Former ABS-CBN radio 630 in AM band back on air as DWPM

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Former ABS-CBN radio 630 in AM band back on air as DWPM


A disc jockey identifies the station as Radyo 630, DWPM, 'Para sa Mamamayan' (For the People)

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN’s former radio frequency, 630 kHz in the AM band, is back on air under new management.

A test broadcast on Monday, June 26, had the radio station airing pop music. A disc jockey identified the station as Radyo 630, DWPM, “Para sa Mamamayan” (For the People).

Former ABS-CBN radio 630 in AM band back on air as DWPM

As of posting, the managers and anchors of DWPM had yet to introduce themselves to the public.

ABS-CBN announced on May 23 that it would shut down its TeleRadyo news channel by June 30, this coming Friday, to prevent further losses. On the same day, however, it announced a joint venture agreement with House Speaker Martin Romualdez’s Prime Media Holdings Incorporated (Prime Media) that would allow it to “find ways to continue providing news to the public,” and possibly help those who will be displaced by TeleRadyo’s closure find new jobs.

ABS-CBN anchor Karen Davila tweeted on May 23 that while TeleRadyo would cease operating, “DZMM will return on AM radio reaching millions of Filipinos once more.” 

A total of 68 employees of TeleRadyo will lose their jobs on Friday when the news channel shuts down. After ABS-CBN lost its free-to-air frequencies in May 2020, DZMM TeleRadyo 630, was among the Kapamilya channels that – aside from cable tv – could only be seen and heard on digital platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

When ABS-CBN still had its frequencies, DZMM 630 was among the leading AM radio stations in the Philippines along with GMA Network’s DZBB and Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZRH.

With the decline in radio listenership over two decades ago, DZMM pioneered in fusing radio and television via DZMM TeleRadyo in 2007, allowing the news channel to expand internationally via ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel and reach overseas Filipinos.

In ABS-CBN’s disclosure on May 23, the Lopez-led company said the joint venture with Prime Media will produce various programs that will be “supplied to broadcasters and other 3rd party platforms, including Philippine Collective Media Corporation (PCMC).”

Prime Media disclosed on May 29 that its joint venture (JV) with ABS-CBN “will only produce and distribute radio content.” 

“The objective of the JV is to provide accurate and balanced news and information to the country and public service. The content produced by the joint venture will be distributed to radio, cable TV and other platforms, including the stations under Philippine Collective Media Company (PCMC). The business model is similar to various local studios and production companies but the content we will produce are not for free TV broadcast,” Prime Media president and chairman Manolito Manalo said.  

Prime Media is a subsidiary of RYM Management Corporation, a holding company of the Romualdez family. Its foray into broadcasting was formalized on July 30, 2021, when Prime Media obtained the business and assets of PCMC, and PCMC became a subsidiary of Prime Media.

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FAST FACTS: Romualdez’s Prime Media Holdings Inc.

FAST FACTS: Romualdez’s Prime Media Holdings Inc.

PCMC was founded in 2008 by Romualdez. It got its franchise, Republic Act 9773, during the Arroyo administration and began operating radio and television stations in Romualdez’s home region, Eastern Visayas.

In December 2020, Congress amended its franchise from being regional to national, and included the operation of a digital television system. It has expanded its broadcast footprint in the past three years and now operates nationwide. Romualdez and his wife Yedda were among the 70 lawmakers who voted to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise. – Rappler.com

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.