After going all-Christmas and then simulcasting sister country sister WQMX Akron (94.9), Rubber City Radio debuts modern AC “107.3 JenY FM” on the former smooth jazz WNWV Cleveland.
“We love smooth jazz, but unfortunately the music has become a Pandora/Spotify format,” Rubber City Radio owner Thom Mandel said in a release. “We found that we were pushing a boulder uphill, and serving fewer and fewer listeners. The station sounded fabulous, but without enough listeners, we could no longer support it.”
The station’s new name, “107.3 JenY FM,” is a play on the Generation Y moniker with the station targeting female Millennials aged 25-49. “107.3 JenY FM” launched at 10am Friday, Jan. 3 and is playing 10,000 songs in a row, commercial-free. A recent quarter hour included Lauren Daigle “You Say,” Hozier “Take Me To Church,” Lewis Capaldi “Someone Your Love,” Babyface “Fire and Rain” and The Fray “How to Save a Life.”
Prior to the flip, Rubber City Radio ran a #WhoIsJeny campaign on billboards, flyers and other signage throughout the city. The campaign took on a life of its own on social media, with Clevelanders asking “Who is Jeny?”
“Our new music will be modern and hip,” Mandel continued. “We will represent a new pulse for the North Coast aimed at young adults that aren't getting music they like from anywhere else on radio. We will be the place today's underserved radio users go to discover new music.”
Operations Manager and WNWV PD Jeff Lynn added, “We're very excited to bring to Northeast Ohio the first radio station for Generation Y. The music, promotions and talent will be hyper focused on that very important demographic.”
The station is currently running jockless with an air staff to be announced later this month.
In addition to WNWV and WQMX, Rubber City Radio also owns classic rock WONE-FM (107.5) and news/talk/oldies WAKR (1590) in Akron.
The flip marks the end of the one of the few remaining smooth jazz FM stations in the U.S. WNWV first brought the format to Cleveland in November 1987 as smooth jazz was the hot new format, following the launch of “94.7 The Wave” KTWV Los Angeles. WNWV stuck with the format for 22 years, capturing Marconi awards, until it flipped to triple-A in 2009. In January 2012, following its acquisition by Rubber City Radio, WNWV brought “The Wave” handle back with an updated smooth AC format centered around smooth jazz vocals.