This has been a devastating week for the smooth jazz format on FM radio.
I just found out that earlier this week, Clear Channel Broadcasting shut down my long-time favorite radio station, KKSF in San Francisco. On Monday, bay area listeners were shocked to hear classic rock on the 103.7 FM band.
For those of you who read the history page on my website, you’ll know that KKSF was one of the main influences in developing my Internet radio station. The music we’ve played over the years have been heavily influenced by KKSF starting in 1987.
Later this week, another long-time smooth jazz format was silenced.
Today, listeners in the windy city lost their smooth jazz radio station. Clear Channel, the owner of WNUA 95.5FM changed the format from smooth jazz to Spanish hot adult contemporary.
The smooth jazz format had been in existence on WNUA in Chicago for nearly 20 years.
Clear Channel said it would continue to offer that format on its HD radio signal at 95.5 HD2. Of course, you would need to purchase a more expensive HD radio.
Executives at Clear Channel made the decision to change formats because of the economic environment. It’s not that the bay area needs another rock station, it’s just that Clear Channel is in such bad shape financially. They need to generate more dollars, and the smooth jazz format is not making as much money as it has been in the past.
So once again, bean-counters have ruled the roost. They’ve managed to drive smooth jazz from the FM dial, similar to how other formats have come and gone. It’s all about how much money we can make, how fast we can make it and can we screw people on the way out the door?
All I can say is, “Thank god for Internet radio!”