Mon, Feb 28, 2011
The New Paper
'I've always been money-driven'

By Germaine Lim

AFTER just four months, Radio 913 deejay Daniel Ong is bidding farewell to listeners - again. And perhaps for good this time.

Yesterday was his last day at the station where he hosted evening drivetime show The Wrong Way Home with Radio 913's Cheryl Miles.

Jeremy Ratnam, who used to host the evening show before Ong came on board, will assume that position again with Miles from Monday.

Ong, 35, who is a freelance events host, told The New Paper that he will be focusing more on business.

"It's about priorities. I have a family to feed and I have to do what's best," he said.

"Those who know me will know I've always been money-driven. I want to earn as much as I can to give my family the best, having been poor when I was young. I'm in a very good position now to (provide more for my family)."

He is married to local TV host and actress Jaime Teo, 32, and they have a 10-month-old daughter, Renee.

Since returning to radio full-time with Radio 913 in October, Ong claimed he has had to turn down events like dinner and dance parties, the most recent one being a Yahoo! party, that would have added $25,000 to his bank account.

Ong left MediaCorp radio station 987 in January last year after 10 years.

Focus on family

Then, he had told The New Paper that he left 987 to focus on his family. He admitted to The Straits Times Life! in September that creative differences with MediaCorp's management contributed to his quitting.

Ong said that though the Radio 913 team has been "the best team" he has worked with, he underestimated the demands of radio.

"The reason I left radio in the first place was to spend time with Renee. But (after) coming back to radio, I'd see Renee only in the morning because she'd be asleep by the time I got home.

"Jamie (Meldrum, Radio 913's programme director ) has been most accommodating. The show used to be three hours long but he shortened it to two hours...

"But in time, I realised I couldn't be at so many places at one time, what with events, meetings about these events, doing voice-overs, doing radio every afternoon."

A "disappointed" Mr Meldrum said he understands Ong's predicament.

For now, Ong will concentrate on being an events emcee. He is also looking at possible business ventures such as food and beverage, fish farming, a wedding planning firm and an events company.

He said he's not ruling out a return to radio some day, and added: "I love radio but I love my family more."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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