Jazz Is Pulled From Phoenix Public Radio Station KJZZ



What’s in a name?

Or, more to the point, what’s on a station named for a type of music when that music goes away?

There’s no longer any jazz on KJZZ.

Not on its traditional radio broadcast, at least. And it’s kind of ironic, given the name of the station. In fact the only music left on KJZZ is “Those Lowdown Blues with Bob Corritone,” which airs from 6-11 p.m. Sundays. The rest is news, entertainment and talk shows.

However, the station launched JAZZ PHX, a dedicated jazz music service that’s available online, on high-definition radio and on the station’s mobile app.

KJZZ launched JAZZ PHX, for music fans

“The decisions were based on listeners and financial support,” the station said in an email sent to listeners who asked. “After years of observing audience data, it is clear that listeners are not staying for music programming. The KJZZ news and information programming has greater loyalty.”

As for fundraising, “As a public radio station, we rely primarily on listener support for our operating budget,” the email read. “The drop in audience loyalty and listenership for jazz has hampered the fundraising.”

Are KJZZ DJs being fired?

Popular personalities like Blaise Lantana, along with Michele Robins, Bryan Houston and Chazz Rayburn, can now be heard only on JAZZ PHX.

So without jazz, is it still KJZZ? In some respects it hasn’t been for a while, according to Jon Hoban, the general manager of KJZZ and KBAQ.

“We have been using (call letters) KJZZ for more than a decade during the news and information programming,” Hoban told The Arizona Republic. “We have only used ‘K-jazz’ during the five hours of jazz music.”

So why not change the name entirely? The station became KJZZ in 1985, to reflect the music it played.

“The joy of having strong brand recognition in the community is that it wouldn’t make sense to change it now after adding these few hours of programs,” Hoban said. “The schedule has been primarily news and conversation for more than a decade.”

How to listen to JAZZ PHX

JAZZ PHX can be found at jazzphx.org, HD2 on HD radio and on the KJZZ app.

Celebration: On KJZZ’s 70th birthday, employees reflect on working there

Reach Goodykoontz at bill.goodykoontz@arizonarepublic.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. X: @goodyk. Subscribe to the weekly movies newsletter.

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