WNYC to Acquire WQXR

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


>>FAQ from WNYC's Listener Services

WNYC to Acquire Classical Station in Three-Way Deal
You could think of it as a game of musical chairs involving The New York Times, Spanish language broadcaster Univision, and this station, WNYC.

WNYC to Acquire WQXR, Plans to Keep Classical
by Ilya Marritz
Major changes are coming to New Yorkers' radio dials. In a three-party deal announced today, the city's only full-time classical radio station -- WQXR -- will be acquired by WNYC, and the New York Times will get out of the radio business.

Financial 411
WNYC gets a new FM frequency, Univision moves down the dial, and The New York Times gets out of the radio business. Guest: WNYC President Laura Walker.

WNYC to acquire New York classical station WQXR
WNYC Culture
WNYC announced today that the station has acquired classical music station WQXR and the radio channel 105.9 FM from the New York Times for $11.5 million.

Official Statement from WNYC President Laura Walker
WNYC Radio Purchases WQXR from The New York Times, Preserving a Station Dedicated to Classical Music on the NYC Airwaves


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Comments [108]


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Congratulations to WNYC "Management" and minions.

Classical music is at last banished from 93.9FM -- It wasn't easy and it took 10 years but Bach, Beethoven and Brahms are gone at last, relegated to a low wattage station that hardly anyone can get. AM and FM are now strictly news/talk stations. Anyone over 35 should stop contributing -- it's not YOUR public station any more.

Oct. 22 2009 09:12 AM
William Chornooky

The frequency swapping may appear ro some as being innocuous but it should be noted that the NEW WQXR will only have 610 watts of transmitting power instead of 6000 watts of the old WQXR. This will result in greately reduced coverage area and result in being able to only be received in monoral reception when and if is availble at all in areas where it is now available in sterio high fidelity. I will probably not notice any difference at home in Queens but will probably loose all reception in Nassau when driving to Montauk. The more things change the more they get worse.

Oct. 09 2009 01:00 PM

Today is 3 October, so everything is long since fait accompli. I started listening to QXR at 1560 KHz on your AM dial in 1936. then 96.3 MHz. Recently, since forced to live up here in the Lower Hudson Valley, I lucked out with the "repeater" line: 103.7MHz. Henceforth, no repeater, and, with the new QXR broadcasting with 600 Watts from way out on the far end of the FM spectrum, I'll have zero QXR. Oh well, I'll have it on line. Anyway, I'm mostly concerned that WNYC management is planning to tightly censor music programming. From what I've seen so far, I don't like the filter at all! Their philosophy is crummy to say the least. It took QXR about 60 yrs to develop a catholic programming sense. NYC seems not to have learned from that experience. The whole situation is worrisome. Everybody's trying to put a happy face on this whole affair, but I sense ominous forebodings. QXR may not survive. New York City is the world capital of classical music. Imagine that city without a single radio station devoted to classical music! Insane! By the way, what happens with the hosts who did not (or have not yet?) signed up (or been allowed to sign up) as hosts on the new QXR -- Candice A, Annie B, Kevin G, Clayelle D, Vinny M, Brad (P? have forgotten his last name at the moment) Erato, ora pro nobis!

Oct. 03 2009 02:17 AM

I posted this on the Listener Services blog but because this is available you all will suffer my rant here also.

Just heard about the changes taking place with QXR. Been listening since the late 1940's as it was on in the house as I grew up. (I think I even listened in the womb.)
I spend more time now listening to satellite and WWFM on air and online than radio in the NY metro are anymore.
(Although WFME has some excellent choral pieces is truly non-commercial; and my parrots love to sing along with the hymns.)

How can it be that New York, the greatest city in the world suffers this classical music debacle?

While I don't want to see another classical music station disappear I have very little trust that WNYC and its wannabe commercial flunkies will stay true to the classical music cause.

Look what they did to the station they run now. Its all about demographics and the number of young listeners (many of whom were raised on sound bites; fast food; and went thru school using Cliffs Notes) they can capture.

As far as making the 105.9 QXR commercial free I don't believe it. Just listen to how commercial their (WNYC) current underwriting spots are. Not to say anything about their constant announcements about themselves and upcoming programs (probably necessary because of the short memory of the young people they have captured with their snappy (??) programming.)

I'm just entering my 60's but I remember when many AM stations (WABC, WOR,and several others) had an FM outlet that broadcast classical music. As the 1960's came along and FM became more viable and audiences increased many stations changed their format and realized that there were profits to be made on the FM band as well.

Its ALWAYS about money.

Eventually three(QXR, NYC, NCN) were left. NCN died out; NYC sold out and QXR well I hope it becomes better with this buyout by NYC.

Put the music on 93.9 (or keep 96.3) put the talk on 105.9 and maybe simulcast or different talk on the AM.

You say this change would be too confusing to your listeners. Well for all the touting WNYC does about the smart and intelligent listeners they have this switch should not be a problem.

Its time to give Laura Walker her walking papers. Otherwise there will be fund raisers just for her salary.

Please Please PLEASE don't let John Schaefer get involved with programming.
Hosts like T McNight talk way too much and try to patch musical ideas together acting like a composer wannabe.
Shut up and let the music speak for itself.

The music may not be want we want all the time but all the time it should be music, Music, MUSIC. That way all tastes and styles can be accommodated.
Hosts should be knowledgeable and not try to be my best friend.

Give away the Takeaway... or maybe make it a throw away.

You should be a station that leads and teaches not following the demographics and kissing the ass of "younger" fickle listeners who are always looking for what's new and trendy.

Y'know I've ranted way too much but let me say that many "great leaders" of business and politics have made the USA a 3rd world country; its in a condition that can't be fixed. Its because of greed and wanting fame, popularity and control. The ordinary citizen is lied to and ignored. Now it is happening with radio.

I'm glad I am older. I've lived and enjoyed good times, prosperity, had hope in the future.
Now the youth and younger people don't have a chance.
This radio fiasco is just another example of failed business and politics.

Glad I kept my dad's 78s, my old vinyl and tapes.

Oct. 02 2009 12:41 AM

Alright, okay, we're stuck with the "new" WQXR, hopefully not-so-new. But as Dorothy and others have said, can we please keep it intact and not start oozing in The Takeaway and other "now" garbage. WNYC, please, please take away The Takeaway and shut their slickness up. Yes yes, please somehow, some way in physics, retain the signal strength of WQXR too!!

Sep. 09 2009 08:23 AM

If you're going to pontificate you should spell "minuscule" correctly...

Sep. 01 2009 09:51 PM

Let's face it, WQXR is an irritatingly commercial station and WNYC is an irritatingly mainstream station with elite, "edgy" pretentions. Still, both are adequate. And WQXR is adequate at mainly broadcasting a good range of Western classical music; mostly the staples, but that's not a bad thing. Read James Agee on Beethoven if you think it's MUZAK. I do hope the new WQXR will not embody very much of the post-modernist music, mainly written by academics for a miniscule academic coterie, that NYC plays during the evening hours. Let those for whom music is a species of hipness listen to that, but do permit lovers of the admittedly moribund genre of 18th, 19th & yes, much of 20th Century music to have some small refuge on the dial. Please.

Aug. 30 2009 09:28 PM

St Paul Sunday is still running 7-8 AM on Sunday mornings. It is just about my favorite show and we rarely miss it -- we just listen in bed and get up when it's over.

Aug. 07 2009 12:27 AM

If you WQXR folks want to know what's going to happen to your station, listen (for as long as you can stand it) to "Soundcheck." It's hosted by the guy who thinks classical music is boring, the guy who can say "y'know" four times in one short sentence. Classical music on the radio in NY isn't dead yet but you can figure it's on it's last legs. Internet radio here I come.

