KXJZ Getting Out of the Jazz Business

I opened a letter today from KXJZ, 90.9, Capital Public Radio that is, letting me know that the last vestiges of jazz being played on 90.9 will be disappearing from the station as of January 17. Ok, disappearing might be too strong a word. Jazz programming is moving to 88.9 KXPR, and will be heard from 7-11, Sun-Fri.

Color me pissed. I’ve contributed to KXJZ for years, and never once been asked for feedback on programming. Not once have I been asked for my tastes or preferences or likes or dislikes. Instead, over the last two decades, KXJZ has gone from a 24-hour jazz station (and a damned good one) to a watered down jazz station (so much so that in 1999 it was featured in Downbeat (the only real jazz magazine left) as following the tide of stations more interested in “playing it safe” than playing jazz) to a jazz and news station, to most recently a news and “jazz” station (the “jazz” in question being a mashup of Brazilian bubblegum and adult contemporary detritus salted with a pinch of straight-ahead jazz for the apparently dying breed that actually like instrumental, improvised music), to, now, a 24 news station.

I’m just pissed. That’s it. I’m pissed that no one in that organization actually seems to like jazz. I’m pissed that the jazz stations out of LA, SF, PDX, and other towns are killin’ it 24-hours-a-day, and we can’t even put one on part time. I’m pissed that our radio landscape is now identical to that of Fresno. I’m pissed that 4 hours of jazz a day is considered sufficient. Why bother kids? Just kill it and be done with it. I’d rather listen to to the BBC world service than have to listen to the latinalia coming out of the production booth there at Sac State anyway.

If you feel even 1/10 the same way, I’d encourage you to contact KXJZ and either ask for your most recent contribution back, or let them know they’ll not be receiving any further contributions from you. Or let them know that you’d like your money to just go into the pockets of Nick Brunner and David Watts Barton, because they’re swell fellas and put on really good shows. And maybe the classical people too, because they’re really nice and the music is pretty. And the receptionist there sure does a good job. Awwww shit. I guess I can’t stop contributing, but I’ll do it with reservation, the same way Obama signed that law allowing indefinite detention of anyone for any length of time. Yeah, kinda like that.

7 thoughts on “KXJZ Getting Out of the Jazz Business”

  1. While 4 Hours of Jazz might not be adequate, 4 Hours of that wheezing Mick Martin and his loose definition of “blues” is about three and a half hours too much.


  2. You think you got screwed? You willingly made contributions over the years.

    I have been forced to contribute to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under threat of violence (as Turty accurately describes income tax), whether I listen to the soft socialist drivel or not. Threat of improsinment to fund smooth jazz, that is a screwing.


  3. I agree that this is terrible. We spent a day in San Francisco recently and enjoyed listening to KPOO 89.5. Mostly we enjoyed that THEIR CALL LETTERS SPELL OUT POO.


  4. Call me narrow-minded, but I despise listening to most Jazz. I am quite unhappy that its being shoe-horned into the one channel I listen to while driving, Classical Radio. As a contributor–for decades–to capradio I don’t appreciate the programming being tainted–even more than it already was–much like the writer of this article didn’t care for his Jazz being moved.

    Despite my personal dislike of jazz, however, I know several folks that are displeased–to say the least–that all vestiges of jazz are being removed from Sac airwaves. It makes sense that the Jazz Jubilee’s home would at least have a part-time jazz station operating within the city limits. I only hope this disappearing music act is not contagious at 88.9…


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