Smooth Jazz 101.1 (W266BW-FM) forced off air due to interference with Jasper station

Originally posted Saturday, February 2, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Smooth Jazz 101.1 (W266BW-FM) was taken off the air Saturday at 4:15 p.m. due to interference issues with a classic country station in Jasper. 

While 101.1 was under prior ownership, theFederal Communications Commission received multiple complaints from listeners of the Jasper station WLJA-FM at 101.1, which emanates out of Ellijay and is owned by Tri-State Communications.

The FCC Friday told Davis Broadcasting, the current owner, to take the signal off air until the issue is fixed to its satisfaction, according to Greg Davis Sr., owner of Columbus-based Davis Broadcasters.

Davis said he was aware of the interference issue when his company purchased the station from Youngers Colorado Broadcasting but didn’t know it would reach a point where the FCC would force Smooth Jazz off the air. 

WJZA, as it’s known, debuted in October, 2017 at the 101.1 signal and eventually hired veteran Atlanta jock René Miller for afternoons. It competes directly with 91.9/WCLK-FM. 

The station will continue to air at WMSA-FM/100.1 in Canton, an AM signal at 1310 (WJZA) and stream at its website

Davis, for the sake of his own cash flow, his staff and his listeners, said he hopes to get this resolved as quickly as possible but he is not sure how long that may be. 

He said relatively new FM “translators” like 101.1 get lower priority than a Class C signal like WJLA, which has more power. 

Rock station 99X, a “translator” owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus, last year had a similar issue with a station in Tallapoosa and was forced off the air for eight months until the interference issues were resolved

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.