Aug. 06 2009 08:58 AM

Remember Saint Paul Sunday morning hosted by Bill McGlocklen? It was a one and ona half hour show of live chamber music and relaxed conversation. There was plenty of time for a performence of an ENTIRE string quartet plus comentary by the performers. wnyc INSISTED it be shortened to a standard one hour program thereby rushing the conversations to sound bites, and the music to partial movements. THEN WNYC DROPPED THE PROGRAM!!! That'is what you can expect from the idiots at WNYC.
Did you see the comment (,by whatever her name is Ms 600K I don't care) That wqxr can play longer MOVEMENTS from symphonys! wnyc isn't even going to let wqxr play entire peices of music. Well guess what, If you don't care about thousands of people who understand the importance of real music, WE DON'T NEED YOU!

Aug. 04 2009 03:02 PM

I've been listening to WNYC since 1983 -
Just in case anyone is wondering about the WNYC Community Advisory Board, don't bother. This is window dressing with no power and no influence. WNYC "Management" does whatever and whenever. (Note history of Satellite Sisters and The Takeaway).
They are going after the youth market and seem to want nothing to do with anyone over 40 (except your money, of course). This does not bode well for WQXR and classical music.
You should know that Satellite Sisters was (is?) a wholly owned profit making subsidiary of WNYC even though it was running on public radio. Nice tax trick I guess. That it made no profit was purely accidental.
Still running online:

Jul. 28 2009 01:32 PM
enoch needles

Laura Walker took away classical music, gave us (occasionally interesting) talk, and the execrable Takeaway. My contributions to wnyc ceased after her condescending post-9/11 letter claiming that this is what listeners wanted. It's all about feeding her ego. And apparently, it's insatiable. WQXR is her latest snack.

Jul. 28 2009 11:44 AM
special monkey

Someone please fire Laura Walker -she's walking all over WNYC. Fried
Judea, The Takeaway, Tell Me Less - all stupid programming -who needs it? Why is WNYC a non-profit paying Laura Walker > $450,000 -more than the President of the U.S.A., listeners - it's time to stop listening, and stop contributing.

Jul. 27 2009 10:26 PM

The sighs of relief emanate from those in NYC and only the most adjacent communities. In Midtown the 105.9FM signal is adequate, generally. Hopeless in Long Island. I feel great sadness for those deprived of their music. NYC stalled on the announcement until after the most recent Begathon. Behaving like any big corporation. Kein Gelt for NYC in the future. The are either bent or stupid (or both). The listener/supporter gets diddled.

Jul. 23 2009 03:56 PM
Daniel A. Freeman

I have been listening to both WNYC-am and WQXR since around 5 yrs of age (70 years) thanks to my parents. I've been a wnyc subscriber since it went to listener-supported. I cherished classical music on wncn and what there was of it on wrvr (Riverside church). I complained to Ms. Walker when classical music was buried on wnyc. I've been distraught over the "dumbing-down" of classical music on wqxr. Re., the NY Times, what do you expect? They are a profit making business subject to the bottom line and the vicissitudes of the "free market" eonomomy. Our current society does not provide for the cultural enrichment of the public, dependent as it is on private capital, profit, etc. The government gives billions--even trillions-- for war and bailouts, etc. but not for culture.
That said, here are my proposals: Reliance on WNYC-2 or internet streams reuires being cnchored to the internet--a VERY limited and miserable option especially for "Walkman" users, drivers, etc; PUT WQXR CLASSICAL ON 93.9 and news, talk etc. on 105.9; Eliminate the duplication of AM 820 and wnyc-fm by converting 820 to classical (not dupicating WQXR) and some news-discussion (not duplicating wnyc-FM; Please, no religious programs (they can buy their time on commercial statiions);
KEEP DAVID DUBAL AND BILL MCLOUGHLIN'S 7 PM PROGRAM; Return George Preston, Brad Cresswell et al to overnight radio; Let Laura Walker and other executives at wnyc know you support these proposals!
Daniel A. Freeman (Manhattan)

Jul. 23 2009 01:59 PM
Pete Auslander

Listener Services - Do you read these things? ... Do you hear a drumbeat of "we've been deceived in the past" and "sure, they SAY they're committed to a HOME for classical music, but 105.9 has very much the feeling of a cottage (to be charitable and polite)."

WNYC is, of course, terribly "corporate" - I'm sure it serves them well when dealing with underwriters and major donors.... But don't you think you could prevail upon Ms. Walker to acknowledge fully and candidly that "mistakes have been made" and to fill in some of the crucial blanks that are all too visible a week after this deal was hammered out.

Has any consideration been given to UNLOADING WNYC-AM. Surely, it has SOME value to the folks (or folks like them) that WNYC is trading horses with. Seriously, is a thought never given to selling assets which are worth more in every respect to others than they are to the WNYC community? Or are you just thrilled with your strategy of BUY AND BUILD AND BEG 5 times every hour?

Ms. Walker made a big deal about how WQXR's listeners would be well served by "losing" those 60 second (and horrid) commercials in favor of underwriting, but EVERYBODY knows that you lose 95% of your "ears" during pledge drives. Surely, the "kickoff campaign" on "the new WQXR" - on which I'm sure all hands are hard at work at this moment - will have the same effect. And will the first WQXR fund drive feature appeals to help build a WNYC warchest so that 105.9 can be traded for 99.5 or some other frequency that actually provides listenable classical music to more than a handful of people OVER THE AIR?

WNYC is alienating listeners left and right. For all that I'm still glad you're broadcasting as well as webcasting, it won't be long before your precious RATINGS peak and plummet as people find that other NPR stations are streaming programming every bit as interesting WITHOUT 7 minutes per hour squandered to your not-quite-an-ad-wink-winks.

You have been warned! Try LEVELING with the listeners, for a change - a steady diet of being taken for granted contains too many trans-fats!

Jul. 21 2009 03:01 PM

I was very upset when, after my contributing more than I could afford to WNYC after 9/11 and hearing promises of great programming to come, WNYC-FM banished most classical music. I feel the current deal gives Laura Walker what she wants: more listeners. I thought the purpose of public radio was to serve the underserved, else why else does it exist? I do like and support Leonard Lopate and Brian Lehrer (sp?), but used to listen to them on AM. However, this current deal deprives people who are out of reach of the new WQXR frequency of classical music. And, who knows what the new programming will be like. In his bio, as I recall, John Schaeffer,the music director for WNYC finds classical music boring. I dislike the New Sounds programming (which I once enjoyed) and also the 2 p.m. music program. So, I will take a wait and see stance. If I get a year of real classical music programming from the new WQXR, I will contribute, but not until then. Incidentally, I really like the classical programming and the host from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday on WNYC-FM.

Jul. 21 2009 11:04 AM
William Hawlk

I have listened to WQXR since I was a teenager in the Hudson Valley. My father started with WQXR-AM 1560 and moved to WQXR-FM 96.3. I remember in my later years, Tom Bartunek as the host of Join The Chorus program every Sunday morning.

Please KEEP the 103.7 Mid-Hudson Valley repeater in Poughkeepsie, NY runing. Without it, we will not have a 24/7 classical music station all year. A Clear Channel owned station WNJN-FM 103.7 in Central NJ interferes with the WQXR-FM 103.7 repeater here in Dutchess County wher I live.

Why is WQXR-FM moving form 96.3 6000 watt station a 105.9 600 watt station???
So Univision can put some Spanish-Language programing in the 96.3 spot. Why is this country catering to people who live in this country but can speak English, the language of America???!! Learn to speak English!!

I, like some other listeners, think this sell off is the beginning of the end of classical music on the radio in NYC and in the Huson Valley!!! PROVE ME WRONG!!!
It also sounds like you can not trust this Laura Walker, President and Chief Excutive of NYC!!!

This is a BAD MOVE!!!!

Jul. 20 2009 03:18 PM
Furrokh Irani

I suppose this is reflection of the sign of the times. Advertisers feel their money is better returned on other stations, so, that is where they will go.

In these days when we are getting used to billion dollar transactions, one wonders how much good the paltry 45 million that NYT will generate from its sale of WQXR will do. Perhaps it is a good move for WQXR to be delinked from the NYT.

Jul. 20 2009 08:15 AM

Joel, you may find that thought comforting, but 1) if you lived in NY or NJ and have gotten this programming for free for decades, suddenly paying for it is not such a great thing and 2) I have no confidence that the quality of WQXR programming will remain at its current level with that certain blonde lady in charge, Laura Walker...

