107.3 The Wave News: The Lady in Red Returns for a Week

07/22/2012 § Leave a comment

I was listening to 107.3 The Wave this morning and heard that this Monday through Friday–beginning tomorrow, Monday, July 23–former WNWV and Soft Rock 102.1 WDOK personality Nancy Alden will be on The Wave!  Best known as Cleveland’s Lady In Red, Ms. Alden will be on during Mark Ribbins’ 10am – 2pm time slot.  Mark will be covering Dan Deely’s morning drive program for this week while Dan is on vacation.

It’s ironic that 107.3 FM’s return to the airwaves in their Smooth AC format on January 4, 2012 was also the day that Alden left WDOK after 18 years.  Interestingly, both Dan Deely and the Wave’s afternoon drive host, Bobby Thomas, were also at WDOK.

Ms. Alden was on The Wave earlier this year for one broadcast during a special “reunion” week of former Wave personalities.  It will be nice to hear her for an entire week this time around.  Feel free to listen in and make her feel welcome back on Cleveland’s Smooth FM!



120 Days of The Wave: Cleveland’s Smooth FM 107.3

05/04/2012 § Leave a comment

It’s been 120 days since the official return of Cleveland’s Smooth AC radio station, 107.3 The Wave.  It has been a joy to listen to new and classic favorites in this format, which has seen a recent growth spurt in popularity nationwide, and is largely responsible for a resurgence in the smooth music format on mainstream radio.  Smooth AC (Adult Contemporary) is the modern evolution of the classic Smooth Jazz format (which can still be heard on The Wave’s 107.3 HD2 station).  The Wave’s return was a pleasant (and unexpected) surprise after the purchase of the station in late 2011 by Rubber City Radio Group, Inc. Since it’s return, The Wave got off to a fast start in the ratings books and has continued to evolve with a great mix of new Smooth AC hit artists (Maysa, Conya Doss, Adele and Sarah’s Girl) along with newer Smooth Jazz (Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, Terry Wollman) and a touch of classic Smooth Jazz and R&B favorites.  The Smooth AC format is predominantly smooth vocals with about two or three instrumentals played for every broadcast hour.  There is something for every listener if you listen for just a short time.  While I prefer the classic Smooth Jazz format, I also enjoy listening to Earth, Wind & Fire, Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Bobby Caldwell.  I tune in throughout the day and listen on a radio at my desk at work.  It is also online via The Wave’s website.  Either way, it makes for great, relaxing background music.

It’s good to hear some familiar voices during the day, too.  Dan Deely is a veteran of Cleveland radio and is heard each day during morning drive and also on Saturday afternoon.  Mark Ribbins is the midday personality and the lone holdover from the original Wave.  Bobby Thomas is the evening rush hour host, and Lynn Kelly handles the evening duties.  Other on-air personalities provide local programming via the Smooth Jazz Network.  On weekends, Allen Kepler (Smooth Jazz Top 20), Dave Koz (The Dave Koz Radio Show) and Ramsey Lewis (Legends of Jazz) return from the original Wave with more smooth sounds to enjoy.

The station is also broadcasting on its HD2 channel, but the online feed has not yet been restored.  It is likely that the online feed will return once the station moves to its new studio in Independence, Ohio, which is still under construction as of this writing.

I am very pleased to hear The Wave back on the air once more and the transition from Smooth Jazz to Smooth AC has been relatively “smooth.”  Be sure to listen and help spread the word!

Cleveland’s Smooth FM 107.3 The Wave – New (And Better Than Before)

01/31/2012 § 2 Comments

The return of Cleveland’s Smooth FM – 107.3 The Wave (WNWV) is in full swing, and it has been a pleasant listening experience since it’s launch on January 4.  I missed the Smooth Jazz format from the “Old Wave” when it was pulled in favor of the alternative (AAA) format in December 2009.  The Smooth Jazz format never completely disappeared (it moved to WNWV 107.3’s HD2 radio channel and was streamed online), but the migration of the format to HD2 radio mirrored many other Smooth Jazz stations across the country.  Smooth Jazz is still popular, but its appeal is less friendly to mainstream radio as it appeals to an older demographic (the over 50 crowd).  Upon WNWV’s purchase from Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting by Rubber City Radio Group of Akron in December 2011, it was immediately announced that the station would be changed to the modern “Smooth AC (Adult Contemporary)” format, which appeals to the key 25-54 age demographic best suited for mainstream radio.  The Wave just started running short television spots this week.  Here is the promo.

