Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"The Day the Music Died"

Yesterday, fans of Seattle's Smooth Jazz Station, KWJZ 98.9, received a shock: The station now called "Click FM" changed its format and will no longer be playing jazz. I've enjoyed listening to this station from the first night I tuned in to it 12 years ago this very month.

Sometimes, it's small events that make you say "WTF?" While this radio station's format change may not have any earth-shattering geo-political repurcussions, it is truly upsetting to long-time listeners.

When I first tuned in last night, I thought someone had their wires crossed, or there was some atmospheric disturbance causing my radio to receive a Portland radio station. (That's happened before). Then I went online, saw the notice on the website and received Carol Handley's newsletter in my e-mail account.

I discovered smooth jazz when I moved here 12 years ago. I was flipping through the stations and came across Diana Rose's lovely voice during one of her City Lights programs.

She certainly got my attention!

Then the music grew on me and I've loved jazz ever since.

I never thought I'd take a deactivation of a radio station so hard, but I'm really saddened to see KWJZ dissappear from the airwaves, because it introduced me to a new realm of music.

Text of Carol Handley's newsletter message:
To the KWJZ Family,

For 19 years 98.9 KWJZ has been presenting a mix of Smooth Jazz music for you, our very loyal music fans and radio listeners. It is with sadness that we inform you that this era for 98.9 FM has come to a close.

Technologies change and the new radio audience measurement is not favoring our once “ratings-strong” Smooth Jazz music format. I encourage you to continue to support the artists who make the music and the venues who bring them to the Northwest.

It is with huge gratitude on behalf of the entire KWJZ staff that we thank you for being here with us for these many years.


Carol Handley
Program Director

The fans certainly are not happy. The station's Facebook page is still up and running, while the complaints continue to pour in, (you must have a Facebook account to read the link):!/989KWJZ

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