If you've been following the trades or visiting Chicago media websites, you probably know that I was hired at terrestrial radio station WRME-LP in October. My new job is full-time, with all the normal requirements inherent in any Program Director’s job description. Yet, as busy as I’ve been at MeTV FM
, until about two weeks ago I was still undecided about what to do with SJC: should I (or would I be able to) keep the site and the station going in the New Year?
Then, on December 16, the Copyright Royalty Board announced new rates
for music stations. The rate increases, it turns out, hit pureplay webcasters (such as SmoothJazzChicago.net) the hardest. Rates will be going up significantly for us effective January 1, 2016. Sadly, it’s not an increase I can absorb. Note the comments from a fellow internet broadcaster, AccuRadio.com's Kurt Hanson, here
Sadly, when you combine the two factors, the diminishing amount of available time to maintain the quality of SJC at a level I feel our listeners deserve and the increasing expenses related to performance royalties, there is no longer any uncertainty about the decision I have to make. I cannot continue to operate SmoothJazzChicago. With a heavy heart, I have decided to shut down the station on December 31, 2015.
I realize this is a major disappointment to all of us, and I regret having to do this. We've grown more than 300% since we launched back in November of 2012, and the arrow was still pointing up. The support we've gotten from listeners and artists has been extremely gratifying. We proved the audience for Smooth Jazz music is still large and vibrant. SmoothJazzChicago.net has been a lot of fun—I only wish it could’ve gone on longer.
There are still many quality outlets on the web for Smooth Jazz music. I would like to recommend one in particular: AccuRadio.com
. There you will find 19 different channels devoted to this wonderful music. I have the pleasure and privilege of programming each of those channels. You will find all the artists and music you heard on SmoothJazzChicago at AccuRadio.com. It's a free site, and I suggest that you sign up with them so that you can take full advantage of their free features.
"Thank you for three great years" barely covers how I feel. Know that your support throughout the past three years has meant the world to me.