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Jazz FM’s Richard Wheatly dies

By | Published on Monday 27 April 2015

Richard Wheatly

Jazz FM chairman and presenter Richard Wheatly died last week following a short illness. He was 69.

Wheatley first joined the station in 1995 as Managing Director, leaving in 2002 when it was sold to the Guardian Media Group. He returned in 2008 as the head of a consortium which negotiated a management buyout of the station for a nominal fee of £1. He was also co-founder and director of the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, and presented a weekly show on Jazz FM called ‘Jazz Notes’.

In a statement, Siobhan Kenny, CEO of commercial radio trade group RadioCentre, said: “We are so saddened to hear the shocking news about Richard’s sudden death. He was a maverick in our industry when he launched Jazz FM. By creating Jazz’s ‘Listen In Colour’ positioning along with the brand’s well-loved chameleon, he was successful in creating one of the most recognisable radio offerings of its time”.

She continued: “He was driven by an entrepreneurial passion and a deep love of jazz music. The people who worked alongside him over his long career will testify that he was a decent man who brought something different to our industry and was always a calm presence in the room offering sage advice. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone at Jazz FM”.