KCME 88.7 FM
, which stirred up controversy when it cut its jazz programming back in 2008, is announcing plans to launch a new all-jazz station, on a separate frequency, this coming fall.
“The jazz programming was beloved by many in Colorado Springs, including among a lot of our classical music fans,” says general manager George Preston. “The conundrum was how to bring it back without taking away from the classical music programming and have it widely available.”
The station struck upon a plan to move one of the station’s translators in Woodland Park — which they plan to replace — to Colorado Springs, a strategy that allows the operation to ride on the backbone of the station’s already-in-place technical infrastructure.
“I think we would have seen pushback had the station decided to take significant hours away from the classical programming and devote them to jazz,” says Preston, “But I think this is better all around to offer a full-time classical service and a full-time jazz service.”
Indeed, I would be remiss not to mention the programming provided by KCMJ 93.9 FM, but it’s hard to imagine local jazz fans could be anything but elated at the prospect of a 24/7 jazz station in Colorado Springs.
The new station will be overseen by KCME staff member and jazz pianist Jana Lee Ross, whom Preston describes as a “beloved jazz figure in town and extremely well connected,” which will guarantee expertise in programming and local relevance for the new station. KCME itself is currently holding a membership/fundraising drive and asking donors to “give extra for jazz.” There’s no giving portal specifically for the jazz station on the KCME website yet, but they will be having special events in anticipation of the planned fall launch, and those interested can contact the station at 800/492-5263 or visit their office at 1921 N. Weber St.
Preston promises a broad range of jazz genres on the new station, as well as a local focus.
“We’re considering everything,” says Preston. “Just as KCME broadcasts a wide variety of classical repertory, we want this to be representative of a broad range of jazz. You’ll have bebop, swing, Latin, jazz, new stuff, old stuff.
“Since we’re in the West, I would love to see a weekend show of Western swing. And although some people might cringe, I wouldn’t put some smooth jazz out of the question in a specific time slot. Jana might overrule me on that one, though.”
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