Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Music's Not a Priority to Big Radio


Smooth Jazz lost another station this weekend. Detroit's WVMV, which had been around since December of 1995, switched to a Top 40 format this past Friday.

The owners of WVMV, CBS Radio, were quick to put a positive spin on the format change, issuing a statement on their website saying, new media and new technologies have given us the chance to still keep this [smooth jazz] programming on the air.”

So, how will the format be kept on the air? “Get an HD receiver, and you'll still hear us.” Without an HD receiver, though, the only way to listen to WVMV will be their audio stream. And, be it HD Radio or internet, it'll be only the remnants of WVMV, because the station no longer features the full complement of announcers.

Moreover, when it comes to a radio format, do you know what being shifted over to HD radio means? It's the equivalent of “You get to keep your job, but we're transferring you to Nome, Alaska.” As a format, when you're sent off to HD land, it's all but over--HD is where radio formats go to die. So, “still being available on the air on HD radio” isn't exactly the gift you might think it is.

This isn't as much an indictment of how corporate radio operates as it is just another example of how little the Smooth Jazz fan means to them when it comes to over-the-air radio. They're in the business of making money, and they obviously don't believe Smooth Jazz is a moneymaker anymore. It's as simple as that.

Thankfully, we have internet radio riding to our rescue. As conventional over-the-air radio stations have dropped the Smooth Jazz format, internet radio has rushed in to fill the gap. As a result, Smooth Jazz fans have never had more and better choices than they do right now—on the internet. Think about it. Just a few years ago, if you were a listener of WVMV (or, here in Chicago, WNUA), that was the only station you could turn to for Smooth Jazz. If they were playing songs that weren't your cup of tea, well, you had no other station to switch to. These days, by listening on the internet, you give yourself choices. Lots of them. Twelve channel choices for Smooth Jazz here at, for example.

So I say, let Big Radio wipe Smooth Jazz off the face of the over-the-air radio dial. The listening's better—much better—here on the internet.

1 Comment:

AZ Entertainment and Events said...

Eric Darius, Gregg Karukas and Jay Soto in Night of a Thousand Grooves!
October 24 – 7:30 PM JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort Pavillion

AZ Entertainment and Events (AZEE) is proud to present “Night of a Thousand Grooves,” another world class ensemble of contemporary jazz artists featuring sax prodigy, Eric Darius; masterful keyboardist/composer Gregg Karukas and award-winning fiery guitarist Jay Soto.

It’s all happening at the luxurious JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort Pavillion! Expect a great evening of soulful, smooth grooves featuring sax prodigy, Eric Darius, masterful keyboardist -composer Gregg Karukas and award-winning, fiery guitarist Jay Soto. Two dance floors, drink specials, $99 resort stay and great fun!

According to Darius, “Although I’ve been to Arizona before, I have never had the opportunity to perform in Tucson so we are ready to bring the house down!! One thing I can definitely promise is that this show is going to be hot!!

“Hot” is probably putting it mildly since Darius’ performances have been described as nothing short of a “blazing inferno of pure body rockin’, soul-stirring energy.” His rapid ascendance to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts, not once; but multiple times, is remarkable. Darius’ latest CD, “Goin’ All Out” has debuted on the legendary Blue Note record label. But even more unusual is how well grounded Eric is in handling celebrity and its trappings. We recently sat down with the 26-year old artist who has taken the contemporary jazz world by storm to uncover the secret to his phenomenal and early success. Read more at

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