Smooth is the new Jazz for London

London’s Jazz FM will be renamed Smooth FM this summer as owner Guardian Media Group attempts to rebrand its easy listening strategy after failing to increase audiences and revenue.

The move follows as a similar route taken by GMG’s North West Jazz FM in March 2004.

102.2 Smooth FM will launch within six months, bosses said today, with the help of a multi-million pound marketing television and outdoor campaign across the capital.

GMG Radio chief executive John Myers said it had been a “sad fact of life” that the Jazz FM brand had failed to make a profit in its 15 years.

He added: “There are not enough people who like jazz music to make it a viable proposition and this has been a fact for 15 years now.”

“We are caught between not playing enough jazz to please the purist and having the name jazz fm which inhibits trial from other listeners.

In a clear pledge to see the Smooth FM brand establish a major foothold in the capital, GMG said it hoped to see the new station battle it out in the fiercest radio market in the country.

Myers said: “We believe this station has enormous potential and will soon be among London’s top five commercial stations.”

By Kevin May

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