The beginning of the Christmas season could mark the end of smooth jazz at 107.3 The Wave. Knowledgeable sources say the station is abandoning the format on Friday. Rumors have been swirling for a few weeks. The station's owner, Rubber City Radio Group, did not respond to a request for comment.
The station is presently running its “Countdown to Christmas” with holiday-themed music. After that ends, though, the sound will switch. Sources did not know the new format, or the fates of on-air staff, but rumors have centered around a possible switch to country.
This would be the second format change in 10 years. In 2009, the station abandoned smooth jazz for alternative and adult rock under its former owner, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting. But smooth jazz returned two years later, when Rubber City Radio Group bought the station in 2011.
The Wave regularly programmed singles from area musicians, such as flautist Herb Wilborn Jr., and pianists Lafayette Carthon, and Rodney Hubbard.
Longtime local radio personality Delvis Valentine says he heard about the new format earlier this month. He says the change would be a “death blow“ for local artists because other commercial stations are so difficult to break into.
“Radio still matters; it gives you cachet” says Valentine, an on-air personality for community station WOVU 95.9.
Valentine hopes a "community groundswell" will keep the station on air, as is, even if the station changes hands again "Keep the format, but sell the station."