(Feb. 23, 2007) -- Saul Levine, the independent-minded L.A. radio broadcaster who brought jazz to the L.A. market's airwaves at 105.1 FM and then seized a market opportunity to flip the outlet to classical music as KKGO/KMZT (K-Mozart) -- and was recently selected to oversee continued jazz operations at CSULB's Long Beach outlet KKJZ (88.1 FM) -- will change his Classical K-Mozart at 105.1 FM to a Country and Western format on Monday, February 26.
According to its website, 105.1 FM will be called "Go Country 105" ("Today's hits and yesterday's favorites...Country from the 70s, 80s and current hits.")
The move will leave the L.A. market (for the moment) with one classical outlet: KUSC (91.5 FM). The market has been without a country/western FM outlet since KZLA (93.9 FM) dropped country and western for something it calls "Movin' 93.9," leaving LB C&W listeners to pull in KFRG ("K-Frog" 95.1 FM), a highly rated station in San Bernardino which is listenable in LB and parts of OC.
Go Country is also streamed on its website -- www.gocountry.am -- and is also available at 540 AM, although the AM signal is sometimes fuzzy in LB. FM 105.1 is clearly heard in LB and southern CA.
Mr. Levine is credited with a shrewd move when he dropped all-jazz on 105.1 FM and switched it classical music (an often lowly rated but lucrative format with high-earning demographics) after long-time L.A. classical outlet KFAC (92.3 FM) was sold and its new owners dropped the classical format (for something now long forgotten).
The switch isn't expected to affect continued jazz operations on LB's KKJZ (88.1 FM). Mr. Levine is an acknowledged authority on the jazz radio format dating from the days when he pioneered it on 105.1 FM.
[LB area listeners may also recall jazz pioneer Alex "Sleepy" Stein on the former KNOB, Long Beach (97.9 FM, the "jazz knob") in the late 50s and early 60s. He owned KNOB during that period...but it didn't have the marketwide signal reach of Levine's 105.1 FM atop Mt. Wilson. KNOB is now gone...as is "Sleepy" Stein, who passed away in 2000.]
And the beat goes on.