Jul. 19 2009 10:25 PM

I am still and always will be a WQXR fan even if the dial moves up and the frequency is low. Now that the New York Times will no longer own WQXR, this would be the chance for the station to try to get back and rehire the former disc jockey Gregg Whiteside. Ever since his dismissal that was handled by former employee, Jayson Blair of the New York Times, many of the people in the New York area still mourn about his unexpected firing. Myself included. I was among one of the very listeners who loved him and his program and when I last heard Gregg's show, I felt so sorry for him when he was cut off the air too soon of his words before Sam Hall came on with the news. It is still a tremendous loss for a lot of the classical music listeners to suffer a great deal of Gregg's dismissal even to this very day. If Gregg Whiteside personally sees this, I do hope he does take consideration to make a comeback return to the WQXR airwaves as we New Yorkers love him and still miss him to this day. WE WANT YOU BACK GREGG!!!

Jul. 19 2009 02:51 PM
Paul Ducroiset

I think it was a good idea for WNYC to take over the switched 105.9 frequency in this New York Times sale of WQXR. But I am not happy with the Signal from 105.9 versus the full power signal of 98.3. I would suggest that WNYC swap frequencies for the WQXR signal to their full power WNYC-FM Freq. of 93.9 and put their Public Radio program on 105.9. Remember WNYC also has an AM station operating at 10 Kilowatts with Public Radio Programs and there are other stations in NYC that carry Public Radio Broadcast. This would not eliminate the classical music signal of WQXR in suburban New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Jul. 19 2009 02:08 PM
Phil Aguilar

Does NOBODY care about the cost?!

It's wonderful, I'm sure, that the Spitzers and the Greenes are classical music lovers, but it seems to me that WNYC is not having its greatest fund-raising year ever - by its own admission, and I would bet any ranch in existence that the $7.5 Million they hope to raise $100 at a time will simply never materialize.

So, if one asks - who benefits and to what extent? ... and AT WHAT COST? -

I think the answers are pretty sobering, although I'd prefer to say that the answers are dispiriting and call the decision into question - and not just a little bit.

There seems to be no doubt that major question marks of a technical (who will hear the new WQXR FM and how well?) nature hang over this deal. The poster who pointed out that this might actually DIMINISH the number of listener hours attributable to WNYC in connection with classical music hit the nail right on the head. IMO, Terrance belongs on a low wattage college station, but if he loses 40% of his listeners by virtue of going to "radio Siberia," how will his fans feel?

I'm grateful that WNYC offers 24/7 classical music via its BROADCAST HD effort AND via the web. To spend $15 million to serve people who can't or won't buy a $75 radio or figure out this newfangled thing called the internet is the kind of thing that may have made sense in boom times of yore.

It's utterly incomprehensible in terms of a public radio station's obligation to the public during difficult times!

Jul. 19 2009 10:50 AM
Harry Weissfisch

The death of American Classical music.
WQXR has been a becon to classical music since I began to live in this country. I cannot bear to believe that our society is so blind as to delegate classical music to the heap of low wattage and finally to its demise. Take heed from the Romans, their empire crumbled as the arts dwindled; this should not be our legacy. Unfortunately, we are dictated by economics and that is a force too powerful to sustain. So I sadly proclaim goodby to classical music and lets hope we all can learn a valuable lesson. Without the classics (art and music) our civilization is doomed to failure.

Jul. 19 2009 10:27 AM

I have loved WQXR for years but had to stop listening to it because after feeling great enjoyment at having heard a wonderful piece of music their advertising would immediately remind me of the hips I could break, or the hospitals I should use for many other physical ailments.

I hope you will select more appropriate sponsors for the new station - not constant reminders of how I might become injured or die.

Jul. 19 2009 12:25 AM

Let us all keep in mind that many of the finest programs from both WNYC and WQXR are and will continue to be available with undiminished signal quality throughout North America on Sirius-XM Pops, Symphony Hall, and XMPR. The cost of a subscription is no more than that of a typical Public Radio membership.

Jul. 18 2009 07:51 PM
Francesco Davida

Please tell that phony Laura Walker to amend her resume to include her real degree which is an MPA, not a MBA. She has misrepresented her educational credentials ever since she was made Executive Director. She's a phony and a liar.

Jul. 18 2009 06:50 PM
Francesco Davida

It's funny that WNYC which is constantly begging for money has enough in its coffers to actually buy a commercial radio station with a commercial license. No wonder why WNYUC can afford to pay Laura Walker a salary in excess of $600K. I think a more prudent use of public money would have been to turn one of the two radio stations WNYC acquired from the City into a first rate classical music station and there would be no need to waste money acquiring WQXR. But then again how else could the station justify Laura Walker's bloated salary.

Jul. 18 2009 06:48 PM
Daniel Reeves

It's pretty shocking that in a city of over 8 million people, classical radio isn't profitable enough for even one commercial classical station to survive.

Jul. 18 2009 06:47 PM
Lucy Jfferson

Same thing happened in Boston. WCRB first dropped the Met("nobody wants to hear Wagner"), then moved to Lowell Mass, 30 or so miles north. In downtown Boston even with a Bose and long antenna, it doesn't come in. I listen to WFMT Chicago on internet radio, and I contribute to them.
Good luck in NYC! I've felt your pain.

Jul. 17 2009 09:01 PM

While I mostly listen to wnyc, i was driven to wqxr between 10 am and 2pm when these obnoxious talk shows come on the air, especially Brian Lehrer. I never understood why they made this programming change. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels this way. the one exceptional news program on wnyc is The World, which they stick on am at 3pm, instead of fm at a better time. At least we have John Shaeffer and Wait Wait Don't tell me, and Evening Music.

Jul. 17 2009 08:14 PM
David Carson

Since reading Daniel Wakin's article in today's Times (7/17), I have done a little research. The article gives the impression that WNYC is acquiring WQXR's license. This may be technically true, but what is actually happening is that Univision, current licensee of 105.9, is the entity actually ending up with WQXR's current license. What WNYC is getting for $11.5 million is ripped off. Someone should have the guts to quash this deal, which primarily benefits the Times and Univision.

Jul. 17 2009 03:38 PM
Dan Hermann

This is a dirty deal. With far fewer people able to get the new "WQXR" signal, support levels will drop. The FCC should stop this. There is a huge classical music industry in New York, and WQXR has been a major support to them. Everybody should be up in arms. Write your congressman!

Jul. 17 2009 03:07 PM
John in the Finger Lakes

I can fully understand the pain, anger, and frustration that is reflected in so many of the posts here. But I have a somewhat different perspective on the WQXR sale because of my location in upstate NY, far from any WQXR-FM transmission of any power. I grew up in northern NJ and listened to WQXR all throughout my high school and college years, after which I moved far away from the NYC area. When we first moved to the Finger Lakes some 30 years ago, it was possible to receive WQXR via the Cable, and it was wonderful to have it back. Then the cable company dropped its FM feeds, and again no QXR. Then I discovered it was on the internet, and I have been listing to it ever since. So you might say that I have been through QXR "withdrawal" twice already, and like everyone else on this list I am concerned about the future of the station.

We all know that newspapers are a dyeing breed and that the Times is just doing what it thinks it has to do to survive, and I for one applaud the fact that they are at least trying to save the station. But the other fact is that FM radio itself is not far behind newspapers in the race to oblivion.

If there is one thing that I've learned over the past 50 some years of chasing WQXR, it is that there is always a niche for quality classical radio if you want it bad enough. Right now that niche is on the internet, so my advice to those of you who are going to lose FM reception is to go out and invest in an internet radio, or at least crank up iTunes on your computer. You will be amazed at what is out there.

Jul. 17 2009 02:16 PM
Neil in Brooklyn

Well, the good news is that WQXR is not completely disappearing and they will continue to air the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. (Please, oh, please keep David Dubal and the Chamber Music Cociety at Lincoln Center as well! Also, "Performance Today" - weekdays, as well as weekends, "SymphonyCast," "CinemaScore" and maybe add "NPR's World of Opera.")

