[JPL] Milwaukee loses both jazz stations

Doug Crane dcrane at comcast.net
Mon Mar 5 15:01:51 EST 2007


WJZI GM Bill Hurwitz says "The word 'jazz' is truly a barrier".
>From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
WJZI-FM to stay smooth, but will lose the jazz label, play more vocals 
Posted: March 4, 2007
Inside TV & Radio
Tim Cuprisin
A week after traditional jazz formally left Milwaukee radio, "smooth" jazz disappears today in a format tweak at WJZI-FM (93.3).
While smooth jazz standbys like Kenny G, George Benson and David Sanborn will remain on the WJZI playlist, listeners also will hear Chicago, Gloria Estefan, Elton John and Billy Joel. The very word "jazz" will disappear from the station that will now be known as "Smooth 93.3."
General manager Bill Hurwitz says there will be more vocalists added to what was a heavily instrumental playlist. But the biggest change is probably symbolic.
"The word 'jazz' is truly a barrier," he says. "Really, we're evolving the radio station. We're trying to make it a little more upbeat."
The change will turn WJZI into what the radio business labels "adult contemporary," with a focus on a slightly older female demographic than "hot" adult contemporary stations WMYX-FM (99.1) and WKTI-FM (94.5).
The goal behind the tweak, however, is to attract slightly younger female listeners group than had been tuning in for smooth jazz, with Hurwitz hoping for 45% male listeners to the new lineup. 
WJZI's tweak isn't leading to any personnel changes, Hurwitz says. But there will be a change in the look of the station, along with the sound.
"The logo of the saxophone is going to go away," he says.
SPEAKING OF CHANGE: The long-anticipated remake of WYMS-FM (88.9) is officially complete today, as live voices join the eclectic music on the station calling itself "88Nine-Radio Milwaukee."
The Milwaukee Public Schools' radio station, operated by the non-profit Radio For Milwaukee group, has replaced jazz with a quirky playlist ranging from hip-hop to alternative to world music.


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