Batt Johnson, Smooth Jazz “CD-101.9” WQCD New York | June 29, 2006 6:00-8:05 am

Sitting in for Dennis Quinn this particular morning is veteran jock Batt Johnson (WRVR/WKHK/WNBC/WYNY) who sounds like he was born to do Smooth Jazz! Armed with a working knowledge of the acts and even friendship with many of the artists, Johnson truly sounds great on CD 101.9.

There was something about the Smooth Jazz format – most, at some point in the 2000’s, identified themselves as ‘your Trip-A-Day Station’. Continental Airlines must have done promotions with virtually all the major and medium market Smooth Jazz outlets around the U.S. – your webmaster spent two years on air at WJZN Memphis and we had the EXACT same prmomotion and slogan! It could be said, however, that WQCD was THE Smooth Jazz station to follow in the industry. Nearly all other stations used similar imaging and branding. As the Smooth Jazz format fizzled, CD 101.9 was certainly among the last to put the format to rest, but it wouldn’t happen here for another two years after this aircheck was recorded.

This was recorded during the ‘Chill Out’ phase of CD 101.9. The Chill version of the Smooth Jazz format didn’t last very long, just over one year, most of it during 2006. Despite its failure as a commercial venture, it did sound quite good on the air… at least for those of you who enjoy ‘chill’ music. CD 101.9 was programmed to sound classy, and it did in every respect. The only complaint I’d register, listening to this, was the too-frequent use of liners. This was MORNING DRIVE for heaven’s sake! But, again, from what I understand of the format, it was this way at most Smooth Jazz stations, INCLUDING WJZN where I worked. Perhaps that liner repetition was one aspect of the format that helped push the audience away… who knows, Smooth Jazz isn’t completely dead, but mostly.

In 2008, 101.9 would flip to Active Rock as “The Rock Experience” WRXP. This website is attempting to chronicle the history of 101.9 FM in New York, as new owner (as of this writing) Marlin Media takes the station in a completely new direction. The next chapter is unwritten…

Aircheck Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks

1 Comment

  1. Ron Qunynghamm

    This station died because it’s managers were not paying any attention to the listeners it still had. They played the same tunes daily for weeks at a time, and were still playing tunes like George Benson’s ‘Breezin’ just about every day. It’s a great tune, but it was made in 1978. Almost 30 years old and you’re still playing it like it came out last month? Please! If they’d played half the ‘smooth jazz’ music that had come out between 1990 and 2005, they’d be the top ‘Smooth Jazz’ station on the east coast, if not the entire country today.
    Ron Q.- Huddersfield, England

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.