There has not been a recent update as to the status of the station’s HD2 channel, but the last report was that it was broadcasting a Smooth Jazz format; however, the Wave has pulled all references to the Wave Classics HD2 channel from its website, including its logo.  While the main HD channel is streaming live online, the HD2 channel’s online streaming is presently unavailable.

What is the Smooth AC format and how does it sound when compared to the Smooth Jazz format?  The difference is evident if you like vocal artists.  Smooth AC is dominated by vocal artists singing a variety of smooth pop songs, jazz and R&B music, with a peppering of instrumental jazz approximately 3-4 times per hour of airplay.  The Wave playlist, as a result, is larger and more versatile than the original Wave jazz playlist.  A sampling of Smooth AC music can be found online on the website and also on the Smooth AC Radio Network website, where The Wave pulls much of the Smooth AC network format on evenings and weekends.  There is, however, a full slate of local personalities during the key weekday daytime hours that keep the station from sounding like a network feed, which is very refreshing (and reassuring) to hear.  I find myself diving in and out all day long while at work, in the car, and at home, and the music sounds fantastic every time I tune in.

As time goes on, I look forward to the ongoing development of the station’s playlist and tweaking of the format to keep it fresh and appealing.  I’m listening every day (even to who is sponsoring radio time), and it’s great to have The Wave back.

Cleveland’s 107.3 The Wave is Streaming Once More

01/09/2012 § Leave a comment

Cleveland’s Smooth FM, WNWV, 107.3 The Wave, is now streaming live online via 1073thewave.net or through the website’s media player link.  The Wave returned to the airwaves officially this past Wednesday, January 4 after a two-year hiatus with the new Smooth AC format.

Personally, I am still waiting for the reconnection of the The Wave Classics online streaming (107.3 HD2), which is the “classic” smooth jazz radio station, which is a revival of the original Wave that was on for over two decades before the programming change to AAA alternative rock two years ago.  The HD2 online streaming is still down after running the Christmas classic jazz programming over the holidays.

The station had reported technical difficulties with both online streaming channels after the transition to new temporary studios.  Now that the main station is streaming once more, I can take the station with me wherever I go with my WunderRadio app on my iPhone or iPod Touch (with wifi).

By the way, I’m thoroughly enjoying the new Wave and the Smooth AC format!  It has been a pleasure to listen to new songs and old favorites once more.

107.3 The Wave Returns: The First 24 Hours

01/04/2012 § Leave a comment

After a few weeks of anticipation, Cleveland’s Smooth FM, 107.3 The Wave made the official return to the airwaves earlier this morning just after midnight.  The station sent out a message on Twitter that they were doing “a little tweaking and fine tuning” and commenced with the new programming at about 9:00 pm yesterday.  The HD radio signal, and the smooth AC music, sounds terrific!

I was able to listen to a good portion of the broadcast programming today off and on while at work.  Dan Deely made his station debut during morning drive, and Mark Ribbins began his first late morning/early afternoon shift.  Both are very well known in the Cleveland radio market and make for the foundation of a strong daily lineup.

There are still issues that need to be ironed out that developed not long after the testing began yesterday.  Both online (internet radio) feeds for the main FM channel and the HD2 (The Wave Classics) channel went down with error messages and are hopefully being worked on at this time.  I also tried to access the online feeds via WunderRadio and encountered the same issues.  Once the online issue is fixed, I will sample the smooth jazz “Classics” playlist.  Even though the online feed is not working, I can see from the list of music that our smooth jazz favorites that we have come to know are back and better than ever, including the Art of Noise’s Moments In Love and Joyce Cooling’s Before Dawn.  There is also plenty to love with more Dave Koz, David Benoit, Kenny G, and Count Basic to enjoy.

All in all, the Smooth AC music mix on the main station is very interesting, and it will take some getting used to for the casual listener.  There are some new artists that I could not recognize from the morning drive playlist, and there is a wide range of music styles that fall under the station’s Smooth AC umbrella–I heard some ballads with only a vocal and guitar, some smooth jazz instrumentals, a touch of folk, an inspirational piece, with some R&B in between.  I’m intrigued by the new format, and I like what I’ve heard thus far.

It’s great to have a new smooth FM choice in Cleveland radio and also can still catch smooth jazz on the The Wave’s HD2 channel.  Welcome back, 107.3!  We missed you!

