Who knew? GMG’s Smooth FM has to play 45 hours of jazz a week

Did anyone else know this? Since changing its name to Smooth FM, the Guardian Media Group’s station has continued to have an obligation to broadcast 45 hours of jazz per week on its FM Frequencies. Which it has done, between the hours of midnight and 6am.

But, as far as I can see, without taking the trouble to tell anyone about it. The station’s website doesn’t mention it. And now, according to this news story, it is seeking permission from Ofcom to get out of the obligation.

Here’s a typical playlist. And here’s the Radio Survivor blog story. What a wasted opportunity.

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4 replies »

  1. Not worth worrying about or getting too outraged. The station is a non-entity with zero credibility.

  2. Well, the playlist is pretty MOR and only squeaks in as a jazz list if you don't scrutinise it too closely, but really, as your other commentator says, this is non-event as a radio station. When are we ever going to get a radio station to come up with SERIOUS jazz content, similar to some of those wonderfully anorakey jazz stations you can find in the US where they celebrate the 20 minute extended tracks and mumble esoteric information about everybody whose playing on it, where and when, and make no concessions to glossy formatting and presentation? (I know – its a funding issue!) The BBC is still leading the way with its excellent but limited airtime devoted to jazz broadcasting ….

  3. I recognize the tone of these comments.

    A'll I'm saying is that I was surprised to learn that this OFCOM-imposed obligation even existed.

    And we may be about to lose 45 hours of broadcasting gifted by OFCOM, without ever knowing we had them. Uh?

    GMG Radio appear to have been happy to live with this obligation hidden. How strange/duplicitous is that for a media group?

    Or does anyone know different?

    The only report I know on the subject, Jazz in the Media , published by Jazz Services, gives Smooth FM short shrift, with the following two-sentence put-down.

    Smooth FM betrays no evidence whatsoever of being once a jazz station. Its playlist is dominated by 'easy listening' – mainstream pop drawn from the last 50 years. As such it is trying to fit into the Radio 2 mould but without any of that station's forays into non-mainstream music.

    So I'm wondering:

    a) if these 45 hours were even considered in the data collected, or

    b) the authors of the report actually KNEW of the obligation.


  4. thanks for the tip. smooth jazz uptempo also available 24/7 on download, currently featuring David Sanborn ripping it up. Hotter and dancier. Just as the Al Grauniad hates the UK and men in general it would probably rather be playing indie by fey student tits or (yawn) world music. So let's LISTEN UP. It gets me through the insomnia night shift. Healing and soothing.

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