KKSF Signs Off, Huge Loss For San Francisco May 20, 2009 – One of the most popular Smooth Jazz stations on the planet flipped formats on Monday (May 18, 2009). KKSF in San Francisco changed to “the Band,” a classic rock format.
Some say it’s another nail in the Smooth Jazz coffin while others are saying the casket is already lowered. “This is just another sign that this format has imploded on itself,” says Smooth Jazz Now owner John Beaudin. “On a good day I can tell one artist from another but that’s usually not the case,” he said.
Beaudin adds, “I have so many tapes of KKSF from the 80’s and early 90’s when the station played innovative tunes that were devoid of the generic groove that’s taken it over now. I think some of the programmers and Broadcast Architecture (the main Smooth Jazz consultants) steered this ship in a completely wrong direction. Really whose bright idea was it to go with funk and groove? Sure, let’s go with something without melody, because that’s where this format has been for the last 10 years.”
Recently the trade publication R&R stopped highlighting the Smooth Jazz format and gave Carol Archer, one of the formats biggest cheerleaders, her walking papers.
“I think it will be rebuilt” say Beaudin. “Not KKSF maybe but I think it needs be rebuilt from the ground up. When I left Cal 103 in Calgary as the Program Director I told myself that I would never work in this format on radio again if it stayed with groove, I can’t stand that side of it.”
"I think Broadcast Architecture saved the format years ago when they brought in thier way of testing music and a hits format. I don't think it would have lasted this long without them" says Beaudin. "But somewhere down the line every Smooth Jazz station started airing all thier programs, Smooth Jazz musician were taking jobs away from real announcer and too many stations played the same songs. When too many shows are canned and done by musicians from across the country the local content and feel of a show really suffers. This used to be a mood format now it's anything but that. I think if Broadcast Architecture does some good research a long with station owners maybe they can build it into something fresh again."
Beaudin adds, “This is the end of a great era in San Francisco with KKSF leaving. I have fond memories of talking to the on-air staff through the years, most notably former afternoon drive host Ray White. He told me stories of great energy in the place while he worked there.”
So what’s next for Smooth Jazz? “I hope WNUA in Chicago stays afloat,” says Beaudin. “I’ve heard rumors but I hope they stick with it because all the internet radio stations I’ve heard doing Smooth Jazz are simply terrible. I certainly don’t want it to be left to them. I think there’s such a payola problem on the internet with some stations. I think some internet radio stations are saying advertise with us and we will play you and that’s what waters down the product even more. Let’s hope The Wave in LA stays on board and KWJZ in Seattle and KIFM in San Diego. Give them time to work it out and refresh things. Trust me I want it to evolve, I run one of the largest Smooth Jazz sites on the planet and I’m co-chair and co-creator of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards – I want the format to succeed but I won’t be a cheerleader to something I don’t believe in. So bring back a little New Age in the mix and burn the Groove!”
Read the letter sent by KKSF below. – by Kari Graham
May 18, 2009
Today marks the end of an era. KKSF-FM is no longer the Bay Area's home for Smooth Jazz.
Everyone at KKSF would like to thank all the loyal fans of our station and the years of support you've given us. Over our 20 year history, you have always been there for us, and we truly appreciate it. You've traveled to our hundreds of KKSF listener parties and concerts, celebrated at our Sunday Brunches, helped raise over 4 million dollars for Bay Area AIDS organizations by purchasing Samplers for AIDS Relief, and you've listened to countless hours of Smooth Jazz music and artists. That unwavering support is reflected in a rich and successful track record at 103.7 KKSF.
The spirit of KKSF isn't going away, however. KKSF.com will continue to thrive as your source for Smooth Jazz including a digital audio stream of the Smooth Jazz Network as well as videos on demand, concert listings and other features. We hope you'll choose to continue to support the artists and the music online.
While this decision was extremely difficult, KKSF is taking a different path and becoming a new radio station today -- 103.7 The Band. It was made only after exhaustive market research, and extensive economic considerations (yes this is a business). We hope you'll listen and let us know what you think.
Please take a moment and share your thoughts and questions here on the site. We will be updating information regularly and encourage your feedback.
Lopez Comes Back to KKSF San Francisco
24, 2007 - Who says you can't come home again?
Maria Lopez is coming back to Clear Channel's
KKSF San Francisco to host her old evening day
part on "Lights Out San Francisco"
Lopez who's first on air job was as a newscaster
at K101 in San Francisco first joined KKSF in
1992. KKSF Program Director Ken Jones told Carol
Archer of R&R, "Maria Lopez has always
been one of my favourite voices, and favourite
people, in the format. She's been away from
KKSF for far too long. I can't wait to hear
her say these words again: 'Hi, this is Maria
Lopez, and you're listening to Lights Out San
Francisco, on KKSF 103.7.' What a pleasure it
is to welcome her back." Since her exit
to KKSF Lopez has been a busy bee - she currently
voicetracks shows on KSSJ/Sacramento, WJZZ/Atlanta,
KJZY/Santa Rosa and KRVR (the River)/Modesto.
- by John Rolph
Jazz Network Shakes up the format December
8, 2006 - If you like Smooth Jazz radio
you're bound to hear more from Dave
Koz in the New Year. Broadcast
Architecture's Smooth Jazz Network may
replace many well-known announcers in the
format with personalities like Koz and Ramsey
Lewis. So far Cliff Smith of KYOT/Phoenix, Ray White and Timothy Alexander White of KKSF/San
Francisco have lost their jobs. Smith
will be replaced by former afternoon drive
host Tony Evans whose position is now being
filled by Koz.
In San Francisco long-time afternoon host
Koz will also replace Ray
White and night host Timothy Alexander
White loses his job for Annie Ashe of the
Smooth Jazz Network. Koz has also been announced to host the afternoons
at WNUA Chicago. Former afternoon drive host Danae
Alexander will be moved back to evenings.
Expect more announcements soon.
Plaza Summer Jazz series
19, 2005 - KKSF
103.7 in San Francisco is sponsoring
the Broadway Plaza Summer Jazz series, running
on Thursdays at 6:30 PM throughout July,
and admission is free. Artists performing
include Nils, 3rd Force, and Marion Meadows.
For more details, visit www.broadwayplaza.com. -
Ray White - Behind the Mic
1, 2004 - Ray
White of KKSF in San Francisco has a similar profile to
most of his listeners. He appreciates Smooth
Jazz but also knows good old fashioned Rock'n
Roll, it's planted firmly in his history.
The difference of course is Ray
White was a music fan working from the
inside. Long time before his Smooth Jazz
days White was introducing New Yorkers to
the Clash and U2 so it was no surprise to
us that we would chat about everything leading
up to Smooth Jazz and then some. Ray White
is our 'Behind the Mic' broadcaster for
April. We talked to Ray via phone on March
27, 2004 from his home in San Francisco. Read
Review Policy - Smooth Jazz Now.com believes money
does not buy a positive review. The music world is filled
with magazines and websites that will play you, or positively review you if you buy advertising. That's
not what we are about. It's a little thing called credibility.
If you want to advertise with us, we welcome you and will
do our very best to make sure anyone who visits this site
will know your name, but we won't guarantee you a positive
review. If you work with a magazine that gives you these
guarantees remember it's your reputation that's on the
line, they've already sold theirs. - John Beaudin, President,
Smooth Jazz Now.com
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