The closure of Wave 89.1 and the changing landcsape for Philippine radio

The closure of Wave 89.1 and the changing landcsape for Philippine radio

The FM station Wave 89.1 made its final broadcast last April 15. In a now-deleted statement posted through its social media platforms, Wave 89.1 said: ”The end is here. We want to thank everyone for all the love and support over the years. What a wild ride it has been, Manila.”

“We’ve been receiving many stories on how Wave touched your lives, and how you’ve grown up with us. The feels are real,” it continued. “While our heart is being pinched, we wanna officially announce that Wave 89.1 has made its final broadcast.” The station is known for its English-language programming targetting young listeners.

Soon after, it was confirmed that Adventist World Radio Manila will be taking over the 89.1 frequency and that it will be officially launched by April 24.

The station’s closure shows that FM radio stations in the country are really just competing for an ever-shrinking slice of the audience. For example, I loved listening to FM stations during the 2000s because I was waiting for my favorite songs to be played, especially WRR 101.9, Home Radio, and Kool 106.

That changed with the popularity of broadband Internet and the rise of YouTube and later on, Spotify. Thanks to them, I can listen to any song I can think of anytime. That forced FM stations to drastically revise their programming to maintain their audience or at least slow down the decline in their listenership (e.g. include narration of life stories, use of Filipino, etc.). However, technology just can’t be stopped from remaking the radio industry.

Naturally, the massive decline in listenership of FM radio stations have been forcing potential advertisers to invest their money elsewhere like in television and Internet marketing. This hemorrhage in advertising revenue – the lifeblood of all media institutions – means that more stations might go down this route too. Soon, only publicly-funded radio stations and those operated by conglomerates might end up surviving.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

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