But, there's plenty of bad news:

The new frequency, 105.9, has only 10% the power of 96.3 - I barely get it in my apartment.
WNYC-FM will dump the rest of their classical programming, so, we're actually losing 2 powerful classical outlets, at least in the evenings.
WNYC will likely program the new WQXR the same way they now program WNYC's classical offerings; mixing the classics with "New Sounds," world music and more "daring" selections (i.e. unlistenable, tuneless modern works). I don't know about you, but I don't turn to classical music to be "challenged" - life itself can be challenging enough! At least now when WNYC airs such fare, I can tune to WQXR - but, no more.
So, it may be internet or satillite radio in my future. I think New York City terrestrial radio no longer has much to offer me.

Jul. 17 2009 12:38 PM

When I was in Anchorage, Alaska, I had no problem finding their classical station. The same held for Portland, Oregon.
New York City is suppose to be the culture capital of the world. We will look look very foolish as a cultured city without a classical station such as the current WQXR, our island of reason in a sea of discordant noise.
We all feel cheated, as well as banished, with a 600 Watt station in our future. The station that will replace WQXR at 96.3 has its listeners in the New York city area, as well as Union City and other NEAR suburbs. They do not need the 6000 Watt range that we currently enjoy. So why should we, as pawns, give up the power that provide so many with the greatest music written.
As mentioned above, I grew up listening to WQXR, starting in the days of Jacque Frey and Robert Lawrence. WQXR provided me with a wonderful education in all the music that we call classical.
What of the next generations?? Have you been to Philharmonic Hall (i.e., Avery Fisher) for a Saturday evening concert lately? Look at all the grey hair and bald heads!! The youth of our city need the exposure to classical music that only WQXR provides.
WQXR has provided a great, FREE outlet for the great music of the ages to all. Many of you have been listening as long as I have, and have learned and enjoyed the wonders provided for us by the great composers. We have also been exposed to forms such as Twelve Tone, and atonality, which is an extension of this rich culture. What will be available to the youth of the city? Hard Rock and Rap is not music to my ears.
Where is Leonard Bernstein when we need him most. He, as a lover of this city, would have championed this cause to save the true WQXR. Alas, he is gone.



Jul. 17 2009 11:55 AM

As a dedicated WQXR listener for many many years, I am concerned about the path the station will take. In recent years, some decisions have apparently been made that have lessened the station's potential. This is a wonderful opportunity to expand on the best of WQXR and take it in a new direction. Some thoughts:

The ideal line-up of the best announcers would be:

Jeff Spurgeon in the morning. His sophisticated take on the music and wry comments are just right.

Annie Bergen in the early afternoon. She has a wonderful, bright personality and a delightful voice .

Kevin Gordon in the afternoon. His soothing, friendly personality and wonderful (sexy) voice is just what's needed at that time of day. (Why isn't he on more?)

Midge Woolsey or Candace Agree in the evening to help bring the day to a pleasant close.

Also, why not more live performances? I would love to hear what the artists who come to town to perform at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center have to say about the music, etc.

Please, WNYC, keep the best of WQXR and help elevate it to what it could be and hasn't quite reached. I'll be rotting for you!

Jul. 17 2009 09:47 AM

I am so upset about this. NYC and QXR are my two favorite stations and I just hate for anything to change. I love both stations for very different reasons and the thought of QXR announcers leaving or the programming getting all screwed up....makes me sad.

Jul. 17 2009 08:45 AM

So we have Laura Walker to thank for "The Takeaway" and now the only good classical music station is moving to a frequency and power that will not be listenable in New Jersey. One can only wonder what her next great improvement will be. Why am I sending her my pledge dollars for this??

Jul. 16 2009 10:03 PM
A. Bergman

I live in Northern Westchester and tuned in to 105.9 FM today. The reception is terrible compared to WQXR's former slot at 96.3 FM. What a horrible loss for us. I was hoping that WQXR would "accompany me" into retirement. Suppose I will just have to keep working!

Jul. 16 2009 05:55 PM
Paul Grebanier

WNYC listeners were betrayed before. It was all the Classical listeners that provided most of the money to buy WNYC from the city to preserve classical music in NYC. Then we were betrayed - bitterly disappointed - and stopped being members.
Now WNYC is again looking to Classical Music Lovers to buy another station for them. How can we possibly trust the current management after what they did to us?

Jul. 16 2009 05:53 PM
David Novak

I was in Los Angeles when KFAC (92.3) switched from classical, selling its name/library to KUSC. The Santa Barbara station took the call letters, until they, too, were changed. How times have changed--I now listen to WQXR on the Internet from Vermont, as well as classical stations from all over the country and the world. WNYC should be commended and supported for making a move to preserve tertiary and Internet broadcast of WQXR.

Jul. 16 2009 05:45 PM
Frank M.

I'm a Washington D.C. classical listener (where a classical broadcasting miracle occurred 2 years ago), and a sometime writer on classical music trends in America. An important impression for me is the remarkable quality and knowledgeability of WQXR listeners weighing in on these discussions!

Manager Laura Walker's interview did not acknowledge earlier events about which listeners complained, nor discuss concerns about moving WQXR to weaker broadcasting signal. Not a good sign, I agree. I'll be watching trends with interest.

I suggest developing a communications/activist network that may be able to cooperate in gaining information and creating initiatives.

PS "nnamelet" is Telemann backwards

Jul. 16 2009 05:26 PM

While you can hear different kinds of music from different periods in many formats, I think WQXR offers better music education programming, especially David Dubal's Reflections from the Keyboard. I’ve never really learned anything from the classical time slots on various public radio stations. I travel to different parts of the country for my job and I always try to tune in to the classical station in whatever major city I’m in and if they even have one, none are as good as WQXR. I grew up listening to WQXR and unlike the profile of what someone wrote as the typical listener, I’m in my 40’s and just really appreciate the music and the programming from this station. In addition, it seems I’ll still be able to stream WQXR at work, but I live in western Morris County, NJ and the new signal of 105.9 on only 600 watts won’t be a strong enough signal for me to get at home because sometimes even the current 6000 watts at 96.3 comes in weak. I hope FCC is reading all these comments ...

Jul. 16 2009 04:57 PM
Carole V

It is really sad. I used to be able to get WNYC here in Walden NY until some other station got too close, and I can't get it anymore.. Now I'm going to lose WQXR because of the drop in frequency. I listen to it for hours every day.

Jul. 16 2009 03:15 PM
Bart Cobert

I too am saddened by this transition. I doubt WNYC will be able to keep the announcers, format and quality. I presume the recording library will move to 105.9. I cannot get good reception of this frequency in Union County NJ alas so I am pessimistic. As a caller mentioned above, much fine music is on the net and with an internet radio and a wifi in your house you can get good sound and fine classical stations from around the country (e.g. Chicago, Seattle and others) as well as from the EU (France Musique). There is also pandora radio and xradio/sirius though without announcers etc. What I find sad and frustrating is the way management is flailing around trying to keep the NY Times alive after such bad acquisitions as the Boston Globe and a minority stake in the Boston Red Sox(!!!). Not surprised they were able to fail with a monopoly station doing classical music. The Times used to be a great paper, the Grey Lady, the paper of record. Now it is trying simply to be a combination of US magazine, Bon Appetit and various other lifestyle magazines. The editorial comments are polemic and predictable with rare exceptions. The best English language writing and news coverage in the Wall St. Journal and the Economist. Too bad.

Jul. 16 2009 02:37 PM

Maybe it's time to move back to Chicago and a "real" classical station. At least WFMT does play the same horrible ads all day long. (And, by the way, you can stream it on your computer)

Jul. 16 2009 01:50 PM

Here in the Washington, DC area,we faced a similar situation. Our only commercial classical station, WGMS, went off the air and our primary Public Radio station, WETA, changed back to a 24/7 classical music format with a powerful tramitter and some of WGMS's announcers. This was a courageous move by WETA. I also applaud WNYC for supporting the classics.

