Jazz FM leaves national DAB digital radio
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Jazz FM leaves national DAB digital radio

After much speculation, Jazz FM has announced it will be removing itself from the national DAB platform Digital One later this month.

The station will move from D1 to Switch Digital in Greater London in addition to online platforms from January 1st 2014.

Speaking to RadioToday, Jazz FM CEO Richard Wheatly said the station could potentially lose 150,000 from its record 700,000 listener base.

“Most of our audience listen to us on digital radio in Greater London – 400,000 people – and around 30% are listening on platforms other than DAB across the UK,” Richard said.

RadioToday can also reveal the station entered into profit last month for the first time since its relaunch.

The station is advising listeners to re-tune in London or listen via Radioplayer or its app, or via satellite services Sky (0202) and FreeSat (729)

A message on jazzfm.com says: “As we have recently announced, one of the five ways Jazz FM transmits is changing. But don’t worry! There is absolutely no reason why if you listen to Jazz FM now, you won’t be able to still. The main change is to our DAB feed across the UK”

Earlier this year RadioToday ran ads from Digital One owner Arqiva inviting applications to run a replacement jazz service. We’ll update you as soon as we know if an alternative jazz station will be made available on Digital One as per its licence requirement, or if a change has been requested with Ofcom.

0 80 8755 05 December, 2013 Digital Radio News Thursday, December 5th, 2013


  1. Brian Christopher Winter

    I have to say, I am a bit disappointed but i guess the move will save them some money. I believe DAB, and Digital One in particular is an expensive medium to use. At least they will still be on Freesat so I can still hear the excellant peter Young on a Saturday, and for me that is just fine.

  2. Radio Geordie

    I know that Digtial One were looking for a Jazz station to fill the void, but I think that one of the Global offerings (Gold, LBC or XFM) is more likely to get the slot, especially when Global could just outbid everyone else.

    1. Stevieg

      Unfortunately I suspect you are correct. Standby for “Absolutely Another Copy” station coming to your DAB radio very soon!

  3. gtfm

    What a shame. First it was smooth 70s and now jazzfm….seems absolutely no point at all me even having my DAB radio.

    1. Pip

      I am so disappointed to hear that jazzfm has ceased on DAB radio, first it was chill radio – I wish I hadn’t bought A DAB radio, it’s back to my iPod !

  4. Michael Hamilton

    Sad about this. I listen in Liverpool to The Late Lounge of an evening on my DAB, so that will be that.

  5. Drew White

    Dear D Love,
    This morning I switched from FM to DAB before 9am to find the first SEVEN stations in the alphabetical list all playing the same music. As I clicked through one by one, slowly (is there any other way with DAB?), I guessed there was a technical fault with my Pure device or the multiplex. But, no! Absolute Classic Rock, Absolute Radio 60s, Absolute Radio 70s, Absolute Radio 80s, Absolute Radio 90s and Absolute Radio 00s were ALL relaying the Absolute Radio breakfast show. This is not “sharing the love”, this is destroying the promise of wider choice of listening and your whole platform suffers.. especially when it’s the first 7 in the list. Could you explain how this is allowed to happen? You wouldn’t get that on FM!


    1. Fenton Oldfield

      Ah…cholce. Isn’t that what DigitalRadioUK would have us believe is what DAB is all about? Rubbish. It is down to money. There is a finite amount of money to feed in to these stations by way of advertising revenue. Not enough to go round. So let us reduce our costs and con the Govt into switching off FM.

    2. Guest

      When Bauer takes over Absolute in 2014 your problem is likely to be solved as they will probably axe most of those stations.

  6. Jeff from Wirral

    I am absolutely and totally gutted about this news. I was extremely disappointed when Jazz FM disappeared from the FM dial. That is why I went out and bought a DAB digital radio when it reinvented itself. Now this news. It’s not always possible or practical to listen via the internet (on PC), or Freesat. Listening on the mobile phone is hit and miss, and far from ideal. Looks like I’ll have to go to even more expense, and buy an internet radio. But will it still be the same station, one wonders? Well miffed!

  7. Misha

    This is very bad news. How am I suppose to cook, wash dishes, smoke, drink, read, relax, contemplate and generally have fun in my kitchen now? Why is jazz always endangered species? I’ll miss Sarah Ward very much. I wish them luck.

  8. Michael Osborne

    Sad news. I like listening to it on my DAB radio in my car.
    Hope it will return on digital 2 my fingers are crossed. If not expensive to run.

