A Rant: Modern Day Radio. What’s Going On?


A Quick Note: If you take me very seriously, you will need an aspirin. *teehee*

I know alot of people have given their 2-cents about the state of modern day radio and I’d like to join in on it through another perspective… the view from behind the microphone.


Let’s talk Radio. The kind that actually broadcasts from a transmitter and not through the world wide web. The kind you hear on your stereo when you “tune in”.

I might as well talk about it before it disappears completely as it is clearly becoming an “archaic” form of broadcasting calling to mind fast innovating technology.


Issue #1:

Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40 vs. Every Other Format available.

I’ve heard several whines from people around me that “It’s just not the same nowadays!”

I guess I can nod my head at the saying that There are no true radio jocks anymore. = those who play whatever the heck they want.

At least that’s from what I remember listening to the radio alot in the past.

Why is that? Because of a particular station’s programming and formatting.

Technically, a wide array of formats are still very much alive… except from where I’m standing. All of a sudden CHR is on every turn of a dial you make. Different stations have their own styles (pirating each other’s radio jocks) but the music blasting out is bordering on redundancy. They’re all the same. All the time. Justin Bieber just comes on at 3PM on one then 3:30PM on another. It’s not a surprise people opt to plug in their own mp3 players.

Ehm. No offense intended for fans.

Just recently, a huge FM radio station that played nothing but rock all day every day  shut down and caused something quite like mass hysteria amongst a good number of its followers. It was a huge loss for our music industry as it had already stamped it’s name as a foundation in Philippine rock history and helped artists from all over. (I know you know what I’m talking about.)

And then the rumor that it will soon shift to popular formatting spread on like butter on toast. Dun dun dun.


Issue #2:

“Where’d my favorite jock go???”

The high turnover of on-air talents is never ending. One day he’s there, the next day it’s another voice you hear accompanied by a different playlist which is just not up to par with “flavor” you’re used to. It becomes apparent that he has become either underpaid, bored, or mismanaged. Besides, why should he stick to a form of media that’s bordering on obsolescence when he could easily put up his own business or have a stable 9-5 job? Most of the jocks you hear nowadays do it for the passion of playing music what with all other avenues of earning sprouting up.

But it’s a cycle of spiraling demise you see? If a jock now can’t play what he wants, then what’s the point? Celebrity status is like holding sand in your fingertips now too as anyone can easily be famous with a simple snap of a finger. If you want to be one because of radio, then you’re on the wrong career path.

Again, if radio is slowly disappearing then the bosses scrimp on the on-air talent budget too. The cycle continues.


Issue #3:

“Oh no! He didn’t just say that!”

The irony of freedom of speech.

As you might already know, this was one of the reasons radio was created in the first place.

You can say this, but you can’t say that. Limiting freedom of speech is negating it’s true essence entirely. What? So I’m a philosopher now? Hahahahaha. Yeah, I know. It’s ethical to screen anything offensive, prejudiced or flat out stupid for the audience’s sake. (Especially since kids can easily tune in and you could traumatize their minds forever.) This isn’t really much of an issue but I’d like to include it because I’m so random. LOL.


Issue #4:

Almost nothing on air is real.

First off… the opinions you hear are just that— OPINIONS. It’s no reason to drop by the station and TP the entire place or throw poop at the booth. It depends on the jock’s personal style really. Some are just born to feed on other people’s PMS-y reactions so please don’t take them seriously or you’ll get a stroke.

The facts are a different story though. Jocks make sure those are well-researched, proven and real or else risk total humiliation (or a court case.)

Someone once told me… “To get by in this industry, you either be a sweet suck up or be a b*tch. I prefer to be a b*tch.” Hmm… personally, I think there’s such a thing as a suck-uppy b*tch too.

I don’t know about that but being in the middle works for me just fine. I’d rather go au naturel. For the win.


Issue #5:

“Psh. That jock sucks for not paying attention to me!”

Listeners can be too quick to judge. One should know how much jocks brave constant criticism, puppeteering and manipulation just to get that itty bitty air space to spread the love for music (their music if they’re lucky). And they’re constantly multitasking… from thinking of their next adlibs,  segwaying songs, to making sure the technical stuff are running smoothly.

Listeners must learn the art of patience and consideration . It’s a give and take respectful relationship. Make our jobs easier by behaving, and we give you the best show on our timeslot!

On this note, let me just say that there’s actually such a thing as Guidelines On How to Properly Request For A Song From A DJ which includes

– don’t mess up the playlist. Please.

i.e. caller: Hey DJ, play me some Billy Joel!!!

DJ: Hold on. We’re doing newer stuff now. 80’s night is tomorrow.

caller: I don’t give a @&^%&^%!$*(!#! PLAY IT NEXT!!! *pops an artery*

– know the station’s format. If it’s House music, they play just that. Not Walls of Jericho.


Capping this entry off before it morphs into a college thesis…

Being in the media business in this day and age is a tough job. In our line of work, we are obliged to fall to the whims of our mainstream audience and succumb to the incessant demands of our frequency‘s target market. That’s right. The industry’s all about the money. It’s all about the dum dum dee dee dum dum.

True enough, I spin pretty much all forms of electronic tracks now. Electronic. (A genre which is rapidly gaining ground over other widely embraced genres.)

My musical education for this has only just begun as I’ve always grown up comfortable with music coming from people who play their own instruments, record with minor alterations and sing without having to be auto-tuned… a.k.a. bands. And way heavy ones too.

Hey, I’m definitely not complaining! I’ve actually learned to love some of it i.e. Drum N’ Bass, Breakbeats, Dubstep… Although it could become all too tedious since I’ve been up to my neck in sometimes monotonous beats or vocals singing not-too-subtly about “partying ’til you drop, one tequila two, kick it in the bass with your boyfriend’s girlfriend’s boyfriend’s—”


I can only hope that air time can come cheaper so radio will be back on track giving birth to a wide variation of quality stations that actually play what certain groups of people really love. Because music is supposed to be an expression of who you are. It’s supposed to be fun, something you can relate to, real… and full of heart. Yeah even those stations that specialize on talk.

More Contemporary Classical Music for the Beethoven-heads! More Smooth Jazz for the smooth operators! More Classic Rock for those who enjoy the time warp!

Most popular music nowadays don’t really make much sense. Either that, or they’re really just a front for hiding subliminal messages that will one day turn all of us into healthy zombies. Come to think of it, the first step is to control those that control = us radio jocks. (Conspiracy theories to be saved for another wicked entry. TYVM.)


And yes. I did realize that I have been sucked into the dirty world of dutiful submission because of strategic marketing and profit. Hence the rant. Wheee!




11 thoughts on “A Rant: Modern Day Radio. What’s Going On?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s