Candid Jazz Radio Report–Another Smooth Jazz Station Bites the Dust! 94.7 KSSJ Sacramento, CA

Here we go again!

In recent years, Smooth Jazz radio stations nationwide have been closing. Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, DC, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Denver, & Indianapolis to name a small few.

A couple of the markets have had smaller Smooth Jazz stations try to come in & replace the larger flagship stations that left.

Just recently, LA’s flagship Smooth Jazz station “The Wave”, took the word “Jazz” off of Smooth Jazz in their format name.


Yesterday, Sacramento’s Smooth Jazz Station 94.7 KSSJ has gone off the air.

Here’s part of their farewell letter to their listeners

As we all know, the one thing we can count on in life is change. It’s in that spirit that I must tell you that the format on 94.7 KSSJ is going to change Wednesday, March 3rd at 12:00 pm. Playing Smooth Jazz favorites is one side of who we are – it’s the side you hear. The other side is the reality that operating a radio station is a business – that’s the side we see.

In the past few years, the business side of KSSJ has become increasingly difficult. There are many reasons for it, but the unfortunate fact is that the audience for the station can no longer sustain the business of the station. In that way, we’re no different from a retail business that doesn’t have enough customers to keep the doors open.

94.7 KSSJ leaves a legacy of sound. We’ve considered it an honor and a pleasure to have entertained you over the years. Your support has been appreciated more than you’ll ever know.

Why do you think so many Smooth Jazz stations nationwide have been closing? And how would you fix it?

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Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 6:52 AM  Comments (27)  

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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. the Sacramento region has a huge smooth jazz fan base. It is one of the strongest genres for the sophisticated ear. The concerts sell out, it is very tragic to lose this station and it’s quality DJs.

    • Yes, it is tragic. This goes for these stations anywhere in the country. With this we are losing a diversity of radio stations, and the radio industry is wondering why it’s experiencing a decline.

  2. I kept my radio on all night as I slept cause this would be the only station that would relax me from a really stressed out J-O-B. Now, I’m station-less and Jobless all in the same week. Just horrible! Bring back some smooth sounds most of us like.

  3. I listen to KSSJ daily, when I’m going to or coming home from work and sometimes on the weekend. I think more than likely what is happening is that satellite radio has taken over. I actually listen to XM radio all day at work because I am not allowed to listen to the radio online. Also I have many friends who also have satellite radio because they don’t like commercials, which are what keep a station alive, so to speak. I can’t think of any other logical reason. I was deeply sadden when I realized that the format had changed. Best of luck to the station as a whole in all it’s future endeavors. Loyal Listen

  4. I now like Sacramento just a little less. Hard to believe there was a shrinking audience for this beautiful music. When I listen to what is “hot” to so many listeners I just don’t get it. I hope some tiny little radio station seizes the opportunity to change their format to smooth jazz and keep our air-waves balanced with some sanity!

  5. Economics were and are the problem. The national advertisers (the Budweisers, Coors, Coke, Pepsi, Gm, Toyota’s), who get a substantially different rate, are the base that the rest is built on. The new format will be a whole lot heavier on ad time, guaranteed. Notice that many of the national’s listed above weren’t pushing product on KSSJ because the station demographics were determined, by some advertising exec, not to be beer and Dorito consumers, such as the tat and pierce crowd are perceived. What’s ignored is that the tat and pierce crowd are 25% unemployed and a majority of the balance is minimum wage. Read: No beer, no chips advertisers.

    The smooth jazz demographics is above most other demographics economically, and as such , is older and more sophisticated in taste and awareness. Some advertising guru has determined that an older audience doesn’t spend money on impulsive buys. Guess what? In a real down economy, we are the only ones with money, radio geniuses.

    Hired help, facilities, and promotions can be on the cheap in the T & P format also. Kids will work for almost free to be in the industry. Facilities will reflect that reality, and the station can take the PT Cruiser with lawn chairs, and card table to most any 7-11 for a promo. Call ins with a cell phone from remotes will become deriguer (and already are).

    See what happens in 21st Century USA? You worked hard, have a fairly sophisticated taste and lifestyle, saved and did all the right things with the kids and you are rewarded with Arbitron ratings directing mental pygmies that hi-jack your listening pleasure and relaxation.

  6. I was deeply saddened by the format change at KSSJ. I can only hope that we can get a small radio station in the area to switch to the smooth jazz format. I know that Sacramento sells out the Radisson Hotel for smooth jazz concerts, so i know that the format can work in the area. I miss Linda Clayton especially and the guys.

    • All of the posts are great and to the point. KSSJ Smooth Jazz 94.7 is greatly missed in Saramento.

  7. I am 22 years old and have listened to 94.7 since I can remember. There are MANY young adults that are disappointed by the loss of their favorite “relaxing” radio station. I’m deeply sadden by the loss of this radio station! 94.7 will be missed!

  8. Any word on a substitute or replacement? I have been scanning the channels but am not finding anything close. Not that NPR, CDs, and MP3s don’t fill the time void but I sure miss the variety and great programming of KSSJ.

    What I don’t understand is why add another rock station to an already crowded market.