Nevertheless, I find myself listening to more often than not. Not only have I grown up listening to this national treasure in southern New Jersey, bit its programming is wonderfully unique. Both the programming staff and announcers at WQXR go out of their way to find new recordings of the tradittional classical corpus, but also introduce a certain indefinable element of "class" and "style". It would be a big mistake to change any of this and try to 'modernize' the station in the mould of WNYC-2. The New York City area meeds a constant source of classical music, but not just any format will do!

Please keep all WQXR's announcers, programming staff and technical staff.

I have interfaced an internet receiver to my stereo and can honestly say that the sound quality of the station is outstanding. It has always been so, with rich bass and sparkling highs. I home that the move will not entail a downgrade in the actual studio apparatus.

We really need to face the fact that most quality programming has moved to the internet. A 10 dB decrease in analogue FM signal strength won't have that much of an effect for listeners within Line of Sight of the Empire State Buiding. However, those living in the fringes may find reception difficult or impossible. The MIT 'Radio Stations of the World' website actually gives coverage maps of WQZR, WCAA and the three QWZR translator stations in Oakhurst NJ, Stamford CT, and Highland NY. Preserving these translator sites and, perhaps, obtaining new ones would help to fill in inevitable coverage gaps. However, internet reception will probably be the only option for many. Please note that there is a world of difference in sound quality receiving WQXR's high quality signal on a computer, which has not been primarily designed to reproduce music, and an internet receiver coupled to a good HiFi system. This is not a hard thing to do. It will also provide many new classical music options. Since I have lived in Germany and Hungary, I enjoy eavesdropping on WDR and Bartok Radio from time to time. That being said, WQXR is still my favorite station with the best programming. Long live WQXR!

Jul. 16 2009 01:29 PM

Althouggh WNYC is a nonprofit organization, 105.9 is a commercial allocation.

Could WNYC sell commercials on 105.9, with any profits being "plowed back" to WNYC??

If not, try to get current WQXR advertisers to underwrite programming once you take it over.

(And hopefully, you'll get the WQXR translators in Stamford, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey. They'll be needed more than ever)

Jul. 16 2009 12:55 PM

Not knowing how this will play out, my hope is for MORE MUSIC and less Car Talk, Garrison Keiler and scripted cutesy news ala "All Things Considered" for public radio in what should be the most cultured city in the country.

Jul. 16 2009 11:40 AM

This is not a good change. WNYC-FM (6000 Watts)should move to 105.9(610 Watts). I am in Bushwick Brooklyn and WCAA barely comes in on my portable CD. WNYC is dead full quieting, WQXR is DFQ, WCAA is just above the noise,depending on where I sit with my radio. I work in a building in Queens just across from LGA, I doubt I will be able to hear the "new" WQXR despite being line of sight to the Empire State Building. I cannot stream internet at work and I doubt it will sound as good as the FM signal. We are about to lose clasical music in NYC due to it being impossible to hear.

Jul. 16 2009 10:55 AM
Stephen Victor

WQXR was the soundtrack of my childhood. I still listen to the station every day from Pennsylvania, where the signal is quite good.
A reduction to 600 watts will mean the loss of radio reception.
Saddest of all would be if one of New York City's greatest jewels will be tarnished or gone.
I agree that it would be best to move the current WNYC-FM to 105.9 (since it will be primarily a local interest station anyway, given the huge network of PBS stations throughout the country) and move WQXR to 93.9. Good music is a universal language of universal interest. And it is NOT well-covered nationally.

Jul. 16 2009 09:27 AM

Richard, If you live close enough you can hear Hearts of Space on WSHU 91.1 FM from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield CT. It is on Sunday evenings, 10pm I believe.

Jul. 16 2009 09:11 AM
Dr. Stanley Taub

I'm saddened that the veritable haven of classical music in New York will be no longer be accessible as it has been to New York's and the world's classical music lovers. WQXR is an institution that has enriched our lives from time immemorial. When I think of the fabulous pleasures I have heard from broadcasts of the sounds of Horowitz, Rubinstein, Milstein, Heifitz and countless other incredible musicians, I weep to think that the opportunities may become a thing of the past. Imagine a life or a world without Chopin or Beethoven. Will we continue to see an erosion of quality of broadcast music to 30 second commercial sound bites, and the sickening mindless chatter of news pundits. WQXR provided a place to retreat to, to quiet the mind, to reflect on the worthwhileness of beauty in where song and instrumental wonderment was always accessible. And what of David Dubal and his brilliant programming and commentary on Reflections from the Keyboard? This is my favorite Wednesday night program that I always look forward to. Please do not let Dubal slip into the musical void. He is the one link to our rich musical pianistic heritage. He of all announcers has the ability paint a musical canvas of what life was like in Mozart's time. David Dubal has managed to describe the creative atmospheres of past times when musical geniuses such as Franz Liszt, Josef Hoffman and Serge Rachmaninoff wrote and performed the music we so much love and revere. We need his and the many other notable WQXR broadcasts to give us solace in these very troubled and aurally chaotic times.

Jul. 16 2009 07:37 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Nobody will like the new situation.

Why MUST WNYC have talk on both AM & FM?

Like many of your other listeners, I have stopped contributing to the station since morning and afternoon classical were dropped.

The problem with WQXR was that they played the same pieces of music weekly or monthly. They simply played the same few hundred CD's over and over. They have a library of thousands of CD's (not to mention what happened to all of their vinyl) which they do not play. Similar mismanagement happened at WNCN.

How many of you remember when they were competing, WQXR announced that they would play pieces only in their entirety. That evaporated at the end of 1993 when WNCN disappeared.

For a listener to say that you will only listen to a certain announcer announcer is ridiculous. The object is the music and the importance it is given.

If there will be only one music station, then the only solution would be to allocate blocks of hours different types of music. Do not mix genres and time periods.

I do not enjoy much of what David Garland plays. He also talks too much and often will run out of time for what he has scheduled. Occasionally, he will play something worthwhile...Marc Blitzstein's Airborne Symphony.

Terrence McKnight has gotten better. He started out with too much jazz.

Most WQXR listeners wouldn't listen to either one of them.

These listeners are often retired, in their 60's and above. They will be around a lot longer with increased life span and should be heard from.

I take issue with Mr. Mitnick. When George Preston personally hosted a show it was all Classical. No new music, no jazz. I have complained about the music played overnight. Too much of "New Music."

Things started to go downhill when John Cage was given serious attention. When Pauline Oliveros' music was recently played, I had to turn the radio off, as I do with most of New Sounds.

I have been a listener to all classical music stations since 1973. I enjoy new music which if it IS worthwhile. Philip Glass is great. Michael Nyman and John Adams good, to name a few.

Most of WQXR's listeners are much more conservative than I am.

The fighting between the factions will continue.

Maybe the FCC can block this sale with enough listener outrage and someone trustworthy and responsible can take over 96.3 and develop it (like GAF was able to do with WNCN)

Jul. 16 2009 07:34 AM
Richard S Mitnick

Henry is right on. While I have cable for TV, for FM, I use the biggest antenna that Radio Shack sells. I needed it back in the day for Music From the Hearts of Space
( ), to which, of course, I now subscribe.

If you miss Hearts of Space, check it out. There is a fabulous new flash player and a great new web site.

I have long wanted WNYC to put HOS back on the air.

Jul. 16 2009 06:20 AM

I agree with Henry when he said: The grimmest note in this whole business was the statement that the WQXR announcers would have to apply for their jobs. That's adding insult to injury. We, their audience, have not expressed any desire to change who brings us the music we love. And I also agree with everyone who says 105.9 will not be received in Fairfield County; there's a competing station out of Norwalk CT that will completely overpower it. Unfortunately I can't take the internet with me in the car as I battle rush hour traffic and am soothed by WQXR (for now).

Jul. 16 2009 06:06 AM
Henry R. Rupp

Hello. Back again with a report from North Brunswick, NJ. The test I ran yesterday checking the reception on 105.9 was made with a TV/FM analog antenna mounted on the roof of my home. The reception was good, so this morning I thought I would experiment by trying it on a Tivoli table radio with a folded dipole antenna. The reception might have been acceptable in the old days of listening to WQXR AM. With a receiver, the reception with the folded dipole was poor by any standard.
The point of the story: If you live on the border line of 105.9 reception, I hope you have not taken down your old roof-top TV antenna.

