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theJazz (defunct)
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Slogan Come into the cool and feel good
Frequency Sky Digital: 0113
Virgin Media: 961
First air date 25 December 2006
Format Jazz
Owner GCap Media

theJazz was a British commercial jazz digital radio station. The station was run by GCap Media and launched on Christmas Day 2006,[1][2] originally as a non-stop jazz station on the Digital One DAB ensemble, Sky Digital, Virgin Media[3] and the Internet.[4]

The station played jazz, including bebop, blues, traditional and modern jazz. GCap stated in its press release that the station "will do for jazz what Classic FM has done for classical music, in making the genre accessible to a UK-wide audience".[3] The station stopped broadcasting on 31 March 2008 on DAB.[5] theJazz was broadcasting a generic automated two-hour loop on Sky, Virgin Media and online without DJs.[6] This was closed down and removed from Sky and Virgin Media on 3 November. Chill has now[when?] relaunched on Digital TV using theJazz's old channel numbers on both Sky and Virgin Media.


After the closure of PrimeTime Radio, Ofcom allowed a variation of the Digital One licence to replace the requirement of an easy listening station to a classic and contemporary jazz requirement.[7] On 19 September 2006, GCap formally released a press statement announcing the launch of a new national radio station before 2007.[8]

theJazz started test transmissions on all the platforms it would broadcast on in December 2006. The test transmissions consisted of Lindos Electronics test tones and an announcement of the forthcoming launch.[9] From the commencement of broadcast to December 2007, it broadcast on DAB at a bit rate of 96 kbit/s in mono. From December 2007, this was increased to 128 kbit/s in joint stereo.

On 6 April 2007, the station started presenter-led programming.[10] At 09:00, Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM, formally opened theJazz. Helen Mayhew was the first voice heard on theJazz, introducing theJazz 500, a chart of jazz tracks voted for by the listeners to the station.[11] Other presenters on theJazz include Margherita Taylor, Jamie Cullum, David Jensen, Mike Chadwick, Anthony Davis, Digby Fairweather, Jacqui Dankworth and Courtney Pine.[12]

On 11 February 2008, GCap Media announced that unless a buyer was found, theJazz (along with sister station Planet Rock) would close at the end of March 2008. To compensate for the closure, Classic FM broadcast a nightly jazz programme between midnight and 2 am,[13] but that ceased in late September 2008 without warning. It is assumed by some observers of the industry[who?] that this is because of the impending re-launch of Jazz FM as a DAB/satellite service (though not by Classic FM's current owners), on 6 October 2008. GCap is also planning to sell its share in the DAB Digital One multiplex to Arqiva.[14]

theJazz stopped broadcasting at midnight, 31 March 2008 on DAB. The last song to be broadcast in its entirety was "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin (though this was followed by the beginning of 'Tally Ho' by Don Byron).[6]



GCap Media has also stated that the station will expand beyond radio in the services it offers, including podcasts, live concerts and downloads.[3] GCap have also set up a MySpace profile for theJazz to promote the station in the same way that it has done for sister stations such as Planet Rock, Chill and Core. On 1 August 2007 the website was relaunched as part of this expansion.[15]

Record publishing[edit]

In April 2007, GCap announced that it had made a deal with Universal Classic and Jazz which will allow theJazz to launch its own record label. The label will publish various jazz albums under theJazz name.[16]


PURE Digital and TheJazz launched a branded DAB digital radio receiver in 2007, sold exclusively in Marks & Spencer stores across the United Kingdom.[15]


  • Come into the cool and feel good with The Jazz.

See also[edit]

  • 102.2 Jazz FM – An earlier UK jazz-only radio station which broadcast from 2002 until 2005 before being rebranded as 102.2 Smooth FM. It was owned by GMG Radio and had no connection with theJazz. However, many of the DJs and shows from Jazzfm could be heard on theJazz.


  1. ^ Xmas Day launch for GCap Jazz Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.. Published by Radio Today on 28 November 2006. Accessed 28 November 2006.
  2. ^ GCap Media inc Regulatory Announcement[permanent dead link]. Published by the London Stock Exchange on 28 November 2006. Accessed 28 November 2006
  3. ^ a b c GCap Media Press Release for theJazz. Released 28 November 2006. Accessed 28 November 2006.
  4. ^ Welsh, James. GCap's jazz station gets Christmas launch, published by Digital Spy on 28 November 2006. Accessed November 29, 2006.
  5. ^ theJazz to Close[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b Sherwin, Adam (2008-05-02). "Jazz station wins record audience after scrapping DJs". The Times. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  7. ^ "ANNEX - PART I - Conditions relating to simulcast services and digital sound programme services". Ofcom. Archived from the original (doc) on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  8. ^ "GCap Media to Launch First National Jazz Station". GCap Media. 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  9. ^ "theJazz starts testing". Radio Today. 2006-12-17. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  10. ^ "GCap axes all Core presenters". Radio Today. 2007-03-15. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  11. ^ "Helen Mayhew - Latest News". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  12. ^ "theJazz comes alive". Radio Today. 2007-03-24. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  13. ^ "theJazz to close". Retrieved 2008-03-10. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Two GCap digital stations closed". BBC News Online. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  15. ^ a b "New website for theJazz". Radio Today. 2007-07-26. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  16. ^ Milman, Oliver (2007-04-30). "Record label extension for theJazz". Retrieved 2007-05-05.