[AMRadio] (no subject)

Phil Galasso k2pg at worldnet.att.net
Tue Jan 24 20:15:25 EST 2006

----- Original Message -----
There was also a station over in NY that played big band music a few
years ago, but they got bought up by Disney and ended up playing
children's music and soundtracks from Disney movies. Think it was
WQEW? Up near the top of the dial.

WQEW runs 50 kW on 1560 kHz and it switched from classical to adult
standards/big band music in December, 1992, around the time that Michael
Bloomberg bought WNEW and switched it to an all-business news format under
the call letters WBBR. Disney leased (and later bought) WQEW from the New
York Times Corporation, converting it to the New York outlet for the "Radio
Disney" children's network around 1998. WQEW began operation in 1936 as
W2XR, an experimental high fidelity AM station on 1550 kHz. The call letters
were changed to WQXR when the station began commercial operation several
years later (the uppercase Q looks like the number 2 in script, so they
preserved some of the original call letters) and the classical format
continued until December, 1992. WQXR-FM is the oldest commercial FM station
in New York, beginning operations as experimental W2XQR on 45.9 MHz in 1940
and becoming commercial W59NY in 1941. Around the end of World War II, the
call letters on 45.9 became WQXQ and the new WQXR-FM began broadcasting on
its present frequency of 96.3 MHz. The call letters are now WQXR (without
the "-FM" suffix), the station is still owned by the New York Times, and it
is New York's only commercial classical music station.

Disney also killed an excellent big band station in Mt. Holly, NJ, WWJZ on
640 kHz. It is now the Radio Disney outlet for Philadelphia. When one of the
principals of WWJZ died some years ago, a dispute among the remaining owners
resulted in the sale of the station to Disney. In the daytime, WWJZ can be
heard well into the Delmarva Peninsula. What a waste of a great signal!

I am glad to hear the oldies program on WABC and I lament the general lack
of music programming on AM. In New York, the AM band is a wasteland of
time-brokered ethnic and foreign language programming, paid religious
broadcasts, and talk shows, with two all-news stations owned by the same
company (Infinity Broadcasting, now CBS). So much for editorial diversity!

The hottest place in Hell should be reserved for New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg for killing WNEW and replacing it with an excruciatingly
B-O-R-I-N-G business news outlet. I grew up listening to that station and
its potent signal on 1130 kHz was my constant companion. When Bloomberg
bought that station, he consigned thousands of vintage recordings to the
Dumpster, including a lot of early Frank Sinatra records and old airchecks.
Those are irreplaceable. WNEW is the station that gave Frank Sinatra his
start. It was also the birthplace of the "disc jockey". Variety magazine
coined that term in reference to Martin Block, who played records on his
"Make Believe Ballroom" program because WNEW, a small independent station at
the time, could not afford to retain a house orchestra full time.

Regarding Mr. Bloomberg: Y'mach sh'mo v'zichrono!

Phil Galasso

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