Jul. 16 2009 05:24 AM

Let us hope that these stations will offer more classical variety on their HD streams as KING has been pioneering in Seattle. WNYC2 is a nice start, a rennaisance/baroque stream would also be welcomed, as would a vocal classical and/or classical crossover channel.

Jul. 15 2009 11:36 PM
Deborah Ripley

A very sad day and a grim commentary when my favorite newspaper has to sell my favorite radio station.

Jul. 15 2009 10:38 PM
Richard Mitnick

Huzzah for Allan Silver and Joe, I hope that you are also listening to the programming at wnyc2, 128kbit mp3 on the internet.

Marnie, Neil & Stephen, WNYC has made a huge investment in web streaming, give it a shot, no reception problems, no static.

Not only do we have wnyc2, 24/7/365 "500 years of new music", "non-generic classical music", but we also have two (count em') streams for WNYC-FM. 24 hrs a day is a 32kbit stream, mostly for talk, and for dial-up web users; along with 7:00PM-5:00AM WNYC-FM has a 128kbit mp3 stream, that is as good as it gets, anywhere.

Jul. 15 2009 08:56 PM
Stephen J. Herschkorn

My hopes for the new, public WQXR:

* That it remain a twenty-four-hour, classical-musical station. Or, short of that, just music, where the nonclassical genres (wherein I include jazz, world music, folk music, and the sort spun by Oscar Brand or in "Spinning on Air") is aired in discrete, specified programs.

* That the classical music programming be something between the current WNYC's leaning on modern music (music composed after 1950 seems to get disproportionate air time) and the current WQXR classical-top-40 and light-classics format.

* That the Met Opera broadcasts be maintained.

* That the announcers be competent. (E.g., that they can pronounce the names of composers and titles, do not ramble on about themselves, do not talk over music, and give a sufficient pause between music and announcement.)

* That I can still receive it clearly in central New Jersey.

If these aspects are accomplished, I will probably resume my contributions to WNYC. I suspended these when the station eliminated its daytime broadcast of classical music.

Jul. 15 2009 07:55 PM

One thing is bothersome here. Although both WQXR and WNYC have shown a commitment to "classical" music, the two have tendend to define the form differently. If both stations are to be joined together under one, weaker transmitter, not only is signal quality going to be a concern, but it will be hard to please both's audiences. QXR's listeners are accustomed to a fairly conservative diet of concert hall standards, while NYC's have come to expect a much broader palette that includes the more obscure and experimental. I, for one, am not looking forward to any compromise on this score. It has always been such a pleasure to listen to WNYC's programming, unique among the world's "classical" stations. It will be a shame to see any of its special character diminished in any way.

Jul. 15 2009 07:31 PM

Apart from statements on the radio, what will compel WNYC to keep WQXR classical 24/7?

Back in Sept 2001, WNYC promised to restore FM classical music programming. I even made an extra contribution to help. Instead WNYC converted 93.9 to all talk (except in the evening). At that point, I stopped being a member. As far as I'm concerned WNYC has little credibility in this area. Laura Walker's promises now are probably worth no more than they were in 2001.

Jul. 15 2009 07:06 PM

I agree with Derek too but only on the idea of moving FM talk to 105.9 and putting classical on 93.9 -- after all that's why people supported the idea of buying both stations back when Rudy decided to sell.
I'm not sure about the religious underwriting but I think it's worth consideration.

Jul. 15 2009 05:48 PM
Allan Silver

WQXR has been boringly middle-brow, musically speaking, for a long time. The musical world did not begin in the 18th century and end c. 1900! Please push back and forward in time, and get serious, musically speaking. With commentary that is serious and informative, not chirpy. And let new music mean only John Schaeffer's odd taste, but new and serious music such as Ligeti, Nancorrow, Webern, Ades and other serious composers!

Jul. 15 2009 05:41 PM
Richard S Mitnick

I think that it is fair to say that the WQXR audience is probably a rooted terrestrial radio audience. WQXR's forays into web streaming began via AOL, the Reo of the internet.

Similarly, I think that it is fair to assume that the WNYC listening audience is more oriented to the internet, to listening via the station's players or Winamp or Windows Media Player.

I think the move to 105.9 will not effect so many WNYC music listeners, many of whom are already getting daytime music at wnyc2.

I guess I think that the WNYC music audience is a younger audience, which would fit with the current musical stance of the station, which I certainly applaud and wish to see continue.


Jul. 15 2009 05:35 PM

Don't dump the announcers. I want to hear Jeff Spurgeon; Annie Bergen; Elliot Forest; Midge Woolsey; Candace Agree; and Clayal Dalferes. If I don't hear the same people and the same format, you will be useless to me.

Jul. 15 2009 05:21 PM
Alan F

I WQXR's treasure of Classical recordings, WNCN's library AND WNYC's library have a new home.Fine, but WHERE? Sadly, on a WEAKENED FM signal at105.9. With all the monies available at the WNYC foundation AND UNIVISION those factors ought to allow for the new PUBLIC RADIO WQXR to remain at 96.3 at full signal strength or, OR : broadcast at 6,000 watts FM rather than the reduced strength 600 watts at 105.9 by planning to petition the FCC for increased signal strength.

II There is one HUMAN TREASURE with a lineage at WNCN and WQXR; That person is DAVID DUBAL. I fervently hope he becomes part of the New WNYC /WQXR His discerning musical knowledge, performance talent AND administrative expertise as Music Director of WNCN mandate that WNYC offer him a position or a program at Public/WQXR.

Jul. 15 2009 05:20 PM

I live in Park Slope and 105.9 is all static. How do you expect people to listen on such a weak signal?

Jul. 15 2009 04:11 PM

I feel very bad agreeing that I don't trust the WNYC management to continue to keep the classical music format on WQXR. The station is doomed to fail at the higher frequency because it will inevitably have a smaller listener base. Cynical me says WNYC may want this to happen so they can justify changes they want to make to the station.

Jul. 15 2009 03:58 PM
Henry R. Rupp

I can still recall clearly that dreadful Saturday morning when I turned on WNCN and found to my shock and dismay that the station had died. Fortunately for listeners, most of their favorite announcers ultimately came to roost in WQXR. However, this latest turn of events is distressing. Just to see what was being traded for what, I turned to 105.3 and was jolted by what seemed the utter frivolity of the material compared with what is broadcast over WQXR. I share the other commentators' sense of loss.
That will remain on the air is encouraging, but given what has happened, one can but hope.
For opera buffs, there are stations that carry the Met. WTFM in Trenton, NJ, has these programs, and, for those with computer access, there are many stations to choose from: WPNC in North Carolina and KBAQ in Arizona to name only two.
For those who kvetch about not enough modern music on WQXR, there are plenty of stations on the internet where one can get a steady diet of contemporary classics.
The grimmest note in this whole business was the statement that the WQXR announcers would have to apply for their jobs. One's blood runs cold at this idea of maintaining WQXR and makes one doubt what is in the offing.
Fortunately, you can read the Times on the internet if you feel an economic response is called for.

Jul. 15 2009 03:39 PM
Ron Rogers

I agree with Derek, move WQXR to 93.9 and WNYC to 105/9

Jul. 15 2009 03:25 PM

I echo the statements of distrust in Laura Walker and WNYC. The gradual elimination of classical music on WNYC actually preceded 9/11. Weekend music had been gradually reduced for years, and then Steve Post never returned from a "sick leave" that I think preceded 9/11. That's when I stopped being a member.
I think it is an embarrassment that the largest city in the country and its cultural capital should be reduced to 1 classical music station, and a weak one at that. I have had better music coverage while traveling in coastal Georgia and the Colorado Rockies. Very sad.

Jul. 15 2009 02:34 PM

A weaker signal means just that. In time the new WQXR will fade as a classical music station. A reason or justificatoion will appear. Competing donation dollars between WNYC and WQXR will only weaken both and one will be lost in time. I hope I am wrong but I fear that one day not too far in the future classical music broadcasts as we know it in NY will be a memory.

