The Death of Philly Jazz WJJZ

by Chris on August 19, 2006

Philly Flips A Pair
Aug. 10, 2006
By Keith Berman

We’ve been rumoring this one for a few days now, and things happened almost exactly as we said they would: Clear Channel/Philadelphia has flipped smooth jazz WJJZ and AC WSNI (Sunny 104.5). WJJZ is now “Philly’s 106.1” with Clear Channel’s “Wake Up With Whoopi” slated to launch in mornings on Monday (Aug. 14). R&R’s Street Talk Daily uncovered the domain www.phillys1061.com earlier this week, and the site is now active with a splash page touting Whoopi’s show.

The two stations are currently simulcasting and kicked off their new formats with “start”- themed songs like The Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started,” Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This.” At press time, things looked to be leaning towards Rhythmic AC — also as Street Talk Daily predicted — with tracks airing by KT Tunstall, Blondie, Nina Sky, and LaBelle. It’s not known how long the stations will simulcast and whether this will be the final format for 106.1, but rumors are still circulating that 104.5 will go alternative.

WSNI and WJJZ both ended their runs with farewell-themed tracks: WJJZ’s swan song was Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone,” and Sunny signed off with Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

–Updated 8/28/06–

Smooth Jazz is back – in a way. Clear Channel Radio, which killed the format on 106.1 on Aug. 10, has started streaming the old station’s music on the Internet (accessible through www.wjjz.com, though on Friday it was still labeled “straight jazz”) and over the air on 106.1’s secondary channel on HD radio (for which you need a special radio). WJJZ’s longtime music director, Frank Childs, is voicing the station. No other company seems likely to pick up Smooth Jazz for a conventional FM station here.
(philadlephia inquirer/klein)

Air Your Grivences at Philly.com:
wjjz message board

[tags]philly, jazz, wjjz, clear channel[/tags]

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lawrence Leonard August 27, 2006 at 2:30 PM

I was a advid listener to 106.1 as a driver from Cape May County NJ to Philly (poor reception until yopu reach Millville,NJ) approx. once each day. I was very dismayed that the format changed and has forced me to make the jump to sattelite radio. Are there any stations in the Philadelphia market that plan to p/u the smooth jazz format. 97.1 out of Maryland comes through with very poor reception also.

Lawrence Leonard August 27, 2006 at 2:43 PM

WJJZ HD2 plays a straight jazz format. Will that be changing also? If it does then sattelite is the way to go!!

Bob C. August 28, 2006 at 10:48 AM

It’s not surprising that WJJZ met it’s inevitable demise. I was a regular listner from it’s inception until the past few years when they began to mix it up with soft rock, R & B and artists like “Baby Face” who clearly didn’t fit the jazz format. I began to listen to other stations and it seemed all too often that every time I pushed the button for 106 they were playing anything but jazz. Several weeks ago I removed them from my programming. It’s too bad, but they had it coming.

SHERRY A. September 7, 2006 at 6:32 AM

I was so surprised when WZZJ left the air and so disappointed. I feel like Philly doesn’t have a Jazz station any more. What a lost. I hope sometime in the near future Philly can have WZZJ back.

Glenn W. September 7, 2006 at 8:22 AM

I was in the Dark…the first song that I heard was clearly not Jazz, so I looked at my wife to say, “is this jazz?” She said, no and that she would go on-line and find out whats going on?
Sorrowfully missed.

perry September 9, 2006 at 3:41 PM

the loss of wjjz really stinks.
hello sirius.

Michael Palmer September 13, 2006 at 12:47 PM

What are they thinking? Please, please bring back the Jazz format.

Joyce Lacy September 15, 2006 at 12:06 PM

I was totally unprepared for this change. I will be playing alot more CD’s in the future. This is just another way to get us to spend alot of money either on an HD radio or Serius.

Martha Eppinger September 18, 2006 at 9:35 AM

I went on vacation for a week and came home to a different music world! Please give us back that smooth jazz, it was a comfort to my troubled soul. Nothing on the air now can replace it.

Renee September 19, 2006 at 4:31 PM

Unbelievable, can’t believe smooth jazz no longer exists in Philly. What’s going on here?

Jazzaholic Berlin NJ September 24, 2006 at 5:33 PM

I had been a listener to WJJZ Smooth Jazz every since it came on the air in Philly. It had a way of soothing the soul, after a hard days work and created a calming effect for thedrive home (traffic). People would probably look in my car and say, ” Why does she look so at ease, with all of this traffic congestion.” My remedy was alway jazz music. WJJZ will be sorely missed. WJJZ introduced me to a world of jazz artists, Gato Barbieri,Marcus Miller, Joe McBride, Walter Beasley to name a few. Thank Goodness for six CD changers and XM radio. I hope Philly gets someone to start a new jazz station. TV One Broadcast are you listening?????

Barb November 3, 2006 at 2:34 PM

If your jonesing for some smooth jazz and miss wjjz head out to see the Li’l CITI Band
http://lilcitiband.com you wont be sorry!!!! They are about the best band in the Philly area and play so many tunes from the old WJJZ play list; you have to hear them to believe it.

rebekah December 30, 2008 at 3:11 AM

do you know if any of the other radio stations will pick up wjjz. because i enjoyed their music, mainly doing the summer when they had the summer concerts. that’s why i stop listening to some of clear channel other station. due to stuff like this. I truly hope someone will pick up wjjz. thanks, jrc

Robert F. Patterson II (Bob) August 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Smoot Jazz WJJZ 106.1 FM HD1 Philadelphia,
March 13, 1993-August 10, 2006

Smooth Jazz WJJZ 97.5 FM HD1 Philadelphia,
November 17, 2006-September 08, 2008

Smooth Jazz JJZ 1480 AM, & 106.1 HD2 & wjjz.com
June 10, 2013

Also:
Michael Tozzi’s ijazzglobal.com

Robert F. Patterson II (Bob) August 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Also:
Sunday’s
The Sunday Smooth Jazz Brunch On
105.3 WDAS FM HD1 Philadelphia, PA.
with Tony Brown ~12:00pm to 3:00pm

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