  9. Steve in Brum

    D Love – what a joke those ads are. Spreading the love indeed.
    DAB continues it’s descent into uselessness.
    Jazzfm say “We are changing one of the five ways we transmit”: marketing speak, for “We are stopping one of the five ways we transmit” – how about just saying it how it is ? Mealymouthed.
    Is someone or some organisation monitoring the reduction of quality (how many stations now mono on DAB?) and variety of stations on DAB?
    Is someone obliged to be ensuring that DAB provides a good quality all round DAB service nationwide ?
    The comment about not needing a DAB receiver is becoming more and more pertinent.
    Steve in Brum

  10. Jamie Ellis

    Its a shame when something goes and so comes a lowering of choice.

    “Digital 2″ can not come soon enough! along with the fact only one DAB frequency is assigned outside of Lond and along with the removal of Regional frequencies such as MXR Severn Estuary. London has 3 DAB frequencies are used!

  11. Billy Who

    As soon as Me and Mrs Jones gets played 100s of times and JK gets played every hour me thinks Jazz fm is doing it again!.Playlists during the day are so predictable and independant DJs not being able to play there own stuff. As said another Rock station on its way…or Smooth!!.

  12. Moona Limerick

    Absolutely devastated to hear this! Jazz fm my favourite radio station, so relaxing and diverse, fabulous music, nothing else like it on DAB! Interesting to hear that they have just come into profit and decide to withdraw the station from nationwide DAB, I can’t see the logic here and that you will still broadcast to Bloody London (which already has EVERYTHING) is particularly offensive. Jazz FM, you’re going to lose a lot more than 150,000 listeners and you deserve to! Hopefully a new jazz station will fill the void in our radios and our hearts sometime soon :'(

    1. Peter White

      I suggest you invest in an internet radio like the Pure One Flow which is one of the cheapest on the market. I live in the London DAB catchment area but since I invested in this radio back in June I’ve never looked back. If you like jazz you won’t be spoilt for choice. Examples such as the US based jazzradio.com with many jazz genres to listen to such as the Fusion Lounge channel, or all night smooth jazz from the German speaking Atlantis FM based in Lanzarote or QFM from Tenerife. Believe me they’re pretty good!

    2. Jim Wigan

      Jim Wigan
      Totally agree with comments from Moona. They deserve to lose listeners.
      However all is not lost! Can still listen on Sky radio channel 202, but only if you are sky subscriber.

    3. Mel Russell

      Such a shame. We have an Evoke 1 in the kitchen and don’t want to pay more to replace it. Jazz FM was the only channel left I wanted to listen to.
      Still, National DAB has to broadcast Jazz so let’s hope there’s another station soon. The cats liked the birdsong channel, which seems to have taken the slot.

      1. tim2soon

        Totally agree. But we haven’t been told why they’ve quit dab – must be money. Very frustrating for non Londoners.

    4. yemonty

      I am happy with the decision and fully support it’s new and glorious home. Only Londoners like myself can appreciate such great music. People from The north don’t understand the finer things inlife

      1. Ian Mark Thompson

        Typical self loving ignorance with this comment as The North understand plenty, it’s a shame so many Londoners I know are as arrogant as yourself thinking there is nothing worthy of appreciation outside our capital. It’s a tragedy that my favoured station is no longer on DAB and as a Northerner I fully understand the finer things in life!

  13. David P

    If I listen to Jazz FM these days it is only through the internet – DAB reception is dodgy a lot of the time. The playlists are very predictable – the Late Lounge plays the same stuff it was playing back on FM over ten years ago – what about new artists, new tracks? There are plenty of great contemporary jazz and chill tracks out there which get airplay on internet stations from other countries.

  14. brokenstring

    I’ve just bought my girl friend a DAB radio for Christmas
    as she’s an avid Jazz FM fan so what do I do now? Get a refund or still wrap it
    up? Either way I doubt if Santa will get anything under the mistletoe this
    Incidentally this is the second time Jazz FM has been
    spirited way from Sussex; last time the frequency was pinched by… yes you’ve
    guessed it. Anyone for setting up a ‘Save Jazz FM’ Facebook Book group?

  15. Chris

    LBC gone off DAB in my area (West Midlands),which i used to enjoy listening to,i liked to listen to dinner jazz on jazz fm,now that’s going,DAB is totally useless,stations come and go like the seasons!

  16. Dave Wiggy Wiggins

    I do feel this is a shame that jazz fm is going to stop broadcasting their station live on dab digital radio now i just hope jazz fm do have a rethink on this and do stay on broadcasting jazz fm on dab digital radio that would be good

  17. Bob Cooper

    The rate that radio stations are leaving DAB there will soon be a mountain of unwanted DAB radio sets at council refuse tips! What a disaster this country has made of the excellent potential that was posed for listeners with the introduction of DAB radio!