Jul. 15 2009 02:19 PM
Neil in Brooklyn

I wonder if WNYC will not only move their "classical" music shows to the new and weaker WQXR, but also Jonathan Schwartz (who seems to think that Frank Sinatra is "American Classical Music," after all). I suppose "New Sounds" will migrate there. Will John Schafer's weekday talk show about music also move over there? What about Kurt Anderson's arts talk show? Will Danny Styles vintage pop music show and Oscar Brand's folk show also end up there? Also, David Garland's Spinning on Air - which is usually non-classical.

I would hope WNYC would reconsider looking into boosting the new frequency's power - I can barely get a clear signal even in mono in Brooklyn.

Jul. 15 2009 02:16 PM
Marnie Robinson

Having been put to sleep with WQXR in the background as a baby, listening to it growing up, and now counting on it in the car and at home as a trusted, cultured friend, it's hard to put into words the trepidation and loss I feel. This could be life changing. Isn't there another way for The Times to save money? (This is reminiscent of Brandeis' decision to close their art museum, only the effect is far greater.) I live in southern Morris County NJ and may lose reception all together. How can NYC have classical music radio reduced to such a footnote? Please, do try to find another way, and at the very least, keep the 96.3 setting and broadcast strength.

Jul. 15 2009 01:26 PM
Richard S Mitnick

We need a clear statement that the music programming that we have now will continue, at 105.9 and on the internet, that we will not find ourselves accepting the mediocrity that is WQXR.

Too much great work was done by George Preston and Brad Cresswell, work on wnyc2 which then also served to re-invigorate Evening Music. Terrance' advent at Evening Music was the icing on the cake. Evening Music has never been better, never been more inclusive of musical excellence, Bach next to Bessie Smith.

We need to know we will keep what we have.

With so much listener interest shifting to the internet, WNYC is in far greater competition than ever before. Especially in late 20th century and New Music, we have wonderful streams available at, all of the Innova streams (American Composers' Forum), Counterstream (American Music Center), Iridian, PostClassic (if Kyle Gann keeps going). We also have - not to my state- practically everyone on and itunes.

So, we are not bereft if all of the great accomplishments of the past couple of years go away.

But, what a waste that would be.

Somebody needs to reassure us.

Jul. 15 2009 01:08 PM
joe benjamin

So you are "saving" WQXR----why not use WNYC-FM as a STANDARDS/SHOWtu AND MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS station. Until 1967, we had a showtunes station on 95.5-fm.NYC has no standards staion as well-----see whay has happened to WQEW and now to WQXR----what a shame!!!! And we in Brookltn,ny 11230 miss our Y 107 country-look what has happened to ny!!!

Jul. 15 2009 12:52 PM
Han Solo

I've got a bad feeling about this.

Jul. 15 2009 12:43 PM
Corinne K. Hoexter

I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a small town in Pennsylvania in the days when most of the music was supplied by our own efforts and a few precious 78 RPM records(I was born in 1927) with occasional trips to Scranton to hear Horowitz, Heifetz etc in the Community Concert Series. Then we had the Met and Philharmonic on the radio. I reached New York in 1951 to work in publishing. I devoured concerts at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, listened avidly to WQXR and WNYC, later fought--in vain--to preserve WNCN and attended a number of meetings of the WNYC Community Board, futilely, in the hope of preserving classic music on the station as an alternative to the sometime top 40 format of WQXR in recent years, I am, of course, glad that classical music will be preserved in some form in New York. Still, I'm from Missouri, and have serious doubts about the strength of the signal since I live in New Jersey, the conflict between the news and music for my dollars (I am a news junkie and a strong supporter of WNYC already) and am distrustful of the balance between the new and the old, assuming that the new owners will not gradually coopt their new outlet for something other than classical music.

Jul. 15 2009 10:35 AM

A request and a thought:

Request: WQXR has become a preferred advertising vehicle for many religious institutions (churches and synagogues in particular) in New York City, particularly around Christian feast days and Jewish high holy days when they advertise their worship schedule. (My church has advertised on WQXR sometimes.) WNYC's guidelines for program sponsorship currently preclude sponsorship from religious institutions, except for secular activities (e.g., concerts, etc.) Could these guidelines be re-examined and re-evaluated so that religious organizations could sponsor programming on the new WQXR -- particularly since WNYC is no longer owned by the city government, which I think may have been the rationale for the original exclusion of religious organization underwriting? There is a very nice overlap between the audience for classical music and religious organizations that use classical sacred music as part of their worship liturgy and without this vehicle, the city's churches and synagogues will have fewer good options for advertising.

Thought: It would make more sense to me if 93.9 became "WQXR" for classical (given its range) and the new 105.9 signal became "WNYC-FM," if FM will be dedicated more to news and talk. (Since AM820s news/talk format is already available to far wider regional audience.) I'm sure this was discussed, but if there's a way to adjust the format decision for the different stations down the road, this would make for a nice balance and give the region's classical music lovers a stronger signal than they'll get at 105.9.

Jul. 15 2009 09:43 AM

When WQXR moves to its new location, I hope the station is smart enough to put Kevin Gordon on the air every day. With his voice and very dry sense of humor, he's the best announcer they have. It's a pleasure to listen to him, and it's a shame he's not on all the time.

Jul. 15 2009 09:30 AM
Jon in NYC

My gut reaction to this deal was the same as when WNYC-TV went off the air. After analyzing the deal critically, however, I can't help but think that, as good as the deal is for WNYC, Univisión got the better of the trade.

WNYC is most fortunate to join hands with its WQXR brethren, and vice-versa. The New York Times is indeed in dire need of capital, and its radio history is as rich as WNYC's. But so too is WNYC's need of capital, and the thought that colleagues should be caught in competition with one another's supporters is as unsettling as the news that WQXR's New York Times journalists will be forced to compete for their WNYC counterparts'.

I fear that the new 96.3 MHz will become a mere shadow of its former glory. I would hope that Univisión should make a good-faith effort to repeat in Spanish (of course) the formula for success that the New York Times enjoyed - by treating its audience with respect and as intelligent. Appropriating Murrow, "This instrument can teach." But when I look at Channel 31 today, or at WXTV's programming, I can only loathe the swapping of frequencies and wattage for yet another base, common, commercial radio station.

Let us wait for the FCC decision and hope for the best.

Jul. 15 2009 08:50 AM
Mike Heller

I'm 53 and grew up with my father listening to 96.3. What a betrayal on the part of the Times. Trading 600 for 6000 watts stinks, plain and simple. The high fidelity nature of the station will be degraded in all but the strongest areas with line of sight to the Empire State building. Either the new location must be upgraded or the deal abandoned. Listeners, unless WNYC agrees to this, not ONE PENNY for their fundraising efforts.

Jul. 15 2009 08:19 AM
Ron Rogers

This is a very disturbing issue. Over the years New York city has gone from several classical radio stations to one. Now that one station which has been the focal point of classical music in our city since 1936 is moving to a frequency and power that I cannot even get clearly in my home in Staten Island, and not at all in my office in New Jersey. Is it possible that one of the greatest cities in the world cannot support classical music station? Now we are expected to support this station financially - which would be fine - but how do you support a station you cannot listen to.

Jul. 15 2009 08:17 AM
Patrick Jackson

A 600 watt signal will not go very far as some posters have noted already. To improve coverage more power and a possibly state of the art antenna will be needed. Also, while a good thing theoretically that classical music in NYC will be preserved on the air, there are unsatisfying ways to do that---such as automating the station, such as carrying a 'national music service,' rather than having music-saavy, live announcers. Last, if WQXR is going to be a public radio, this means that unless pledges support the station, it will change format, so the pressure will be on listeners to support the station or see it change. I too remember when WNCN switched to heavy metal music, etc etc. Support classical or it will go away is the message.

Jul. 15 2009 08:15 AM

Dorothy said it best. Despite assurances to the contrary, WNYC 86ed Steve Post. I just don't believe that QXR will remain untarnished. As the, supposedly, greatest city in the world, shouldn't we be setting, or even attempting to raise, the standards instead of sinking to the lowest common denominator?

