Well, it’s a stretch. But just the same you could say Richmond’s biggest jazz club is the domain of Peter Solomon, and it’s open every weeknight.
The Nielsen ratings show that up to 4,800 people listen to Solomon’s three-hour jazz program on Richmond’s WCVE-FM. So on average, probably more like 3,600 to 3,750 people are listening at any given time. That’s a big room.
And it’s about to move, and get much bigger — the transition is set for 7 p.m. on June 1. Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp., the nonprofit owner of WCVE radio and TV, sold off some electronic real estate — television broadcast spectrum it owned in Northern Virginia — about a year ago, for $182 million. It used part of those proceeds to acquire radio signal space around Richmond.
So now, Richmond public radio’s long-time mix of talk shows and music shows will part company. On June 1, jazz and the other music programming will move to 93.1 and 107.3 (they’ll duplicate signals) on your dial — and there will be a lot more jazz. Along with Solomon’s 7-10 pm show on weeknights, the two new stations will broadcast jazz from 10 to midnight, weeknights, from the Chicago-based WFMT Jazz Network, which you can read more about here.
The talk programs will stay at the old place, 88.9. I was told by others that there’s some concern that confusion over the move may diminish the music audience, if only temporarily. They’ve been working hard to spread the word so that won’t occur.
(Next, Part II: Solomon’s choices.)