An Open Letter To Crossover 105.1

Note: I wrote this last year over my disappointment with the programming of Crossover 105.1.

I was half-way through this ‘letter’ when . . .
lo and behold!, the
programming made a 180 degree turn towards the format closer to what I expected Crossover to play. . .

. . . It was short-lived though.

Lately, the station’s programming shifted once again back to the “department store love ballads”.

August, 2012

Dear Crossover,

Is this the end of an era?
For the past several weeks, I have been tuning in to your station, 105.1.

At first, I thought it was just lapses in programming. But as the days went on, I noticed a conspicuous amount of, would I say, songs that seem to run against the flow of your ‘crossover’ format.
I’ll go straight to the point – baduy na yung tugtugan!

I thought it was just me. But my wife noticed it too. Soon after, most of my friends and other acquaintances shared the same sentiment whenever the topic of radio comes into the conversation.
All these people have been loyal followers of Crossover since its inception in the early 90’s.

You guys have been in the business for so long so I don’t think I need to enumerate the songs/artists in your current playlist being referred to here.
Simply stated, they take out the class in Crossover.

Is this an intentional shift in programming?

If this is so, wouldn’t this change simply put Crossover at the same level with other stations being used as piped-in music for second rate department stores? Heck, even Shoemart pipes in classier materials!
Also, doing so would trivialize Crossover to a mere follower rather than the mover and trend-setting station we once knew.

Ever since the 60’s, the pioneering spirit of DZBM has been a force to reckon with. Tunes like One Lady by Jim Webb and Gary Paxton’s Living In The Shadow of Your Memory were not Billboard hits but nonetheless, popularized locally by BM. These tunes garnered a following of listeners making the station a benchmark in pop AM programming. Other pop stations like DZLM, DZQL, etc tried to follow suit but could not match the class that was DZBM.  (A close second would probably be DZRJ but had more of a soft rock format.) Not relying on US Top 40 hits, DZBM had the ‘music pulse’ which ran parallel to those of its listeners making BM truly the Prince of Pop –  years before Michael Jackson had the moniker.
Even Mareco’s local record releases were second to none.
This pioneering spirit of the old-man Villar steered the station to unprecedented heights from the 60’s all the way to the mid 70’s.

The entry of FM pop broadcasting in the mid 70’s changed the landscape all together. Jazz fusion of DWWK and the West Coast sound of DWRT paved the way for more discerning listening. In the 80’s, Citylite 88.3 programming patterned after San Francisco’s Quiet Storm, pushed the envelope further, catering to a more exclusive set of listeners.

Then in the early 90’s the ‘pulse‘ came back.
Crossover blew away all these other formats with an innovative programming that was simply apt for the handle it had taken for itself. Music that was crossing over genres and eras in an exquisite mix was a breath of fresh air that captured an audience as soon as it aired. You guys were the first to play Tower of Power’s If You can’t Fall Up and Loggins’ Sweet Reunion and alternating it with 70’s classics like EWF’s Feelin’ Blue and Willie Bobo’s Time After Time.

A pop-jazz-R&B mix spanning two decades that just simply fell into place. No other station would be able to put El Chicano and Donna Summer in the same playlist. But you were able to pull it off by playing Lake Aquabi and Whispering Waves in sequence. Who could play 90’s Matt Bianco’s (Hanging On) segueing to 70’s Ben Sidran’s (Chances Are)?
You guys did! And you did it with class.

 What Happened?

Is it the bottom-line? I guess it is since I see no other reason for the station to stoop down and play Cetera and Air Supply in order to garner more advertising income.

Yup, I know reality bites. And money is a present reality. I am just wondering though if everything that can be done has been done in order to save the original 90’s format. Or was this a hasty and desperate management decision without exhausting all remaining efforts?

I’m also wondering – Would the old man Villar be contented with the fact that the music of the station he built, is losing in quality when compared to the piped-in music of Mr. Sy’s numerous department stores?

Well, if he’s ok with it, then I guess this truly is the end of an era.



Sept 17, 2013

Am still tuned in. And I admit there has been an improvement.
Effort has been made by playing some audio-grabbed YouTube tunes from Live at Daryl’s House – is this legal by the way?
No more Ceteras and Air Supply. But where are those  R&B ballads coming from?
Am still waiting for the magic to return.



December, 2013
Cetera’s back!! Why?
I guess I’ll be hearing more of “Inspector Mills” soon. 😦

March, 2014
Hold on!. . .
as Hurricane Smith once said
– “There’s something in the air”
. . . and it’s getting to sound good.
No more sappy love songs – although a few of  “where-the-hell-did-this-come-from” RnB ballads still manage to leak thru.
All in all though, a very welcome change.
Let’s hope it gathers enough steam to blossom back to the Crossover we once knew.

August, 2014
I listen to the radio only in the car.

I only have a short drive- maybe ten minutes- to my workplace.
And in those few minutes of driving, I get to hear “No Tell Lover” almost every time I’m in the car. Cetera must really be a Crossover favorite!. . . sad.

April, 2016
I’m almost about to give up!
Knock! Knock!
Is there still a music programmer around?
Even their “Weekend Recall” is off the whack!

June 9, 2017
Wait! Sudden program shift!
I’ll be tuning in for the next couple of days.
Hope springs eternal!

June 10,2018
It’s been a year since the last update.
Where the hell is the station’s programmer getting these R&B tunes?
Ano ito, pa-uso? 😦




6 Responses to “An Open Letter To Crossover 105.1”
  1. Anonymous says:

    The days of listening to the radio and reminiscing about the long tentacles of boogy……:-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Im glad Im not the only one here on earth to notice the kind of genre they’ve been airing. But as of late I think they’re kinda “improving” their musical tastes but then again I would catch them airing those mushy R&B songs. I just hope they would go back to playing on what they were originally tasked for. But I guess that would be asking too much.

  3. ella says:

    Looking forward to your next update! 🙂

    • bb3 says:

      Hi ella, funny you should ask now because I’ve noticed a marked improvement the past 2 weeks or so. I’ll be posting my observations later on . . . i just want to make sure this isn’t a fluke. 🙂
      Thanks for swinging by the blog!

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