  18. Stuart

    I live in London so will still get Jazz FM on DAB but it’s still an appalling decision, probably made by a bean counter. Strange as it may seem to the twit who decided this, some of us do travel outside of London and don’t have access to the internet or freesat when travelling. We have been conned, DAB is rubbish. We need some of the old pirate radios stations back to force the bean counters to take notice of their customer base.

  19. tim clark

    dear oh dear what a short sighted decision Jazz fm is my fav station and is the soundtrack to my day! DAB is supposed to offer choice ok if you live in London

  20. Avid Listener

    Absolutely gutted. I drive nightshifts an listen to Jazz FM while driving. This decision is scandalous and although I have the mob app I cant use it while driving. I will now be removing this app from my phone and finding another source of audio entertainment. DISGUSTED!!!

  21. Nat

    It’s a pity,I’ve bought a nice Pure DAB radio mainly to listen Jazz FM West Midlands. What a replacement will be and when, what to listen from the 1st Jan? It’s do upset me.

  22. Peter Anthony Barry

    Digital Advertising Broadcasting with a smatter of music and presenter is NOT what we really need,repetitive same adverts hour by hour no wonder DAB is struggling.

  23. Jonnie H

    I am outraged! I travel around the UK in my car on a regular basis and Jazz FM on DAB is one of my favourite channels…..what am I to do? Listen to Radio 1? Euuugghhhh! Disgusted from Bristol.

  24. Steve Rice

    Like all of the previous posts i too am absolutely gutted, as i’ve only recently found this great station and as a result been introduced to the likes of Gregory Porter, Diane Reeves etc, with living and working in the Midlands will sorely miss this station when re-tuned…Not Happy!!!!!!

  25. Peter White

    I think the main problem with multiplex operators such as Digital One for national DAB coverage is the same old problem of ‘how much money can they make’? You’ll notice that for a long time we had fewer stations but they were broadcasting in stereo. JazzFM never did when it took up the national platform, but that was probably because it costs more for a station to use more bandwidth to broadcast in stereo on DAB (I.E. rent to the multiplex operator). If a new station shows it’s hand to broadcast this is likely to be to the detriment of an existing service broadcasting in stereo. So older more established services lose bandwidth to accommodate another new station – the result is more stations coming and going and mostly in mono! The real winner is the multiplex operator making loads more money! JazzFM has lost it’s way and lost it’s cutting edge with a raft of good presenters vanishing in the past year. DAB has the potential of being very good but how it’s run needs a bit of a review in my opinion, otherwise there will never be any REAL choice to the listener only more of the same. Sadly the only effective way of finding excellent radio today is via the internet where the shackles of the muliplex operator and Ofcom cannot impose their influence in the same way.

  26. Wilco

    Must be a way to stop the waste of DAB. What are the FM / DAB tuner suppliers doing about this. Think a petition to Ed Vaizey is required. The way the government and the DAB industry is behaving with regards to the customer is not unlike the greed in the banking sector

  27. Wilco

    PS…..Read this in his speech. Think he could make a start on quality.
    Mr Vaizey said: “I regard my role as a supporter and enabler of digital radio but… the key point is the radio listener and I completely respect the people’s passion for radio and not being made to do something they don’t want to do.

  28. ML

    I’ve been with Jazz FM since I used to live in London and listened on 102.2, but now I’m mainly listening on my DAB radio in the car. Looks like the end of the road of me now as a listener and the start of the final death throes of a once good station. Adios Jazz FM.

  29. John Williams

    What annoys me here is the smug message “Don’t worry … only one of the 5 ways is changing” Unfortunately its the only way I can get it in the car, in the kitchen or most of the rest of the house without buying new kit. A real disappointment and another irritating example of the London centric view of the UK’s media.

  30. George Fowler

    I work in Sussex most of year and I listen to Jazz FM or Smile (Jazz FM without the annoying adverts) but smile play mainly covers; good listening, but Jazz FM is preferable so after Jan 1st. it looks like no choice–Smile only!!! — totally annoying!!!!

  31. Gees

    I can’t believe it, I’m on the road most of the time and I had a ford company car with Dab for a short period and it was replaced with a car with just FM radio, I was told I could have a ford again and I’ve waited 6 months to get it but when I do get it i find out Jazz Fm is going. It’s the only station worth listening to and it keeps me happy so it’s back to depressed days listening to a loop of songs that send me mad..

