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WLVE dumps smooth jazz for dance music

All those smooth-jazz fans who listen to WLVE -- Love 94, as the jingles called it -- are probably too old to Wlve believe in Santa Claus. But I'll bet you wouldn't have much trouble convincing them that the Grinch is for real. When they tuned in on Christmas Day, they found their station had switched formats from light jazz to dance music. And forget about Love 94; the station now calls itself 93.9 MIA, which probably means the station's call letters are going to change once management gets FCC approval. Meanwhile, I can already hear the jokes from station general managers all over South Florida: MIA stands for Missing In Arbitron. Clear Channel, worshiping at the altar of demographics, has written off an older audience that's been with WLVE for three decades, first as a soft-rock adult contemporary station, then in the smooth jazz format. That's an audience for which there are few competitors...but instead, WLVE wants to fight for the scraps of the 13-to-34-year-olds that virtually every other radio station in South Florida is chasing. Sounds like a bad bet to me.

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Joe W

Just realized the different music I have heard for the past two days is probably here to stay.
It stinks! I will now have to reset my radios (home, garage, clock radio, car, boat) to another channel that's a little more smoother and enjoyable.

HoCo

Sickening. That moronic crap didn't make it a few years ago on that other "dance" station, whatever it was called. Why's it stand a chance now? No wonder people are tuning out terrestrial radio in favor of satellite and iPods. At least Love 94 -- I can still recall the station's original jingle 30 years ago, "I love ninety..four!" -- offered an alternative to the robomusic.

llerrub13

What a shame! Your station is the only one that my wife would listen to and that is saying something. I listen mostly to satellite radio but Love 94 was certainly one of the presets on my regular radio. Whatever happened to daring to be different? Maybe after this format peters out, the management will come back to their senses and give us something worth listening to.

Joe Cassara

While you won't find our jazz to be "smooth," real jazz continues to thrive on 88.9FM WDNA. It's truly wonderful programming, though I might be a little biased...

JayP

Thanks Joe Cassara, I just reset my preset to 88.9

Henry D. Taylor

There is always 88.9FM WDNA for those real jazz lovers.

Dave Caprita

Well. You always wondered when this was gonna happen. Smooth Jazz stations dropping across the country. A few still pretty successful. And Love was the first.
I have to admit, my life passed before my eyes when I heard the news.
Over two decades of smooth jazz. Of course, when we first started playing it, we didn't call it that.
That was back in '79 when Love's music director, Ross Block, decided to take this soft rock adult format and play a little something different on Sunday mornings. After he left two years later, I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time.
I remember telling friends when i hosted the show, "this is probably the first and only time in my radio career I'll be free to play whatever the heck I want on a commercial station."
Boy, that proved prophetic. When I left the show and Love in the mid-eighties, Stevie Knox became the host. The show is probably still one of the most popular music shows in South Florida radio history. Everybody listened on Sunday morning. No matter your age, gender, ethnicity or music taste, you probably listened at least a few minutes each Sunday. The first times music lovers heard Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, John Klemmer - I could go on forever - was probably back in those days. And not just the smooth jazz artists. We also played everyone from Jaco Pastorius to Michael Brecker.
The show became so hot, we started playing smooth jazz from seven to midnight during the week. It wasn't long before the station went smooth jazz twenty four seven. Love was one of the first stations in the country to play that type of music. It will always be a legendary time with a lot of legendary, talented people who walked in and out of those doors.
Where's Greg Budell these days by the way?
I left that show and Love in the mid-eighties. When I returned to Love from Seattle five years later, it was like I had won the lottery.
I had a blast at Love the two times I was there.
From the music to the promotions we did, the trips we made (does anyone remember the excursions we made to Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco to promote American Airlines with the morning crew? We did do it, didn't we? I have videos.) to all the people we met, Love will always be like a long lost lover in my life.
Dave Caprita


Eddie Benitez

My condolences to WLVE and Rich McMullin, as this Clear Channel Radio Station lives no more in Miami—due to the inability of the P.D., “Rich,” to be innovative in smooth jazz. This is one of a handful of smooth jazz stations that have closed shop in the last year, and I must laugh a little, because most of these P.D.s wanted to continue playing the same old smooth jazz—and songs that weren’t even smooth jazz. This proves my point that if smooth jazz stations want to continue to exist, they have to be innovative, they have to take risks—just like an old friend of mine, Frankie Crawford, did back in the 70s with R&B giant WBLS in New York. He took risks and made ’BLS the #1 station in the city.

