Jazz and Smooth Jazz listeners of WJZA (103.5) were caught off guard last week as the station’s programming dropped it’s regular programming and switched to 1980s “classic hits”, the Columbus Dispatch reports. There has been no word of a replacement or additional jazz or smooth jazz programming in the immediate future in Columbus. This has left many in Columbus wondering: What happened to smooth jazz radio in Columbus?
“It came completely out of the blue,” said Fritz “the Nite Owl” Peerenboom, a Columbus disc jockey who had hosted a weekly jazz program on WJZA for nine years.
The station has received about 1,500 e-mail messages and 100 phone calls since the change, said Columbus Radio Group President Alan Goodman, who added that the “minimally profitable” entity struggled to retain jazz listeners.
Columbus Jazz fans can still hear jazz on the radio on local NPR station WCBE (90.5) on Sundays starting at 2pm until 6pm. We sincerely hope other local stations consider adding jazz to their programming lineup.
On a side note, we here at JazzColumbus.com would love if the new owners of WJZA would allow us to use www.ColumbusJazz.com. I know we would put it to good use. 🙂