After a few weeks of anticipation, Cleveland’s Smooth FM, 107.3 The Wave made the official return to the airwaves earlier this morning just after midnight. The station sent out a message on Twitter that they were doing “a little tweaking and fine tuning” and commenced with the new programming at about 9:00 pm yesterday. The HD radio signal, and the smooth AC music, sounds terrific!
I was able to listen to a good portion of the broadcast programming today off and on while at work. Dan Deely made his station debut during morning drive, and Mark Ribbins began his first late morning/early afternoon shift. Both are very well known in the Cleveland radio market and make for the foundation of a strong daily lineup.
There are still issues that need to be ironed out that developed not long after the testing began yesterday. Both online (internet radio) feeds for the main FM channel and the HD2 (The Wave Classics) channel went down with error messages and are hopefully being worked on at this time. I also tried to access the online feeds via WunderRadio and encountered the same issues. Once the online issue is fixed, I will sample the smooth jazz “Classics” playlist. Even though the online feed is not working, I can see from the list of music that our smooth jazz favorites that we have come to know are back and better than ever, including the Art of Noise’s Moments In Love and Joyce Cooling’s Before Dawn. There is also plenty to love with more Dave Koz, David Benoit, Kenny G, and Count Basic to enjoy.
All in all, the Smooth AC music mix on the main station is very interesting, and it will take some getting used to for the casual listener. There are some new artists that I could not recognize from the morning drive playlist, and there is a wide range of music styles that fall under the station’s Smooth AC umbrella–I heard some ballads with only a vocal and guitar, some smooth jazz instrumentals, a touch of folk, an inspirational piece, with some R&B in between. I’m intrigued by the new format, and I like what I’ve heard thus far.
It’s great to have a new smooth FM choice in Cleveland radio and also can still catch smooth jazz on the The Wave’s HD2 channel. Welcome back, 107.3! We missed you!