  32. John from middle england

    Don’t know where they got the 150,000 listeners figure from outside London, all my friends, and indeed everyone I know listens to Jazz FM, must be well in excess of this quoted figure.
    R.I.P. Jazz FM (for outside London) you will be greatly missed, you were a great antidote for the usual ‘rock’, ‘modern’ rubbish that is put out by all the other stations!!

  33. bobrob22

    Don’t know where they do their research – like many people here, I, and a good many friends, listen on car radio. Guess like me, most of people here have tried the endless tuning to find something decent only to hear what appears to be the same basic song on virtually every other radio station – ok, bit of an exaggeration – not the same song – but god, it sounds like it!

    1. Sid Car

      Couldn’t agree more I never heard any Trad jazz played in all the time I listened. Most of it was just Muzak.

  34. Tony Graver

    My experience of listening on Internet radio (I’ve got a Pure Evoke Flow and a Contour) is that it’s a bit hit and miss. They frequently keel over for no apparent reason and changing stations is a chore. Finding new ones is a mission…

    1. Peter White

      The keeling over bit is likely to be with your broadband. Several factors could be the problem such as speed or the number of items running from the network at any given time. I do get the odd moment when the same happens to me but in general this isn’t very often. I have created favourite subfolders on the Pure Connect webpage which makes searching easy. Finding new stations the same way and adding them is easier than doing this via the radio. Once setup though access to these ‘saved’ stations on the radio itself is pretty simple in view of the number that are available.

  35. sue wall

    I have just emailed jazzfm to explain how disgusted I am with this decision. It’s unbelievable they way they have looked after London and sod the rest of us! This has been coming for a long time – they got rid of Steve Quirk, Leo Green and now Robbie has gone – and wasn’t allowed to even tell us! Gutted.

  36. another listener lost

    Loyal fans outside London dismissed with such disregard…. I wish there was an alternative digital jazz station…150,001 and counting!

    1. Olivia J

      Jazz FM? Okay let us listen on FM now that the government has woken up to the fact that DAB doesn’t actually work. Back in the dim and distant past I remember listening to Radio Luxemburg on a little transister radio and thinking how progressive it was. Now I can’t even listen to a programme being broadcast from London!

  37. Ashley Serr

    Its all very well suggesting switching to internet radio from DAB for jazz FM fans outside of London but what about those like myself who listen in their cars on DAB radios? There is no way to stream internet radio to a car. I agree with many of the comments already made. The DAB revolution has completely failed to deliver the variety and choice of specialist programming throughout the UK that was promised. Depressing.

  38. Giles

    DAB waste of money. I have four radios dotted about including one in my car. Makes you wonder why Europe didn’t follow suit. Reminds me of the Betamax video tape farce. Mobile Internet is getting overburdened already. Must dig out my CDs.

  39. City Gent

    I am very dissapointed in Jazz FM ceasing national transmissions. The primary reason that I decided to install a Pure H260DBi in-car DAB+ system was so I could listen to Jazz FM on long journeys. I know people report sketchy reception on their in car DAB systems but I managed to enjoy Jazz FM interruption free after travelling 280 miles (Bradford – Eastbourne M606, M62, A1, A14, M11, M25, A22, A27.) I hope that Arqiva find a suitable replacement, that will also transmit with an improved bit rate!

  40. Gill

    we too have had the expense of buying an Internet radio, but listen up jazz fm, we also found lots more choice, so don’t listen to you all day any longer, more to the point ,listen up advertisers! Also, my husband used his dab radio at work, as a painter and decorator, he took it to all his jobs. No good now, as he would need to ask to use his customers Internet. So will not listen to jazz fm during the day, again, do you here this advertisers!!! Profit may have come this month,but for how long? We live in Lancashire and will miss our favourites but will find alternatives. Goodbye Helen, Sarah & Purple Hearts, we’ll miss you. Gill & Colin.

    1. MRS B

      I whole heartedly agree – my husband also uses radio to work by – BUT is not into IT and would not be able to request use of customers internet as the properties are not usually yet built. If a profit has been made why not make the station better for those of us who LOVED listening, bought DAB radios rather than the IT/mobile/headphone listeners in LONDON!!!! we need to share!!!!

  41. DannishP

    A real shame although it was never as good as it should have been. Radio options in this country are already badly limited and DAB seemed like it would offer so much more. I’m so fed up of middle of the road mundanity and commercial cheese. The whole thing needs to be opened up properly to allow more creativity and support for niche stations. It’s infuriating. The ‘pool’ of UK radio stations just became even more of a damp and dreary little puddle.

