I blogged last weekend about Baltimore losing it’s smooth jazz station WSMJ 104.3. The Baltimore Sun has an article about the loss of that station and includes a Clear Channel spokesperson’s not so subtle way of saying to hell with you folks 35 and over.
By Chris Kaltenbach
Baltimore’s smooth-jazz lovers have been left scanning the radio waves for a new station, after last week’s surprise switch by WSMJ-FM (104.3) to a “rock alternative” format.
Since Friday morning, a station that for nearly five years had been home to such artists as Spyro Gyra and Deniece Williams has been airing Alice in Chains and Linkin Park – as well as shock jock Elliot in the Morning from 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Not surprisingly, lovers of the old format are not exactly cozying up to the new.
“I thought they were doing quite well; I had no idea they were in trouble,” said Bob Weaber of Timonium, a 61-year-old business manager for a local electronics firm. “I don’t particularly care for the conventional jazz sound, but this was very relaxing and just enjoyable. I don’t care for the new format at all.”
WSMJ, one of three stations operated in Baltimore by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications, announced its change with little fanfare Friday morning. Listeners to 104.3 heard Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” and then three hours of Christmas music before the format switch was made.
“We had an opportunity” to attract younger listeners more attractive to advertisers, says Hartley Adkins, president and market manager for Clear Channel Washington and Baltimore. “Jazz typically has a 35-to-64-year-old listener, while what we’re going to be going for is the 18-to-39.”
I also mentioned last weekend that Maryland only had one smooth jazz station left and that one is located on the Eastern Shore. The Sun article mentions that there is a jazz oriented station in Baltimore, WEAA-FM 88.9. The station is licensed and owned by Morgan State University. You can check out the WEAA site here.