University issues RFP to run jazz station KKJZ, Long Beach

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Pacific Public Radio, operator of KKJZ-FM, the major jazz station in the Los Angeles area, is asking fans to urge license-holding California State University at Long Beach to renew its contract, which expires Aug. 1. The university has asked L.A.’s three other big pubradio stations — KCRW, KUSC and KPCC — plus Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions and the incumbent Pacific Public Radio to submit proposals to run KKJZ. Sean Heitkemper, KKJZ’s acting g.m., says the university’s RFP calls for adding “information” to the jazz/blues format and for the university to receive a share of revenues. Frank Sinatra Jr. told the Los Angeles Times that KKJZ is “the last lighthouse in the fog” for straight-ahead jazz on the radio. The station lost its g.m., Judy Jankowski, when she retired in December after it lost an $800K lawsuit. Coming up Sept. 2-3: the station’s annual Long Beach Blues Festival, headlined this year by Joe Cocker.