Last Friday, Chris H. Bennett, Chairman of Kris Bennett Broadcasting (KBB), announced a major format change with Bennett’s Broadcast stations.
“I’m proud to announce that we have acquired the exclusive rights to the Smooth Jazz format, and will be the officially licensed Pacific Northwest affiliate for the Smooth Jazz Network effective May 1, 2013,” said Bennett.
“We are thrilled to bring the smooth jazz network to the Seattle area once again,” says Smooth Jazz Network president Allen Kepler. “Our history in the market goes back to the mid-90’s, and even very recently we have continued to hear the outcry from former supporters of the format.”
The Smooth Jazz network daily host lineup includes format veterans; Sandy Kovach mornings, Miranda Wilson mid-days, Allen Kepler PM Drive and Maria Lopez evenings. Programming on the Smooth Jazz Network includes the first ever countdown show for the format; The Smooth Jazz Top 20®, Smooth Weekend (both hosted by format creator Allen Kepler), Contemporary Jazz with Kenny G and The Dave Koz Radio Show.
According to Bennett, Smooth Jazz in one of the most coveted niche formats in the country and was one of the highest rated formats in the Pacific Northwest. The format consistently ranked in the top ten for radio listeners in this market for over 5 years.
“The audience in the region has some of the most avid supporters we’ve seen of any radio format,” said Kepler. “The AM option is one everyone should be looking at. This format fills a wide void left open in most major markets right now, and the local AM signal, combined with a stream provides an excellent lane for broadcasters who truly want to sell a unique position in the market; adult, upscale, intelligent listeners who have basically been abandoned by radio.”
“We hope to fill a void in the marketplace and provide this huge under-served audience in the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett metro area with our Jazzy “Z” KZIZ radio station and internet streaming,” said Bennett. “It certainly allows KBB, Inc. to diversify and market the various formats to include this particular listening audience.”
In order to make room for the Smooth Jazz format, KBB will implement the following changes: The Gospel format currently on 1560 AM KZIZ will move to 1420 AM KRIZ. The Blues format on 1420 will be cut back to accommodate gospel format. The talk shows – Community Potpourri, Rev. Al Sharpton, and GameTime Sports – heard on 1620 MA KYIZ will not be affected as the 1620 lineup will remain the same.
“It will take a few weeks to reconfigure the all of the stations for the format shift, but at the end of the day Kris Bennett Broadcasting will provide even more great listening options for the Pacific Northwest,” concluded Bennett.