As the closing of more smooth jazz stations comes about, this is going to leave the area of smooth jazz wide open for the internet radio stations, and I only hope that they become innovative. There are many great artists out there, but once you start to play artists who sound like each other consistently every hour, listeners are going to get bored. The rotation of hearing the same few artists every hour on the hour leads to nothing but boredom. Now keep in mind I make my own music, but I am also a critic, and what made me a critic are the boneheads called program directors who have no knowledge of music—who have sat back and listened to their parents disco collections and think they know jazz. Now this is blunt, but I have to send a message to all the program directors—I guess I’ll be writing about another program director in six months, and it could be you!

And thank you Rich McMullin—you told me you would play my music only if I entered the
top- 20 media base, so while I’m still selling CDs in 35 different countries, in the next job you’ll be holding you’ll be saying, things like, “would you like fries with that?”

Keep in mind I’ve been in the industry for 33 years, since I was 14. I’ve played with the best and met the best, and the best I’ve ever heard were actual street musicians playing on the corners of New York City— who never got a record deal and were content with just playing music for the love of it. So if you ever want to hear good radio, go to the subways of New York City and you’ll hear some.

So, until next month, when my next critique will come out, have a beautiful life. I plan on making this a monthly blog.

My next critique will take on smoothjazz.com, who would not play my music unless I took out a $1200 ad on their website. Meantime, still lots of kudos to Broadcast Architecture—still the innovators in smooth jazz radio.

Eddie Benitez

My condolences to WLVE and Rich McMullin, as this Clear Channel Radio Station lives no more in Miami—due to the inability of the P.D., “Rich,” to be innovative in smooth jazz. This is one of a handful of smooth jazz stations that have closed shop in the last year, and I must laugh a little, because most of these P.D.s wanted to continue playing the same old smooth jazz—and songs that weren’t even smooth jazz. This proves my point that if smooth jazz stations want to continue to exist, they have to be innovative, they have to take risks—just like an old friend of mine, Frankie Crawford, did back in the 70s with R&B giant WBLS in New York. He took risks and made ’BLS the #1 station in the city.

As the closing of more smooth jazz stations comes about, this is going to leave the area of smooth jazz wide open for the internet radio stations, and I only hope that they become innovative. There are many great artists out there, but once you start to play artists who sound like each other consistently every hour, listeners are going to get bored. The rotation of hearing the same few artists every hour on the hour leads to nothing but boredom. Now keep in mind I make my own music, but I am also a critic, and what made me a critic are the boneheads called program directors who have no knowledge of music—who have sat back and listened to their parents disco collections and think they know jazz. Now this is blunt, but I have to send a message to all the program directors—I guess I’ll be writing about another program director in six months, and it could be you!

And thank you Rich McMullin—you told me you would play my music only if I entered the
top- 20 media base, so while I’m still selling CDs in 35 different countries, in the next job you’ll be holding you’ll be saying, things like, “would you like fries with that?”

Keep in mind I’ve been in the industry for 33 years, since I was 14. I’ve played with the best and met the best, and the best I’ve ever heard were actual street musicians playing on the corners of New York City— who never got a record deal and were content with just playing music for the love of it. So if you ever want to hear good radio, go to the subways of New York City and you’ll hear some.

So, until next month, when my next critique will come out, have a beautiful life. I plan on making this a monthly blog.

