinvent, first as “Hit FM” then as “Campus 99.5” (known as Joshua and The Big Z respectively), to the station’s second reincarnation as RT. I guess after a long-time, it’s time for him to move on to new and exciting things. Him boarding on the weekday afternoon slot marks the first time he did such after his stint as The Big Z of Campus 99.5.
His show is called “Count on U” (or is it “Count on Yu”? Well the name kinda pertains to his last name, eh). As the title would suggest, the program is U92’s daily countdown show but as of now, Joshua said that the countdown segment itself will probably debut sometime next week or hopefully sooner. Being probably the most veteran of them all, he’ll do just fine especially that it seems like what he used to do back in RT remains intact on his new tenure as a U92 jock. Given the station’s new youth-centric format, I could also hear a bit of stuff similar to what he used to do when RT used to be Campus 99.5.
From Countdown to Yu comes “The DollhoUse” hosted by Sarah Meier and Vicky. Of all the female VJ’s of MTV Philippines, Sarah ranks as my all-time crush because she is after all, gorgeous! I don’t know much about her partner, Vicky, though but she has a really sweet voice as well. Too bad I didn’t stick around that much during their shift until their final half-hour.
Last show in U92’s line-up for the day is none other than The Brewrats. The moment I heard this morning of news that U92 will be the new home of the popular trio, it kinda made a lot of sense with what’s been going on lately, with many pieces of the puzzle suddenly coming together. The Brewrats aired their last broadcast on their home for 2 years, 99.5 RT (Hit FM and Campus 99.5 included) exactly a week before U92’s launch.
This particular show is so popular among listeners that sometime after its first inception on air, it quickly develops a very loyal cult following called “Brewsters” which proves to be quite the advantage on the Rats’ part.
As the day caps off, U92 is well on a promising start. The rejuvenated radio station has potential and possibly has what it takes to prove to be a challenge to the top CHR stations, Magic and Monster Radio. Cheers to the new kid on the block: U92 Cool to be U!
Written October 1, 2009