It’s been 120 days since the official return of Cleveland’s Smooth AC radio station, 107.3 The Wave. It has been a joy to listen to new and classic favorites in this format, which has seen a recent growth spurt in popularity nationwide, and is largely responsible for a resurgence in the smooth music format on mainstream radio. Smooth AC (Adult Contemporary) is the modern evolution of the classic Smooth Jazz format (which can still be heard on The Wave’s 107.3 HD2 station). The Wave’s return was a pleasant (and unexpected) surprise after the purchase of the station in late 2011 by Rubber City Radio Group, Inc. Since it’s return, The Wave got off to a fast start in the ratings books and has continued to evolve with a great mix of new Smooth AC hit artists (Maysa, Conya Doss, Adele and Sarah’s Girl) along with newer Smooth Jazz (Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, Terry Wollman) and a touch of classic Smooth Jazz and R&B favorites. The Smooth AC format is predominantly smooth vocals with about two or three instrumentals played for every broadcast hour. There is something for every listener if you listen for just a short time. While I prefer the classic Smooth Jazz format, I also enjoy listening to Earth, Wind & Fire, Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Bobby Caldwell. I tune in throughout the day and listen on a radio at my desk at work. It is also online via The Wave’s website. Either way, it makes for great, relaxing background music.
It’s good to hear some familiar voices during the day, too. Dan Deely is a veteran of Cleveland radio and is heard each day during morning drive and also on Saturday afternoon. Mark Ribbins is the midday personality and the lone holdover from the original Wave. Bobby Thomas is the evening rush hour host, and Lynn Kelly handles the evening duties. Other on-air personalities provide local programming via the Smooth Jazz Network. On weekends, Allen Kepler (Smooth Jazz Top 20), Dave Koz (The Dave Koz Radio Show) and Ramsey Lewis (Legends of Jazz) return from the original Wave with more smooth sounds to enjoy.
The station is also broadcasting on its HD2 channel, but the online feed has not yet been restored. It is likely that the online feed will return once the station moves to its new studio in Independence, Ohio, which is still under construction as of this writing.
I am very pleased to hear The Wave back on the air once more and the transition from Smooth Jazz to Smooth AC has been relatively “smooth.” Be sure to listen and help spread the word!