Smooth Jazz KWJZ is now Modern A/C Click 98.9

Includes archive of Bill Virgin's columns fromJ une 2006 - March 2009

Smooth Jazz KWJZ is now Modern A/C Click 98.9

Postby radiofan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:52 pm


Pioneer Smooth Jazz KWJZ 98.9 in Seattle has abandoned the format and is now Modern A/C CLICK 98.9. The station features "the 'SEATTLE Sound' of popular music styles" -- and is playing 10,000 songs in a row so listeners can hear the music nonstop.


Listen to Click 98.9


Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
User avatar
Advanced Member
Posts: 11047
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:24 pm
Location: Keremeos, BC

Re: Smooth Jazz KWJZ is now Modern A/C Click 98.9

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:49 pm

Sad but predictable. Failed 'Smooth Jazz' stations such as KWJZ like to blame PPM as the culprit, and this is undeniably true. However, the change in listener sampling technology doesn't tell the whole story. The format itself has been in serious trouble for some time now as it has stagnated and aged. Instead of keeping the sound fresh and introducing the format to younger demos, 'Smooth Jazz' headed for the safe ground and morphed into yuppie elevator music. KWJZ (and it's predecessor KEZX) may have helped pioneer the format 19 years ago, but the last few years, 98.9 has been playing many of the same, worn out, flowery saxophone instrumentals. Ditto the overplayed soul vocal tunes such as Otis' "Dock Of The Bay". KWJZ is not alone in allowing complacency to invade the 'Smooth Jazz' format. Some 'smooth jazz' stations have claimed there is a shortage of new material to draw from and this simply isn't true. Looking beyond releases by the corporate giants, there is plenty of indie material, including self-marketed artists via MySpace, Facebook, etc to draw from. Europe has vibrant and healthy jazz and soul music formatted FM stations in a number of countries - France, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands and even the Canary Islands playing fresh releases, gaining listeners and paying the bills via ad revenue. Given the challenges faced by KWJZ the past few years, I would have loved the opportunity to take on the difficult challenge of rebuilding the station as PD. First up, would have been to drop the word "smooth" out of the ID and give it a moniker like "98.9 The Jazz Cafe" or "K-W Jazz 99 FM" or something different that doesn't suggest 'sleepy' or boring. Ditch the choices of the sleepiest, slowest racks on new releases and emphasize the uptempo tracks. Add some remixes, some "world-jazz" and a few standards too. Replace the tired soul and pop oldies with fresh soul from artists such as Monday Michiru, Incognito, Dwele, Michael Franti, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Erikah Badhu, India.Arie etc. Ditch ANYTHING by Kenny G, Najee and much of Grover Washington too and emphasize fresh jazz and lounge - artists such as Jazzanova, Maceo Parker, Nils Landgren Funk Unit, new Deodato album, new Herbie Hancock album etc. Bring in some young 'mixers' to spin and mix jazz, soul and fresh beats together using vinyl & samplers to "push the boundaries". Sadly, listener-supported KPLU with it's ever narrowing playlist is "aging" badly and shutting out younger listeners or introducing new ones to jazz genres/sub-genres just as much as smooth, slick KWJZ. As more and more stations drop jazz as a format, specialized Internet stations such as Sky Valley Radio (SHAMEFUL PROMOTIONAL PLUG!) slowly pick up a few new listeners. Recent emails over the last few years have informed me that new listeners have turned my way as their local FM's have dropped 'smooth jazz' . It's also noteworthy, that as I track IP locations of log-ons, I've discovered my heaviest listenership is in Europe. Popular Euro jazz/soul stations such as Solar Radio - London, TSF Paris, Swiss Groove Radio & Q-FM Canary islands are reporting dramatic increases in online listening! Once again, the almighty dollar and quest for the ratings pie have ditched another diverse format in Seattle, but this one was coming for a while. I hope Carol Handley and the KWJZ crew land on their feet. I also wish Sandusky all the best with "Click 98.9". :canedude:
User avatar
Advanced Member
Posts: 1109
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: The Goofy Islands

Re: Smooth Jazz KWJZ is now Modern A/C Click 98.9

Postby DJ Specs » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:10 pm

Haha, my parents listened to this station for about 10 years on Cable FM. They loved it, however, they got bored with it. They said it played the same songs over and over. So I taught them how to use internet radio, and they found some online Jazz stations that they started listening to and and have not gone back. Sad in a way. But corporate radio just doesn't get it. They alienate every listener with every change, and poor excuse for a playlist.
What a sly guy... Radio Vibes..
User avatar
DJ Specs
Advanced Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Surrey

Return to Seattle / Washington State Radio News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest