It wasn't exactly the present Stu Grant was expecting: At Love-94, the South Florida smooth-jazz station where he worked as a DJ, Fergie, Rihanna and the Bee Gees were moving in; Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and Stu Grant were moving out. ''I got the news on Christmas Eve, and the next morning, jazz was history,'' Grant says ruefully. ``Nineteen years at the station, and I didn't even get to say goodbye to the listeners.''
Fans of WLVE are still in an uproar about the discofication of their station, firing off protesting e-mails to station managers, newspapers and even the FCC. They're about to be joined by listeners of WINZ, which will dump its lineup of liberal talk-show hosts for an all-sports format sometime this month.
But despite two big changes in two months, industry executives and analysts say there's no revolution under way in radio programming.
And though both WLVE and WINZ are owned by the mammoth Clear Channel chain, which has led embittered listeners to argue the changes are a product of clueless corporate ruthlessness, industry figures consulted by The Miami Herald say the reality is just the opposite: If anything, they say, corporate concentration in the radio business has made stations less likely to drop one format for another. Read my full story in Saturday's Miami Herald.