Always feels good to be ‘Home’

AFTER years of joining trends and reformats, HomeRadio 97.9 returns to its original and legendary easy-listening format with more music and resident DJs turning on their microphones during time checks and news breaks.

New jingles and stingers now contain the signature phrase, “It Feels Good to be Home.”

On June 30 at 9:00 a.m. the FM radio station popularly known as “Ninety-Seven-Dot-Nine” reprogrammed its contemporary-hit radio (CHR) format or what is commonly known as “Top 40,” with emphasis on original Pilipino music.

The new “on-air persona” got the attention of the Filipino youth until it became a favorite of homegrown millennials.  As a CHR FM station, HomeRadio successfully launched its student DJ search called “Aircheck 979” where aspiring young announcers were tapped from different schools and universities around the country.

Why the sudden reformat?

“We wanted to target a broader audience. [Our easy-listening playlist is quieter, with a larger base of target market and buying crowd. We were able to reach the Forty-something age bracket.] And they love it because the music we play is a line-up of love songs from the 80s and 90s. That way, we also increase our sales,” station manager Braggy Braganza said.

Formerly of The Giant/Campus Radio 97.1 DWLS-FM, the MMDA Traffic Radio and Sports Radio fame, Braganza has been at the helm of the station since 2015 when it adopted the “Natural!” slogan, which transitioned into “The Music of Now.”

Braganza brings with him a storied career of 26 years in the broadcasting industry since he took his first board work in 1992. What made him stay in the industry that long?

“[What’s good about being an] FM radio announcer is that music makes you feel younger. Music makes you feel alive. And then you experience a lot of transitions in life [with the changing] musical genres: [This is the current trend; next year, it’s different]. You can see how music evolves and how it affects the lives of people. And the beauty of that, [the influence is evident]…to individuals who listen to music,” the amiable station manager shared.

Does he agree with some people’s notion that the music of their time is better than others?

“There’s a different kind of beauty in each genre in terms of instrumentation, vocals, the essence of the song, personality and how they promote it. [The impact varies among individuals]. So it really depends on the music that you grew up with. So, for example, the music of those in their 60s now, [their music makes one fall in love]; they are simple, yet goes straight to the heart,” Braganza explained.

Social-media interaction

BRAGANZA added that today’s music and radio industry works hand in hand with social media. In the past, DJs interact directly with the listeners through the telephone, whereas today, the engagement is through digital platforms, particularly via Facebook (FB).

He quipped that, not long ago, DJs and announcers interacted to their audiences via a trusty landline. “Now, everything goes through FB!”

HomeRadio’s head encourages the station’s faithful to visit its web site:, like its FB page: 979HomeRadio for updates and send requests through the popular app, too.

He revealed that soon, HomeRadio will be holding exciting promotions to keep its listeners glued 24/7. No bragging for the station manager but, for him, it always feels good to be “Home,” with the address 97.9 in the FM band.

Image Credits: Alysa Salen

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