I've asked this question before on the AC board, but I don't understand this generation of radio listeners having no interest in any sort of soft music. Obviously Easy Listening is gone. Commercial Classical stations are no longer around and many markets don't have an NPR Classical station... although Chicago is lucky to still have WFMT. Now Smooth Jazz also has died in most markets. And even at Soft AC stations, such as WLIT, they keep increasing the tempo of their songs. In many markets today, there are simply NO stations playing any soft music.
I agree with you completely. It is very sad. There are moods when I want to listen to CHR hits that are dancy and "turbopop", but there are other times when I LOVE to listen to soft music like Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Air Supply, the Carpenters, and so on.
There is a Soft AC station out of Miami that I stream online every day at work: WFEZ/93.1. It is an amazing station and is one of the few stations nationwide that REGULARLY plays music by the artists I mentioned above. When I'm at work I want to listen to this kind of music because it keeps me sane and keeps my stress level down. Some people say this kind of music is "sleepy" but I disagree. It's relaxing and refreshing. Here's their website: http://www.easy93.com/
It does bother me a lot that so many AC stations feel the need to keep increasing the tempo. I think part of it has to do with the way our culture is programmed these days. Technology is everywhere - smartphones, texting, etc. Everyone needs stuff NOW and doesn't have tolerance for slower music.
Regarding smooth jazz, I live in Michigan and was devastated when Smooth Jazz V98.7 (WVMV) ceased to exist. I enjoyed that station a lot. I don't make it to Chicago often, but when I do, I love being able to listen to 87.7 and am happy that they stream on their website.
It's a sad state of affairs.