Marquette Interchange

Milwaukee, Wisconsin has joined the illustrious roll of American metropolises that have screwed over their classical radio listeners. WFMR is now—and I’m so glad I’m typing this on an empty stomach—”smooth jazz,” as a series of format changes left the city without its daily ration of Dave Koz, and, well, somebody’s got to fill that painful void, right? The Journal-Sentinel‘s Tim Cuprasin explains:

It’s part of a chain reaction that started with WKTI-FM (94.5) dumping its morning show to target younger listeners, which led WJZI-FM (93.3) to drop smooth jazz to target disenfranchised WKTI listeners.

Now it’s WFMR’s turn. General manager Tom Joerres explains that the switch came because of the “opportunity” presented by WJZI’s format flip.

You seize that opportunity, Tom! At this rate, all the stations in Milwaukee will keep grabbing each others’ sloppy seconds until the median demographic is about four years old.

Just last June, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett had proclaimed “WFMR Day” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the station, which had, with but one brief interruption, managed to keep classical programming going through a maze of frequency and ownership changes. I’m guessing you can probably pick up that proclamation for yourself if you make Joerres a good enough offer. You Milwaukeeans should be more careful with your civic institutions: the Brewers are having their best season since 1982. The last thing they need is a curse.

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