  42. Bennetthead

    Phil Bennett Hull eastyorkshire.
    Dear jazzfm took delivery of a new Toyota rav 3months ago with dab radio,at last I was able to listen to my favorite station jazzfm on the move,no longer tied to the dab in the house and in my workshop. Don’t live in London,so to say I am stuffed is an understatement,thanks a lot jazz fm from all the disgruntled and out of pocket people who live north of Watford gap.Thanks Phil Bennett.

  43. KE55

    How can they be so confident that most listeners are in London? No-one’s ever asked me over here in Gloucestershire!

  44. Notch

    Why does the UK consistently lag behind other countries with regards to musical diversity on radio?
    I live in Yorkshire; the limited choice of musical diversity on DAB has now gone, namely Jazz FM and LBC.

    Instead I have access to the same local commercial dross that’s on FM?
    Why shouldn’t I have access to national debate just because I don’t live in London?
    We are not all sheep…bleating to the indoctrinated dross from sh… factor and the other puerile productions.

    Reggae, Jazz, Soul, blues, and the various sub genres are all legitimate musical mediums and arguably more influential than any others.
    But can I access a national station that caters for such diversity… no!

    Why? Because the cartels that run independent radio as well as BBC radio are short sighted and ignorant to the potential market of diversity.
    Wake up Mr and Ms Corporate;there exists a world beyond your commercially driven and narrow minded ethos.


  45. Bernard in Bristol

    JazzFM leaving National DAB is a horrendous reflection how the UK’s broadcasting set up is not working. The BBC who has a massive chunk of our money, provides little or no jazz or soul. Jazz is very much apart of our culture and its just been shoved into the ground by a broken system. Some of BBC licence fee should help stations like JazzFM to broadcast nationwide so a broader reach of music is on DAB. I agree with other DAB listeners – what’s the point of all these similar radio stations pumping put the same stuff. Its got to stop! Wake up OFCOM and wake up Government!!

  46. Billn

    Jazz fm was to London orientated if it is going to be a national station the include the nation not just the south east bit

  47. Kurt

    A lancashire listener here, very upset about this, but that is OK because we have Birdsong station. What?!

  48. Sproutfan

    Bloody marvelous aint it – find a great radio station – best since Caroline in the 80s (warts and all) and a few months later can’t hear it anymore. Wife bought me a DAB radio just so i could listen at work. What a shame , i loved Jazz FM.

  49. Disgusted midlander

    You know, I really enjoyed listening to jazz FM whilst driving home from work. Dab in my car was one of the key features that I had to have, and now it’s only the cockneys that can receive in this digital form. Just gone back into profit , well I hope the station crashes very quickly back into a loss!!!

    1. Stephen Marck

      What do you miss about it, the pop, northern soul or the new age traveller music they play?

  50. sally Wilson

    yes like most of the other listeners i bought a DAB radio specificaly to listen to jazz fm. I wish someone in the North of England could get backing to do the same type of radio station but include the great northern people. We have some great DJ’s in the north who appreciate good music too. Shame on Jazz fm for excluding us. I have emailed the station on several occaisions. I have been buying more CD since listening to Jazz fm but feel my interest in music will not be the same without the inspiration of a good radio station playing my kind of music. Has anyone got any suggestions on other stations. Its a joke promoting DAB radio my radio is switched off most of the time.

  51. yemonty

    Ian Thompson you don’t understand how great we as Londoners are. I have had the unfortunate experience once in the past of visiting a south Yorkshire pit town, It horrified me that people can live like that. You certainly do not need Jazz FM if you live in the north.

  52. MONI


  53. Stephen Marck

    Great, I just added a huge comment about Jazz FM sent it to post, and it’s been bloody well wiped! Typical.

    Oh well, in a nutshell, Jazz FM sold out long ago just to get the squares to listen and the advertisers to spend money on airtime. Even Robbie Vincent finally had enough and left. 700,000 listeners, how many of them are real jazz fans I wonder?As for the name, the station should be made to change it to something that more accurately describes the programming . . .pop, soul, northern soul, new age traveller music, elevator music (smooth jazz) and Dinner Jazz FM.

    Let’s hope someone else get’s a crack a playing real jazz to a wider audience. Something which Jazz FM was original intended for, not the mush they put out now.

  54. David Self

    Hi my name is David and I have been following jazz for 50 years and do a Jazz programme on a Student Station if you want to tune in onto me. on our Ap Blast 1386. Sounds of Jazz you can also tune into Dublin City FM, as some great Jazz there finally if you want more Kjazz 88.1 fm coming all the wayall the way from CALIFORNIA. with some great Jazz.. this is all on the webb. Ok… David .Spreading the Gospel of St Jazz.

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