Jul. 15 2009 07:53 AM
Estelle Tsantes

I am heartbroken about the pending change. I too remember the sneaky shift in programing on WNYC after 9/11 and the virtual loss of music, especially classical music. I do not trust Laura Walker to keep her word. Then too there will be the loss of WQXR's crisp, clear signal. When I am out in rural Pennsylvania I have a choice of superior classical music stations.

Jul. 15 2009 07:37 AM
Bernard I. Negrin

I have been an avid listener to WQXR for the last 52 years (I started listening when I was 11). This station has been my prime source of musical education, as well as a welcome companion in life.
The move to a higher frequecy will not affect me, but will impact many loyal listeners.
I was told to listen to WQXR, and enjoy classical music, by Leonard Bernstein during an open rehersal that I attended as a child. He detected my interest in the music being played, briefly talked to me, and wrote down the then AM frequency for WQXR.
WE NEED OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC STATION INTACT!! Where else can you allow your mind to soar with the music of Gustav Mahler, or enjoy the MET, or thrill to a New York Philharmonic concert.
I know that this was a financal deal, but the impact will be fely by many people.

Jul. 15 2009 07:16 AM

In my six years in NY I have greatly appreciated even the minimal commitment of WNYC to "new" music (John Schaeffer in particular). While I am sure that the new WQXR will keep such things as the Met broadcasts (as they of course should), I would hate to see the new WQXR be as staid as the current version (we do live in the 21st Century, not the 19th). As a youth (too many years ago) I learned about what was then modern music via an abundance of stations that either no longer exist or no longer do music. Please keep alive what little new music exists on FM in NY. NY is the center of new music and it would be shame if people do not get exposed to it. My worry is that the current changes will eliminate new music, not that it will eliminate the classics (which I presume are safe,as they should be).
And like others I do worry about signal strength (downtown).

Jul. 15 2009 06:59 AM
Bill Wetzel

Does the frequency and transmitter swap mean that WQXR's power will drop from the current 6000 watts to WCAA's 610 watts? I sure hope not.

Jul. 15 2009 06:52 AM
Jay Weedon

Is the new WQXR finally to have an HD digital signal?

Jul. 15 2009 06:26 AM

Bad news - 105.9 barely comes in up here in Westport, CT. 96.3 always comes in crystal clear inside, outside and in the car. I am so disappointed and I know many, many people will be as well here in Fairfield County.

Jul. 15 2009 06:04 AM
Chavdar Ghelev

I am writung from far away (Sofia, Bulgaria, that's in Southern Europe). Long time ago, when I spent two years in NYC (roughly 1975-77), I was listening round the clock to WQXR. For several years now in Sofia I have been listening practically all day long to on the internet, although I must confess that during the night I switch to BBC World Service. I do hope that all we who are not lucky enough to live in NYC will still be able to access this radio station and will be warned of the website change (if any) in due time. And, of course, thank you for saving WQXR.

Jul. 15 2009 06:04 AM

The new weaker QXR signal at 105.9 (600 watts, compared to 6,000 watts at 96.3) will fade out in Nassau County, Morris County, NJ and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Jul. 15 2009 05:57 AM

I don't trust WNYC one little bit. When the stations were city owned it was necessary that "we" buy both AM and FM so that there would be talk on AM and MUSIC on FM. Then came 9/11 and the stations simulcast. Then the rumors (which were denied) started that WNYC would abandon Music on FM. And they did it, but not until immediately AFTER the last "Independence" money raising effort. I've been worried about WQXR for a long time, but I'll still worry that WQXR will become a respository for programming such as Satellite Sisters and The Takeaway. And because of seemingly powerful voices at WNYC for "new" music, the new music debacle of 2 decades ago could be repeated on WQXR.

Jul. 15 2009 05:54 AM

I still have a bitter taste from the post 9/11 jettisoning of the FM classical WNYC right after the station pleaded for extra money for their new antenna. Not a word then about the pending change. No consultation with members or listeners. Just a fait accompli--no different from a corporation doing as it pleased.
I have no faith whatever that the people who run WNYC will not sooner rather than later transform WQXR to something more to their desired demographics of younger people. The difference between profit and non-profit is getting to be harder and harder to distinguish. I'm not even sure that WNYC's constant non-commercial commercials (for themselves and their corporate sponsors) are going to occupy less time than the straight-out commercials.

Jul. 15 2009 05:34 AM
Erica Whitman Davis

I am moved to tears of joy that WQXR will remain a classical station and that WNYC is truly anticipating and meeting the needs of the New York metropolitan area.
I still carry around my WNCN key ring and continue to feel the loss of that classical music presence in New York.
Again, thank you!
Erica Whitman Davis
Proud member, WNYC, and soon - WQXR

Jul. 14 2009 10:38 PM
Mark Smith

Bravo WNYC! Thank you, thank you for saving WQXR from extinction!

Jul. 14 2009 09:44 PM

I hope this new station, 105.9, will remain all day classical music, and that we will continue to be able to listen to our favorite announcers: Jeff Spurgeon; Annie Bergen; Elliot Forest; Midge Woolsey; Candace Agree; and Clayal Dalferes. And bring back Bill Jerome. This could be almost as awful as losing WNCN - please protect NYC's classical music.

Jul. 14 2009 09:06 PM
Dan Leeman

I am writing to you from Ottawa, Ontario
Canada. I am 84 years old. Back in the
1940s when I was living in Kitchener,
Ontario, I remember listening to WQXR
when it was at 1560 and it came in quite
clearly in the evening after the sun
had gone down. I loved classical music and still do. I even sent away for the
little monthly program guide. I remember
well the voice of Duncan Pirnie.
Best wishes to all at WQXR. Make sure
great music continues to be heard.

Jul. 14 2009 08:33 PM

This is not a good idea. This will forever change the makeup of music in this City. If WNYC really wants to do this, then they should keep 96.3 as its frequency for the new station and shelve that idiotic move.

Especially since I am getting loudly disappointed with the content on WNYC-FM and I've always been that way with WNYC-AM.

I have a strange feeling that the FCC will think the same thing especially since they've got a longer memory then most of the people in this area, including me.

Jul. 14 2009 08:07 PM

I submitted the following comment on the NYTimes website and think it appropriate on this site as well.

I agree that the economics of WQXR and the New York Times has become precarious, although I am still a weekly subscriber. I have been wondering about the sale of this station for many months and am not surprised at the recent transaction. However, as a listener from an intermediate suburb, I am distressed at the downgrade of the transmission from the replacement station. Are those of us beyond NYC and the near suburbs chopped liver? WNYC and WQXR are the stations I listen to and I am a long time, if modest, contributor to WNYC (and recently contemplating an increase of 50% a year). Now I can’t think of any good reason for not reducing my contribution since I will definitely experience a net loss! Will large contributors do the same?

Jul. 14 2009 07:37 PM

I am concerned about Evening Music (Terrance McKnight). I don't want it to go missing.

Jul. 14 2009 06:27 PM

Love both stations. Have been listening to both for years.

Please keep the WQXR Mid-Hudson Valley repeater in Poughkeepsie, NY running. Otherwise Upstate NY won't be able to hear WQXR.

Congratulations and best wishes on your merger.

- Robert

Jul. 14 2009 06:24 PM

As I understand it, classical music will be banished to a weak station at the top of the radio dial, while the amount of music programming on 93.9 FM is reduced even further.

The NY TImes Corp is a profit-seeking business, so if this is a good financial move for them, I can't blame them.

But considering that the City of NY sold WNYC AM and FM to the WNYC Foundation at well below market rate, I feel the ongoing abandonment of music at 93.9 is a betrayal of the public trust.

Jul. 14 2009 04:57 PM

1) please keep WQXR full time, 24/7 classical music
2) if it has to move up the dial, hopefully it will be better reception than 96.3 otherwise, why move it?
3) i hope all the fabulous announcers/hosts remain the same
4) i hope all of the programming remains as well (ie, david duball, exploring music, saturday opera broadcasts, etc.)

Jul. 14 2009 04:35 PM

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