Photo by Asia Morris.
KKJZ, better known as KJazz, a public radio station which has been broadcasting jazz and blues from the CSULB campus for over 30 years, recently announced plans to move the station to Westwood. Stephanie Levine, station manager at KKJZ, says the announcement seems to have caused unfounded worry in listeners, students and broadcasters alike.
According to Levine, Global Jazz, Inc. a company contracted by the CSULB Foundation to provide programming and other supportive services for KKJZ, proposed the idea to move the station to Westwood in an effort to consolidate operations out of one office.
“[The move] will allow the KKJZ operation to be more efficient, save money and open up space on the CSULB campus,” Levine said.
Gary Wagner, KKJZ’s “Nothin’ But the Blues” host says he is not at all worried about the transition. “I think it’s a non-issue here,” he explained, “because there will be a studio remaining on campus. It won’t be in the same building it’s in now."
“The building we’re in right now was built in the 1940s and is one of the few buildings on campus that has yet to be updated,” Wagner continued. “Frankly, the equipment at the old building is antiquated, they’re just trying to put bandaids on it to keep it running and if we move to another location we’d probably have all new equipment and everything would work right.”
While students may fear the end of their ability to participate in KJZZ operations, the main studio will still remain at CSULB, while logistics will be worked out over the next several months regarding where on campus the primary studio will end up, said Levine. While Wagner speculates that the university wants to use the building for other purposes, there will no change in the transmitter and the signal.
KKJZ will continue to offer paid internships to CSULB students, as well as four scholarships to the jazz studies program at the university. According to Levine, not only will the station be keeping their existing student operations, but will be expanding the amount of jazz music included in programming from CSULB students, staff and alumni.
KJZZ still plans to use the same radio tower, located in Signal Hill, so KKJZ’s loyal listeners in Long Beach can still tune in without interference, no matter where the sound originates. “We’ll still be a university radio station,” said Wagner.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he continued. “It’ll save them a lot of money and they’ve been losing a lot of money. Who goes into business to lose money?”
Listen to KKJZ on 88.1 FM, on HD radio as KKJZ-HD1, or live online.