For the first time since KKGO-FM dropped jazz and turned to a classical format two years ago, the Orange County-Los Angeles area has a commercial jazz station. Calling itself "Jazz FM 103.1," KBJZ (in Newport Beach) and KAJZ (in Santa Monica) hit the airwaves last week, offering what program director Lawrence Tanter describes as a "smooth jazz" format.
The station features easy-listening selections by such artists as Al Jarreau, Oscar Peterson, Bobby Lyle, Dianne Reeves, Stan Getz and Gerald Albright.
"This will not be a Quiet Storm station, we're not New Adult Contemporary, we're not a Wave station, we're a jazz station," said Tanter, who has been the Los Angeles Lakers' game announcer for 12 years.
The station, formerly known as MARS-FM, can be heard 24 hours a day and features such air personalities as Tanter, China Smith, Brooke Jones and Joe Huser.