Happy New Year! Cleveland’s 107.3 The Wave Returns 01.04.2012

Now that the buzz and the dust has settled after Rubber City Radio Group, Inc. purchased WNWV 107.3 FM from Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co., the station that is once again referred to as 107.3 The Wave and 107.3 HD2 The Wave returns with fresh new smooth formats on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.  For one who has closely followed The Wave and its Smooth Jazz format, the day cannot come soon enough!  For two years since The Wave was moved to HD radio and online, I was relegated to listening over the internet and also with my iPhone and iPod Touch (with wifi) through the WunderRadio app when I was not at work.

When you listen today online or to the radio, you will hear Christmas/holiday music 24/7 with a smooth jazz feel (with the exception of the occasional Cheech & Chong classic “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” or John Denver and the Muppets’ version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”).  The holiday tunes continue until the 4th when the new format debuts at midnight.

From what we can see from looking at the new website, 107.3 The Wave will be known as Cleveland’s Smooth FM, and will take on a Smooth AC (Smooth Adult Contemporary) format, which is the morphing of the old smooth jazz format into a modernized combination of smooth jazz vocalists, urban contemporary/R&B vocalists, and fewer jazz instrumentals in the playlist.  Smooth AC appeals to a younger demographic (25-54) and is intended to complement the “mature” demographic of smooth jazz listeners.  With this change, the Smooth AC format has become more popular in recent years in several large markets while smooth jazz has slid off the radar and onto HD radio, including Cleveland.  Since Smooth AC is brand new here, we will soon hear how it will distinguish itself from WNWV’s old smooth jazz format.  While the old format was mostly enjoyable, it was distinctly different from other smooth jazz stations around the country.  At times, the “old Wave” mimicked a jazzy Adult Contemporary format, and it could have used more frequent injections to the playlist to freshen it up.

The other discovery with the new format change is that the 107.3 HD2 channel will continue to be a “smooth jazz” format.  The logo for the HD2 channel is actually a freshening of the old Wave logo with the added name “The Wave Classics.”  If you are longing for the good ‘ol days of smooth jazz, the HD2 channel will satisfy your craving (and those jazz instrumentals from artists that you have missed, such as Boney James and Norman Brown).  We will now have two smooth radio choices, which is a welcome surprise.  If you don’t have HD radio, you can still listen online, but its getting to a point where the HD radio is a must when you finally decide to upgrade your car stereo equipment–HD radio is still free and provides many more stations as an alternative to playing your iPod in the car.

With respect to those persons who enjoyed the AAA format at 107.3 Cleveland, I hope that you will find a station that has a similar appeal where you can latch on.  It’s never pleasant to see a station change its formats, and for those of us who lost The Wave two years ago, we understand how unpleasant it is.   The good news is that there are many options available, including a myriad of free online sources that can pick up where broadcast radio leaves off.  What I hope that true music lovers–even a critic from Scene Magazine–can appreciate is that there are many different places where you can listen to rock or alternative rock, but there are noticeably fewer choices for smooth jazz lovers.  Those of us who listen to smooth jazz are extremely loyal, and it is no coincidence that The Wave was a successful radio program for two decades.  I’m glad that it’s back, and I look forward to another long and successful run with Rubber City Radio.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.

Categories Opinion, Smooth JazzTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year! Cleveland’s 107.3 The Wave Returns 01.04.2012

  1. Charlie (AKA ChasR Fox - Facebook) 01/03/2012 — 12:18 pm

    HOWDY,
    Is there any chance that Bernie Kimble will return? I am also from the Rochester, NY area and have followed him since his days @ WCMF 96.5. in the ’70’s. I have thoroughly enjoyed the AAA format of WNWV these past 2 years with an infinite selection of newer tunes mixed in with the old ones.
    Where has Rocco and the rest of the gang gone to? I have found 91.3 FM – The Summit close to the same music format as your previous format.
    Charlie

    Like

    1. I’m not with the radio station or the ownership group, but there is no indication that Bernie Kimble is one of the persons involved with the new station. I also do not know where Rocco and the former staff have landed. Thanks.

      Like

  2. I would like to bookmark this particular blog post, “Happy New Year!

    Clevelands 107.3 The Wave Returns 01.04.2012 | Melvin Gaines” on my very own web site.
    Do you really care if I actuallydo? Thanks ,Nichole

    Like

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