Posted by wiki wiki on May 27, 2009 at 18:21:27:
In Reply to: jazz posted by Betty Rye on May 27, 2009 at 15:04:55:
The 96.3 FM frequency in Madison has had a varied format history. In the 70's the station was WVLR. As early as the late 1990s, the station played a soft rock format as WMLI, which eventually morphed into adult contemporary “Star 96.3.” In March 2002, the station shifted to a smooth jazz format as "Smooth Jazz 96.3 WCJZ," filling a niche in the Madison market filled only by the “Magic Sunday Morning” smooth jazz program on WMGN (Magic 98).
WCJZ and its smooth jazz format never made any inroads among Madison radio listeners, which led management to make another change in format. At 12 Noon on December 31, 2003, WCJZ began 6 hours stunting with a ticking clock and synthesized voice announcing station ID and jokes. This stunting ended promptly at 6:00 PM that night, with an announcement heralding the return of the alternative rock-formatted “MAD Radio.” Fourteen months earlier, Clear Channel replaced alternative rock on 92.1 WMAD in favor of a Hot AC station, “Mix 92.1.” Fans of that “MAD Radio” incarnation were left disappointed by the change. Acknowledging the outcry, management resurrected “MAD Radio” at the 96.3 frequency. With this change, the WMAD call letters were moved to 96.3, while 92.1 changed their call letters to WXXM.
Despite an early peak in interest from Madison radio listeners, the new “MAD Radio” did not build as strong a following as the old version had. An increase of older alternative hits in the playlist (highlighted by the “Sunday Morning Resurrection” program) and the addition of the syndicated Rover's Morning Glory failed to bump up the station's fortunes. With WMAD’s Arbitron ratings near the bottom of the Madison market, Clear Channel made yet another change.
: If you didn't know, Jazz stations around the country are being dumped left and right (a 20+ year jazz instution in Chicago recently got the axe in favor of Spanish)..
: Where can we hear jazz on the Madison dial? I know WORT plays a few jazz shows on the weekends occasionally. Did madison ever have a jazz station? Star 96.3 was close to smooth jazz wasn't it?
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