It’s been a little while since I wrote about our last connection with Smooth Jazz radio in the Cleveland market, WNWV 107.3 HD2 radio, which is not to be confused with the current V107.3 FM station that plays AAA music (adult album alternative) and classic rock. For those of us who still have not purchased an HD radio (I suspect that’s many of us), you can still listen to The Wave via the internet at their website, http://wnwv.northcoastnow.com/listen-live/ or with the WunderRadio app for your iPhone or iPod Touch (via WiFi connection).
The good news is that The Wave is still around to listen to. It’s actually been over a year and a half since the change from FM to HD2 on December 28, 2009. Since then, there have been many instances throughout the country where the Smooth Jazz format has disappeared from the FM band and relegated, if at all, to HD radio formats. Thankfully, there are many more available iTunes apps that can play internet radio or actual radio stations to find Smooth Jazz at your convenience. There are still enough of them to choose from, including Sky.FM internet radio that features a 24/7 Smooth Jazz station, or the offerings through WunderRadio, Pocket Tunes, or iHeart Radio. You can also still listen to Smooth Jazz on the internet through your computer, which is, by far, my best option. It’s on at work every day as background music.
The bad news is more in the quality of the audio stream for The Wave. It has been very spotty recently. I run it on my Windows XP computer during the day at work and I often find myself having to refresh the browser because the stream either stops playing or never completely loads in the player on the website. There is advertising on the site, which is not as annoying as it was at one time, but the ads occasionally seem to hamper the stream or the actual loading of the stream. One day, I was so frustrated with the poor connectivity of the site that I sent an email to the station. That same day, the station GM acknowledged the problem and apologized, and stated that they were working on it. Since that time, their media player on the site was updated at least a couple of times, but it is still very buggy.
As much as I have wanted to switch off to another station because of the frequent problems, I remain loyal to The Wave because I have been listening to it from its early FM days through now. There are no on-air DJs–only music. You will only hear the voice of Mike Kessler (now Mike Gallagher on V107.3) every hour for station identification. Mike was the last morning DJ while The Wave was still on FM after the departure of Tom Murphy. I miss the voices of Murphy, Richard Greer, Starr (overnight), Carmen Kennedy, Michelle Chase, and Mark Ribbins, who managed to stay with the HD2 format after the change for a little while.
Many of the songs that were requested as part of the station’s playlist remain intact, and it is hoped that someone at The Wave will continue to be open for suggestions and add more songs, and pay close attention to the operation of the website. I’m trying to hang in there with it, but it’s been tough when the music stops playing. Smooth Jazz also has an ongoing challenge in the creativity of new music and appealing to a wider audience. As many things appear to run in cycles, my hope is that Smooth Jazz will maintain its loyal following and continue to grow with another wave of great new music. If you love Smooth Jazz, keep listening and buying the music to support it.