My next critique will take on smoothjazz.com, who would not play my music unless I took out a $1200 ad on their website. Meantime, still lots of kudos to Broadcast Architecture—still the innovators in smooth jazz radio.

davidson

why go and do something like that??? ITS AGGRAVATING THAT THEY WOULD COMPLETELY, take it off the air. i dont even want to tune in to that station any more...they take out the chillroom, latin corner, quiet music, chill with mindi abair,and now the whole thing....i just want to know who is responsible , and why upset millions of people like that. i really dont see the point in doing that.its ridiculous...

davidson

why go and do something like that??? ITS AGGRAVATING THAT THEY WOULD COMPLETELY, take it off the air. i dont even want to tune in to that station any more...they take out the chillroom, latin corner, quiet music, chill with mindi abair,and now the whole thing....i just want to know who is responsible , and why upset millions of people like that. i really dont see the point in doing that.its ridiculous...

detfaninmiami

OMG! What is that crap on 93.9? After 30 of being on the air there is no smooth jazz station in the MIAMI area? What is wrong with clear channel is they are always on the wrong end of things.... they have taken over almost all the stations here and are out of touch with what the people really want... they did that some years ago with the Randi Rhodes show.... However, if you can listen on-line go to Detroit station WVMV 98.7 for smooth jazz, I think most of the Wlve listeners will enjoy!

Dave

Well Clear channel screwed up again as always, you know I would go into numerous stores and the music played was often Love 94 That should tell you morons at clear channel something. I have listened for 12+ years. We just don't need another station that plays pure crap!!!!! When 940am changed format this year to put on that ass Imus I stopped listening, well I'm doing the same with 94. You lost a listener for good and what I'm reading you have lost a lot of listeners unless you change back to love 94 Smooth Jazz. And don't give me any of this HD crap either, HD radio is the biggest sham and one would never know the difference between the two.
Very Disappointed X listener!!!
Hey here's a thought; maybe clear channel should of ask us the listeners (you know your bread and butter) what we want to listen to!!!!!!

Sad former south Floridian

It's the end of an era in south Florida radio. Chicago has an excellent jazz station, WNUA. You can listen now at www.wnua.com.

Christine S.

I am just sick over this. Love 94 program directors, Clear Channel brass, whomever ... this is an absolute travesty. I live in Palm Beach County & have been a Love94 listener since the early 90s. I especially loved the Saturday morning Dave Koz show.

My only hope is that I will be able to receive the listener-suggested 88.9FM WDNA for my jazz fix. If I can't I won't have anything. It's like Radio Free Europe here in PB County anyway & now that Love 94 as I knew it is gone, I will never tune to that station again.

P.S. -- Hey Dave Caprita, I remember your show. Thanks for your informative posting. I had no idea that Love94 was such a trail-blazer in its time. It's too bad the management/company lost vision & focus. I hope they will be sorry & realize what a mistake they have made. But in this age of hype & marketing, decisions are not made for the long term & the good of the majority.

Rob Vango

6 & a half of my 19 years in South Florida Radio were spent @ Love94 in the 90's. Consultants, Puppet Program Directors & peoples opinions that don't matter destroyed Love94. I still play a Smooth Jazz Format @ my Gigs & on my website. Give a listen if you want @ www.vangomedia.com. Click on the Sax on the Homepage & enjoy what used to be.

Gina Martell

I am so sad to see the Smooth Jazz leave South Florida. We are a JAZZ town!! As you know I have been an intricate part of LOVE 94 FM for at least 18 years and Midday hostess and the pioneer of Brazilian Love Jazz and the Latin Corner. I have enjoyed working with such great Radio personalities such as Dave Caprita, Al Winters, Stu Grant, John Hutchinson, Greg Budell,Joanne Rice, and Billy Raven. I truly miss being air and I REALLY miss my listeners. Unfortunately, I guess this an end to an Era. Miami is an awesome market for really cool music and do believe Smooth Jazz done right..could work..and believe me this is NOT Rich McMillans fault and I still say Rich has great gut instinct..and was the reason for LOVE 94 Fm succeeding this long. He is also the reason I was even on air and I will always be thankful to him for that. Miami is a very individualized market and requires a unique format. In Portuguese we say..a Feijoada..a melting pot of diversity and music and everything tossed in to make a delicious stew..that's what Miami is..Uma Feijoada. I thank Love for the opportunity to be able to have shared my life with my listeners and for my listeners sharing their lives with me! Thank you South florida and all the musicians that I have had the pleasure of knowing and becoming my friends! I love you all and let's hope for the best for South Florida radio!
Gina Martell

easton davy

Check me out to learn all about JAZZ during the NEW YEAR! With Obama in the White House We will have Jazz coming out of the windows!
www.the-jazz-cat.com

Larry LeKool Hollowell

The loss of Love 94, WLVE, and it's smooth jazz format is a terrible loss to South Florida. The station went so well with the warm breezes and the rustling palm trees. I was a loyal listener since the early 90s. The station sounded so cool. The format should not have been changed. I'm sad, and angry over this terrible corporate move. I remember when the station had a three person, live morning show, and, of course, who didn't love to listen to Gina Martell in the midday slot.

Gonzalo Vallejo

I thought my preset in my radio was wrong, The change is real and is really sad for us. I hope you do well and I hope somebody else take such a beautiful music back to the radio. I hate the change and I will buy a satellite radio so I can keep having the smooth jazz in my car, at home and my office.

Josie

New format stinks

Rob Vango

Click on the Sax on our Homepage @ www.vangomedia.com. I worked @ Love for years; so for all you Love Listeners, I think you'll like it.

Jo Turner

I am so heart broken about the new format. During the last few years, personalites changed, programming changed but at least there was some jazz to hear. When I visit other states - it only takes a few channel changes to find a jazz station. What a loss! Unfortunately,I cannot get 88.9 on my radio, but I will now only be listening to all the wonderful CD's I have instead of "live" music.

Jenn

I write to express my extreme disappointment with the format change. We need Jazz. This just feeds the notion of Miami as a cultureless city even more. Given the population, there is little variety on the radio. To retire the few stations that were different and replace them with the same unoriginal rhythms is ludicrous.

Please bring back Love 94. We need Jazz. I will de-program all radios I have with 93.9 pre-set until I hear Clear Channel has come back to their senses.

Desperately seeking culture and intelligence on the radio,
Jenn

Robin Swan

Add me to the list of shocked, disappointed and totally disgruntled listeners who won't be able to listen to Love 94 anymore. Nor will I listen to its dreadful and unimaginative replacement. And where can I hear Ramsey Lewis and Karen Williams now?

Barbie

I have been listening to Love94 since I came to the University of Miami in 1984; even still have my Mr. Love poster from the Miami Vice days. My heart is just sick. It was because of this station I learned to lovd Spyro Gyro, Roberta Perrera and other artists I would have never come to know anyone place. I will miss Stu Grant the most and hope to hear him somewhere out their in radio land.

Robert A

I was just in Miami on dec 26th to visit my dad for christmas, and was appaled to see love 94 gone! I have lived in central florida for the past 3 yrs (lakeland fl), at first when I moved up here I was sad not to be able to listen to love 94 and Gina Martell, she has always had that sexy voice!! I listenend to love 94 all thru the 90's and up to when I moved away, however, I go down to miami about twice a month for work, and would still listen to it, I was also upset when Gina Martell left the station a few yrs back , but fortunately I hear a station up hear from Tampa which is 94.1 Fm which is identical to love 94 format and music. it's smooth jazz whjt 94.1 the only thing that is missing is Gina Martel's voice.. I for one am sad that love 94 is gone!!!! Rob

Eric Wade

My thoughts my not be original but they are real. I started listening to love 94 when I was in college back in 1992 and living in a one bedroom apartment with my two sons in Hollywood, FL. As a single dad it was tough. I worked security at night and I drove to and from Miami each weekend. The first song I heard on Love94 was Richard Elliot's "As I Sleep"! From that point on I was hooked. Love94 opened up the world of Jazz to me and I have never looked back. The station was programmed on my computer, my car and on portable radios. I would even play the station at the beach. The music made driving in S. Florida tolerable and the night shift was no longer boring. I am so so so very much disappointed. Not only is the beautifully fantastic music gone, but interviews with artists and concert information as well. I guess here in Florida we needed another station playing Madonna songs... right? Who ever made this decision is clearly overlooking millions of fans!

Margie Rodriguez

I am having Love 94 withdrawls !!! we need it back !!! I have been an avid listener for about 25 years. From what I have read I am not the only one that feels this way. No one is going to listen to the garbage they have playing now.

susan bergman

Just a quick note that we will miss the wonderful music on love 94. It was so calming and relaxing in particular sunday morning with stu grant.We hope he relocates sooner than later.

susan bergman

stu grant

To the many faithful and dedicated listeners of love 94 on behalf of my many treasured associates from dave caprita, way ahead of his time,gina martell thanks for your smiles and laughter brazilian love jazz superb consistantly,
Jeff Fischer hey wake up your on the air,Doug Lindsey, you are the consumate pro,great show prep, Jerry Hester job well done and great memories at the musicians exchange,Joane Rice It was a joy to work with you during the morning show with your warmth and dedication,and obvious gift to communicate,to Program Director Rich Mcmillan thanks for giving me the latitude to program a good portion of my sunday jazz brunch show with my personal jazz collection. For that I thank you
The experience with our wonderful enthusiastic
listeners will always remain near and dear to my heart..For 12 years I held down the seat for the
sunday jazz brunch and each sunday I wouldn't miss it for the world..All the successful concerts we enjoyed with our loyal audience..To all I hope you continue to suport lie jazz here in s florida as we are blessed with fabulous artistry..Again to all it was a very satifying experience to me.I hope we get to meet again very soon on the airwaves of south florida..

stu grant
host of love 94's sunday jazz brunch

DC

South Florida has to listen to IMUS on 940 AM....and now this?????
No Love 94??
Time to stop listening to the radio. MAybe even time to leave South Florida!

Chill

Glad I found this post... Thought I was going nuts! It wouldn't have cost love94.com much to post a press release on their website. Disgraceful!
Time to rethink the satellite radio...

Scott Seidner

I lived in WPB for 14 years and the only radio I listened to was love94. I moved to DC area 5 years ago. Missed the station terribly and would catch it online. Especially missed Billy at night. We lost our jazz station about a year ago. Now a Sirius listener only. I miss hearing the voices of Billy Raven and Doug Lindsay. I believe the radio industry has no desire to use the smooth jazz format any longer. It seems to me that they only want to play POP, country and rap. What garbage. The DC station changed formats to a shitty oldies format. I think this is the end of regular radio. They do not car what the public wants.
Scott

Scott Seidner

I lived in WPB for 14 years and the only radio I listened to was love94. I moved to DC area 5 years ago. Missed the station terribly and would catch it online. Especially missed Billy at night. We lost our jazz station about a year ago. Now a Sirius listener only. I miss hearing the voices of Billy Raven and Doug Lindsay. I believe the radio industry has no desire to use the smooth jazz format any longer. It seems to me that they only want to play POP, country and rap. What garbage. The DC station changed formats to a shitty oldies format. I think this is the end of regular radio. They do not car what the public wants.
Scott

Jing

Love 94 is the ONLY station I listen to from the time I wake up in the morning. It's as special as its own audience who probably are the only ones who truly understand and appreciate REAL music. I miss the station, for at least 12 yrs that I've been listening to them, its smooth jazz format just seemed perfectly fitting to me/to us... unfortunately they have to fold. Such a shame. To Gina Martel, Dave Caprita, Al Winters, Stu Grant, John Hutchinson, Joanne Rice, and my favorite, Billy Raven (& for some I missed) thank you all for bringing us great selections everyday. I wish you will get back again on the air in no time. You guys did a really great job! Just so you know, "you are" love 94 and it's truly been entertaining all those decades. Thank you.

Radio Junkie

People,
the radio industry is not what it used to be. (we)they make decisions not based on the listeners feelings or thoughts, but from perception, "research", and the bottom line.

Why do you think there were so many changes on the AM side. Dave Lamont, Nicole Sandler et al are gone for economic reasons. WIOD and WINZ are all but totally automated.

Get used to it. Clear Channel is still the 800 pound Gorilla and they do what they want to do. Trust...the pd's and employees there are just happy to have a job. They are not going to upset the apple cart for no listener.

