Home URBAN Smooth Jazz SVP Blames Obama for Demise of Format for Chicago Station

Smooth Jazz SVP Blames Obama for Demise of Format for Chicago Station

Radio Facts: pat kelleyIn a letter to fans of the WLFM, former SVP Pat Kelley blames the Obama administration for the decline of the format?

Dear Smooth 87.7FM/WLFM Fans,
As you may have heard, WLFM Smooth 87.7 is sadly changing from Smooth Jazz to Alternative Rock next Monday. The decision to make this change is due primarily because the current FCC has refused to provide assurance that WLFM can continue to broadcast on 87.7 FM in September 2015. In a strange twist, the FCC of the current Administration has killed Smooth Jazz in Chicago by failing to act on our requests to secure the audio future of 87.7 FM.

You may recall we went on the air a few years ago when industry titan Clear Channel Communications converted WNUA from Smooth Jazz to Spanish language. Within 90 minutes, we were telecasting Smooth Jazz serving Chicago’s diverse audiences. We didn’t know if listeners would find 87.7 FM, which is the audio frequency of our analog low power television Channel 6 transmitting from the John Hancock Center. We didn’t know if community groups would embrace our programming, which they did with groups like The Chicago Urban League, 100 Black Men, McCormick Chamber of Commerce and many more. We didn’t know if advertisers would support our community and buy time on our station. The good news is listeners came to the tune of more than half a million each and every week. Community groups adopted our sound as we built Smooth 87.7 into a great station in Chicago, and advertisers saw results from you patronizing their businesses. What we didn’t count on is that the FCC would abandon us, that “Yes We Can” turned into “No We Can’t.”

What is next? We are still fighting.

If you know someone in the Obama Administration, please write them and ask them to protect our station on 87.7. You can contact the White House at or call (202) 456-1414.

Or you can contact Senator Durbin, and let him know how he can help by instructing the FCC to satisfy our community needs by allow us to continue to operate after September 2015. You can contact Senator Durbin at https://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/footer-contact?p=contact or call him at (202) 224-2152.

Finally, our fate will rest in the hands of the FCC. You can contact FCC Commissioner Clyburn, who can help us, at [email protected] or call her at (202) 418-2100. Alternatively, you can contact the Office of Engineering and Technology at the FCC at [email protected] or call at (202) 418-2470.

This won’t bring back Smooth Jazz right away, but it will send a message for the next time a small innovative group tries to open up new opportunities and serve minority communities, and we hope it helps find Smooth Jazz a new home in Chicago either on our station or another. We proved that it works and we hope to be back in the future.

Thank you so much.

Pat Kelley, former SVP/General Manager, and Owners of WLFM, Your Smooth Jazz Station

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  1. Very, very disappointed to find that 87.7 is no longer on the air. In my opinion, and I’m sure many others, this station has the best format for GOOD music. We certainly don’t need more alternative rock. There is much too much of that around already. I will call all of the numbers listed and request that this wonderful station be allowed to continue.


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