Can smooth-jazz radio be resurrected in Chicago?

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Posted by nOT sURE on June 09, 2012 at 10:15:50:

It’s been six weeks since the dulcet tones of Kenny G on Chicago’s Smooth 87.7 WLFM were replaced with the alt-rock bleating of the Plain White T’s. But Rick O’Dell isn’t holding a funeral for the city’s only terrestrial smooth-jazz radio station just yet.

O’Dell helped establish WLFM three years ago and served as a host and program director. The 53-year-old’s been busy consoling many of the station’s 500,000 listeners on his blog with a “Smooth Video of the Day” and plans for a June 24 “jazz brunch” at South Shore’s Parrot Cage Restaurant. He’s also plotting the format’s return to Chicago, knocking on the doors of big operators from WGN to ownership groups like Newsweb and NextMedia, which control a handful of stations.

“Everyone I meet with has been very encouraging,” says O’Dell, whose voice sounds just as broadcast ready over the phone. “The problem is not a single one of them wants to commit to taking on smooth jazz at any of their stations.”


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