Larry LeKool Hollowell

It is great hearing from some of the former Love 94 air personalities. They were at the center of a great sound, and their perspective is really appreciated during such a grievous time for smooth jazz listeners in south Florida,and the world wide web. We listeners have been abandoned because the corporate moguls don't believe we have any money to spend, or will never buy another pair of jeans or Reeboks. Man, I want my groove back. I want my radio station back.

gpantera

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see...

David

It is very unfortunate that WLVE was put off the air. I do understand that this was a business decision that had to be made. If not enough people are listening to the station, what do you expect? Radio stations' music are geared to the people that live in that area. That's why South Florida has several crap hip hop stations and several Salsa/ Reggaeton stations. If you visit other areas... you will notice that there are more jazz/ classical stations. I love South Florida... but the quality of life down here is diminishing and it shows in our music.

Charito

I am extremely disappointed that Love 94 is gone. I too thought my preset was wrong and used the manual tuner to find the station to no avail. This is just WRONG. You just don't leave thousands of loyal listeners without a word. More importantly, you just don't do it at all. I have participated in the live concerts for years. I know there are many of us who want a smooth Jazz station. All of the sudden we don't count??? Now we have another station like all the others, good luck with that! I am not listening. What is the HD plan about? When is it coming? How do we get access????

The Vic

I am very saddened and upset that Love94 has changed its format. What are all of the DJs doing now? Where are you going?

Anita Dee

When the Christmas music starting playing I knew something was up because it was the same music playing over and over again.

I am so saddened to learn that the best station I know has been removed. I kept trying to find Love 94, but to no avail. I thought maybe their was something wrong with the station. I tried to look for Stu Grant today, one of my favorite hosts and realized the station had been changed. I think we should have all been told or better yet had a chance to save the channel and vote. The music that is playing now is just awful.
Please bring back Love 94.
Loyal listener for years in Kendall, Florida

Alyssa H.

If you truly love JAZZ all is not lost, you should listen to 88.9 FM WDNA It is a jazz & latin jazz station with an amazing format. I listen to it in my car & at home

Alyssa H.

If you truly love JAZZ all is not lost, you should listen to 88.9 FM WDNA It is a jazz & latin jazz station with an amazing format. I listen to it in my car & at home

Margaux

Dont worry... Be Jazzy..

Get your Serious Jazz fix on WDNA 88.9 FM

jeff tinsley

greetings,

I am really touched that love 94 is no longer on the air..I thought jazz was an american art form and should have its place in south florida radio
I tried WDNA serious jazz however I can't deal with ornette Coleman or Archie Shepp and their way out form of jazz during morning or afternoon drive. I realize the jocks are volunteers for the most part and I give them credit for giving of their time They should learn to play music to compliment the hour not to fill those hours with the far out expressive jazz. I'd rather hear chet baker, soft miles, ella or sarah,Diana Krall, ..Archie Shepp, Sunra, Ornette Coleman, dewey Redman for late night around 4 am...sunday mornings were very cool on love 94..was it the sunday jazz brunch, very hip and missed the past two sundays..Whats up with that
A jazz fan

Alina D

What a bummer! We've lost an icon in Miami I'm saddened and dismayed over the change and can assure you, the music being played currently will not survive. No matter what one may say, WLVE was an insititution and it will be sorely missed.

As I read through the comments posted from the former radio hosts on WLVE, I'm smiling because they are a gracious bunch of folks. So, thanks for the wonderful memories you brought to us "Jazz Junkies" We'll have to find other listening venues but it'll never be the same! I listended exclusively to you all since 1984 and all four of my kids grew to have a great appreciation of jazz because of your wisdom in playing a great variety of jazzy tunes. Kudos to all of you for the years you entertained us.

Karl J

This is so freaking messed up! I started listening to Love 94 when I was 8 years old and loved it! I listened to it all the time: in my room, while taking a shower, and while sleeping. Now when I'm 15 and on Christmas day I find to my horror that my Mellow has been obliterated. How will I get my mellow back now?!

Karl J

This is so freaking messed up! I started listening to Love 94 when I was 8 years old and loved it! I listened to it all the time: in my room, while taking a shower, and while sleeping. Now when I'm 15 and on Christmas day I find to my horror that my Mellow has been obliterated. How will I get my mellow back now?!

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