The worst-kept secret in the radio industry here is out: Popular DJs Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman have joined SPH Radio station One FM 91.3. They left MediaCorp within two weeks of each other at the end of last year.
Ong and The Flying Dutchman, whose real name is Mark Van Cuylenburg, revealed themselves yesterday morning as part of the station's revamped morning show.
They were on air yesterday from 8am to 10am, and will be on from 6am to 10am on weekdays starting today.
Their new gig at One FM did not surprise many radio listeners.
Since April, the radio station has been holding a contest for listeners to guess the identity of the "megastar" DJ or DJs who would be joining the station as part of the new morning show.
Listener Hanafi Arifin, a 34-year-old technician, was picked as the grand prize winner of $10,000 for his correct answer. He says: "You could say it was a lucky guess, but ever since they stopped presenting together on Class 95FM, I stopped listening to that station and I was hoping that they would get back together."
Many of the 4,000 entries also picked Ong, 45, and Van Cuylenburg, 59, both of whom had dropped hints on their social media accounts and in recent press interviews.
Ong, for example, was plugging One FM on his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, while Van Cuylenburg talked about the station in a recent interview with The Straits Times' Digital Life.
The other DJs whom listeners had thought would be joining One FM included former Hot FM91.3 DJ Rod Monteiro and One FM evening host Jill Lim.
One FM listeners have reacted enthusiastically to the new pair's debut at the station, with many posting positive comments on the station's Facebook page.
Nazri Ismail, 40, who works in the F&B industry as a business development and operations manager, tells Life: "Glenn and FD are awesome veteran radio DJs, with lots of fans and listeners who have been tuning in to them throughout the years. I think (having them) on the morning show will definitely get more people to tune in to the station."
The One FM morning show was previously helmed by Andre Hoeden, Elliott Danker and Part-time Pete. Hoeden and Danker will join Ong and The Flying Dutchman as part of the four-man team.
Ong and Van Cuylenburg's reunion is particularly sweet for their fans as the duo, famed for their sharp, straight-talking style and cutting humour, co-hosted the morning show on MediaCorp's Class 95FM for 10 years - from 2004 to 2013.
Ong says his fans inspired his move to One FM: "My fiercely loyal listeners whom I meet everywhere I go, and those who follow me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all of them have been asking me to return to radio from the time I left MediaCorp because the current morning show there is juvenile and crappy.
"I told them I agree with them because those guys are used to entertaining seven-year-old kids. So when One FM kicked off in January, they tuned in and immediately felt I would be a perfect fit for the station."
He denies rumours that he is now drawing twice the salary that he was getting at MediaCorp, saying that money was not a factor. Instead, he likens his move to a "football superstar" who has been "acquired by another club in the transfer market".
Van Cuylenburg says he is looking forward not just to reuniting with Ong, but also co-hosting the show with Hoeden and Danker.
"Glenn and myself, the chemistry was natural. It wasn't something that was built up over time. I think the only thing that we need to develop, (which) will not take very long is working with the other members of the crew.
"They're such free-flowing guys, it's not going to be difficult."
He adds that listeners can expect to hear banter that is honest and funny. He says that he left MediaCorp last year to concentrate on his six business ventures in Singapore and Indonesia. He decided to take on the One FM gig only after he had settled the opening of his latest business, a beachfront restaurant-bar in Bintan, Indonesia.
Ong spent 19 years as a DJ with MediaCorp. Soon after leaving the broadcaster, he became a director at F&B and hospitality consulting firm Cir Vis, a position he still holds.
He and Van Cuylenburg will also continue hosting live events outside of the morning radio show.
One FM, which plays music by acts such as Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Queen, is SPH Radio's newest English radio station. It targets men over 30 years old and replaced the company's Hot FM91.3, which played pop music.
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