  9. I too like all the rest am very sad that my KSSJ Smooth Jazz station is no longer. I have never listened to anything else since being in Sacramento. The DJ s were exceptional and the music was so soothing and easy to listen to. It was the greatest. Here is a strange question but i was listeneing to the station before it ended and heard a song titled “Beyond the Waterfall” and would like to know if anyone has the title of the CD and names of the muscians so I can find it myself? Thanks

    • Hi Sharon, I have a CD called Natural States and one of the songs is Behind the Waterfall which is close to your request (Behind vs. Beyond). This just be the song you like. The artists are David Lanz and Paul Speers. I hope I’ve been able to help you.

  10. i think why a lot of the stations went off the air had to do with people aging, and not enough new listeners came into smooth jazz. but, radio is what it is. and, yes, finances do have a lot to do with it.
    i just wonder about one thing: there are smooth jazz stations that are still on the air, and flourishing. what’s the difference between them and the ones that went off the air?

  11. Really miss our smooth jaz station in Sacramento. Can’t find anything on the radio to replace it. Even our grandson Von said he would go to sleep by KSSJ every night and he’s 11 years old. Well, I guess we’re going to have to shop for a satalite radio for home and RV. I can’t see any other choises. I could’nt believe my ears while working in my shop and hearing “stay smooth Sacramento” @ noon in early March and the format changed. I turned the radio off.

  12. Sad day indeed.

  13. I have been a loyal listener for 10 years. My radio station was always tuned to kssj on all my radios. i used to drive my son crazy by not letting him turn the station hardly ever. I miss john and linda. Does anyone know what they are doing now? It was great to listen to and drift off to sleep. My son picked that up from me. Missing and grieving the loss of my beloved smooth jazz.

  14. The loss of smooth jazz provided by KSSJ is devastating to the interest of radio listening altogether. Your slightly older, financially secure,
    more affluent and higher educated radio listener will abandon the AM and FM dials and migrate to paid radio in order to obtain the more sophisticated sounds which have long been provided by the likes of KSSJ and similar stations around the country. Those of you in free/advertising supported music stations will fall by the wayside; you will employ screeching talking heads and soon the best of quality radio will be paid for, not by advertisers but by paid subscribers. You will die on the vine. Yes, the kids will listen to the heavy beat “music”, rap and such, most of which defies any resemblance to true music…but eventually you folks in what was once “regular broadcast” will be relegated to news, weather and syndicated blowhards. What a shame and a lost opportunity to continue to be unique and a service to the listening public. Radio, as we have known and enjoyed it for decades, will fade away and be replaced by paid subscribers who will enjoy choosing a higher quality than you are now providing.

    Too bad that you are a dying breed. I have beautiful smooth jazz playing in the background from the very same PC I am using to write this message. It is beautiful; You are not.

    Sorry, but I now am finding satellite radio to be worth the price to get quality transmission.

  15. My Mornings, my afternoons, my wind down evenings and especially my Sound Scape Sundays will never be the same. Sure change is the only constant in life, just as you can’t take anything for granted. I wonder if over time other genre specific station will begin to drop like flies? Maybe it could start with rap? Just a thought…

    • Blues stations certainly…I read of maybe one a day being dropped.

  16. Horrible decision to take KSSJ off the air! There are no other stations comparable to this wonderful soothing music we all so love and enjoy. Any other alternative music really won’t please the masses overall. Something should be done to get them back on the air!

  17. Losing KSSJ is an absolute travesty. The marketing geniuses obviously need to revamp their methodology for obtaining advertising dollars. Seek and you shall find! If your demographic is older, wiser, tasteful, and affluent (which most listeners of this genre are), then find out what suits their needs and advertise accordingly. Good grief! This is just awful. I will not succumb to satellite … I will hold out for free smooth jazz radio!

  18. In response to a previous commenter, I’m not an older sophisticated person, nor well-off. I just turned 23 years old, and I had been listening to KSSJ ever since I discovered it only 2 years ago. I’m very sorry that I didn’t discover it sooner, because it opened my ears to smooth jazz, a genre that I never listened to before. The DJs were awesome, and will be missed as well 😦 I’m sad that it’s gone now, and really hope we’ll have another smooth jazz format in Sacramento very soon.

  19. When I listen to the radio it was only smooth jazz. I miss this station.

  20. Now that I’ve found this site I at least see what has happened and loosing smooth jazz radio in Sacramento is devastating! I listended many Saturday nights for years while completing my under grad and graduate programs, as did my daughters through high school. Are we the type of customer you really want to loose?

  21. I’m missing our Jazz Station… I had my radio programmed to 94.7 and I did not know of the station going off the air until I had the station on and finally figured that this is not my Smooth Jazz that I need to hear. I hope that you all will come someday… I’m really missing my Jazz. I have to reprogrammed this station now with something else and it just pains me… God Bless!~

  22. Not Sacto here but; if the advertising mix on our Smooth Jazz station KYOT 95.5 FM here in Phoenix is any indication, the marker for things like investment counselors, etc. has all but dried up due to the Great Recession. These days; ad for bankruptcy lawyers, male ‘enhancement’ products and so on are what is keeping KYOT afloat.

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