Happy New Year! Cleveland’s 107.3 The Wave Returns 01.04.2012

12/27/2011 § 3 Comments

Now that the buzz and the dust has settled after Rubber City Radio Group, Inc. purchased WNWV 107.3 FM from Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co., the station that is once again referred to as 107.3 The Wave and 107.3 HD2 The Wave returns with fresh new smooth formats on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.  For one who has closely followed The Wave and its Smooth Jazz format, the day cannot come soon enough!  For two years since The Wave was moved to HD radio and online, I was relegated to listening over the internet and also with my iPhone and iPod Touch (with wifi) through the WunderRadio app when I was not at work.

When you listen today online or to the radio, you will hear Christmas/holiday music 24/7 with a smooth jazz feel (with the exception of the occasional Cheech & Chong classic “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” or John Denver and the Muppets’ version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”).  The holiday tunes continue until the 4th when the new format debuts at midnight.

From what we can see from looking at the new website, 107.3 The Wave will be known as Cleveland’s Smooth FM, and will take on a Smooth AC (Smooth Adult Contemporary) format, which is the morphing of the old smooth jazz format into a modernized combination of smooth jazz vocalists, urban contemporary/R&B vocalists, and fewer jazz instrumentals in the playlist.  Smooth AC appeals to a younger demographic (25-54) and is intended to complement the “mature” demographic of smooth jazz listeners.  With this change, the Smooth AC format has become more popular in recent years in several large markets while smooth jazz has slid off the radar and onto HD radio, including Cleveland.  Since Smooth AC is brand new here, we will soon hear how it will distinguish itself from WNWV’s old smooth jazz format.  While the old format was mostly enjoyable, it was distinctly different from other smooth jazz stations around the country.  At times, the “old Wave” mimicked a jazzy Adult Contemporary format, and it could have used more frequent injections to the playlist to freshen it up.

The other discovery with the new format change is that the 107.3 HD2 channel will continue to be a “smooth jazz” format.  The logo for the HD2 channel is actually a freshening of the old Wave logo with the added name “The Wave Classics.”  If you are longing for the good ‘ol days of smooth jazz, the HD2 channel will satisfy your craving (and those jazz instrumentals from artists that you have missed, such as Boney James and Norman Brown).  We will now have two smooth radio choices, which is a welcome surprise.  If you don’t have HD radio, you can still listen online, but its getting to a point where the HD radio is a must when you finally decide to upgrade your car stereo equipment–HD radio is still free and provides many more stations as an alternative to playing your iPod in the car.

With respect to those persons who enjoyed the AAA format at 107.3 Cleveland, I hope that you will find a station that has a similar appeal where you can latch on.  It’s never pleasant to see a station change its formats, and for those of us who lost The Wave two years ago, we understand how unpleasant it is.   The good news is that there are many options available, including a myriad of free online sources that can pick up where broadcast radio leaves off.  What I hope that true music lovers–even a critic from Scene Magazine–can appreciate is that there are many different places where you can listen to rock or alternative rock, but there are noticeably fewer choices for smooth jazz lovers.  Those of us who listen to smooth jazz are extremely loyal, and it is no coincidence that The Wave was a successful radio program for two decades.  I’m glad that it’s back, and I look forward to another long and successful run with Rubber City Radio.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.

Is 107.3 The Wave Returning To Cleveland?

12/08/2011 § 10 Comments

I have been following Smooth Jazz 107.3 The Wave ever since it left the main airwaves and was pushed to online and HD2 radio.  This has forced many of us who loved the format to seek alternative methods of get our fill of jazz.  I listen online every day at work and buy product on iTunes when it is available.  To the credit of the persons running The Wave’s HD2 format, they did not abandon the programming–in fact, they did a decent job of injecting some new material, although there were many occasions when the online transmission seemed to rotate the same songs on the playlist rather quickly.  Beggars for smooth jazz here in Cleveland can’t be choosers.

Now, after noting that Akron’s Rubber City Radio group just bought AAA format WNWV V107.3 from Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting, there is a glimmer of hope that a newer form of smooth jazz–now branded as “smooth adult contemporary”–will be returning to the airwaves!  The information is still coming in, but here is a link to RadioInsight.com article:

Is The Wave Returning To Cleveland?

Truthfully, the AAA format at Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting was not doing well, and it looks like its demise is eminent this month.  While I have nothing against the AAA format, it lacks identity when compared to the dozens of choices available of alternative rock on the radio and online, while smooth adult contemporary radio seems to be catching on as a “souped up” mix of jazz and urban contemporary.  There are presently no choices like this in the Cleveland/Akron market today, but people like me will go and find it, even if it is imperfect as the present incarnation of The Wave is now (today it is playing Christmas music, which was reassuring in that someone must be still doing some programming).

For more information on the “new” Wave, stay tuned, everyone!

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