WNYC is the trademark, and a set of call letters shared by a pair of non-profit, noncommercial, public radio stations located in New York City and owned by New York Public Radio, a nonprofit organization that did business as WNYC RADIO until March 2013.
WNYC (AM) broadcasts on 820 kHz, and WNYC-FM broadcasts on 93.9 MHz. Both stations are members of NPR and carry local and national news/talk programs. Some hours the programming is simulcast, some hours different shows air on each station. WNYC reaches more than one million listeners each week and has the largest public radio audience in the United States.
The WNYC stations are co-owned with Newark, New Jersey-licensed classical music outlet WQXR-FM (105.9 MHz), and all three broadcast from studios in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. WNYC's AM transmitter is located in Kearny, New Jersey; WNYC-FM's transmitter is located at the Empire State Building in New York City.
WNYC is one of the oldest radio stations in New York. Funds for the establishment of the station were approved on June 2, 1922 by the New York City Board of Estimate and Apportionment. WNYC made its first official broadcast two years later on July 8, 1924, at 570 AM with a second-hand transmitter shipped from Brazil. With the commencement of WNYC's operations, the City of New York became one of the first American municipalities to be directly involved in broadcasting. Studios and transmitter were at The Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street.
In 1928 WNYC was forced into a time-sharing arrangement on 570 AM with WMCA, another pioneering New York radio outlet. This situation lasted until 1931, when the Federal Radio Commission (a forerunner to today's FCC) moved WNYC to 810 AM. The frequency move did not help WNYC from an operational standpoint as it now had to share its frequency with the more-powerful WCCO in Minneapolis, limiting WNYC to daytime-only operations, broadcasting from sunrise to sunset. (AM radio waves travel farther at night and WNYC had to protect WCCO from interference.) WNYC is also known for having an extensive online archive of broadcasts and recordings.
WNYC's transmitter was moved in 1937 from the top of the Municipal Building to City-owned land at 10 Kent Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as part of a Works Progress Administration project. The site was later designated as WNYC Transmitter Park. In 1938 the Municipal Broadcasting System was established by the City of New York to run the station. For its first 14 years, WNYC had been run by the New York City Commissioner for Bridges, Plant and Structures. Now, under an agency devoted singularly to its function and with the leadership of new director Morris S. Novik, appointed by Mayor LaGuardia, WNYC became a model public broadcaster. Among its many landmark programs was the annual American Music Festival.
In 1941 the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement shifted WNYC's dial position a second time, to 830 kHz. WCCO was moved to 830 as well, and was given clear-channel authority. WNYC would remain a 1,000-watt outlet for the next 48 years. Later that year, on December 7, WNYC was the first radio station in the United States to announce the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, the FCC allowed WNYC to stay on the air a few extra hours in the evening due to the public service it was providing.
WNYC began regularly scheduled broadcasts on the FM band on March 13, 1943 at 43.9 MHz. Known originally as W39NY, the FM outlet adopted its present WNYC-FM' identity and its present frequency of 93.9 MHz within a few years. In 1961 the pair were joined by a television operation, as WUHF (channel 31) took to the air in an experimental format. The following year the station was renamed WNYC-TV.
The Municipal Broadcasting System (which was renamed the WNYC Communications Group in 1989) helped to form National Public Radio in 1971, and the WNYC stations were among the 90 stations that carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered later that year.
In 1979, several Tri-State residents formed the WNYC Foundation as the stations' fundraising arm.
In 1990 WNYC (AM) moved from 830 kHz to 820 kHz, commenced around-the-clock operations, and increased its daytime power to 10,000 watts while maintaining 1,000 watts at night, to protect WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas; WBAP is also a clear-channel 50,000 watt station but much farther from New York City than Minneapolis. The Brooklyn transmitter site was decommissioned, and the AM transmitter was moved to Belleville Turnpike in Kearny, New Jersey, sharing three towers with WMCA, its former shared-time partner.
The station's ownership by the City meant that it was occasionally subject to the whims of various mayors. As part of a crackdown on prostitution in 1979, then-Mayor Ed Koch tried to use WNYC to broadcast the names of "johns" and "janes" arrested for soliciting. Announcers threatened a walkout and station management refused to comply with the idea; after one broadcast the idea was abandoned. See John Hour.
Shortly after assuming the mayoralty in 1994, Rudolph W. Giuliani announced he was considering selling the WNYC stations. Giuliani believed that broadcasting was no longer essential as a municipal service, and that the financial compensation from selling the stations could be used to help the City cover budget shortfalls. The final decision was made in March 1995: while the City opted to divest WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) through a blind auction to commercial buyers, WNYC-AM-FM was sold to the WNYC Foundation for $20 million over a six-year period, far less than what the stations could have been sold for if they were placed on the open market. While the sale put an end to the occasional political intrusions of the past, it required the WNYC Foundation to embark on a major appeal towards listeners, other foundations, and private benefactors. The station's audience and budget have continued to grow since the split from the City.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 destroyed WNYC-FM's transmitter atop the World Trade Center. WNYC-AM-FM's studios, in the nearby Manhattan Municipal Building, had to be evacuated and station staff was unable to return to its offices for three weeks. The FM signal was knocked off the air for a time. WNYC temporarily moved to studios at National Public Radio's New York bureau in midtown Manhattan, where it broadcast on its still operating AM signal transmitting from towers in Kearny, New Jersey and by a live Internet stream. The stations eventually returned to the Municipal Building.
On June 16, 2008 WNYC moved from its 51,400 square feet (4,780 m2) of rent-free space scattered on eight floors of the Manhattan Municipal Building to a new location at 160 Varick Street, near the Holland Tunnel. The station now occupies three and a half floors of a 12-story former printing building in Hudson Square.
The new offices have 12-foot (4 m) ceilings and 71,900 square feet (6,680 m2) of space. The number of recording studios and booths has doubled, to 31. There is a new 140-seat, street-level studio for live broadcasts, concerts and public forums and an expansion of the newsroom of over 60 journalists.
Renovation, construction, rent and operating costs for the new Varick Street location amounted to $45 million. In addition to raising these funds, WNYC raised money for a one-time fund of $12.5 million to cover the cost of creating 40 more hours of new programming and three new shows. The total cost of $57.5 million for both the move and programming is nearly three times the $20 million the station had to raise over seven years to buy its licenses from the City in 1997.
On October 8, 2009 WNYC took control of classical music station WQXR-FM, then at 96.3 FM. WQXR's intellectual property (call letters and format) was acquired from the New York Times Company as part of a three-way transaction with Univision Radio. WNYC also purchased the 105.9 FM frequency of Univision's WCAA (now WXNY-FM). WQXR-FM's classical format moved to 105.9 and WXNY's Spanish Tropical format debuted at 96.3. The deal resulted in WQXR becoming a non-commercial station. With WQXR as a co-owned 24-hour classical station, WNYC-FM dropped its remaining classical music programming to become a full-time news/talk station.
On June 6, 2011, the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority agreed to sell four FM stations in northern New Jersey to New York Public Radio. The transaction was announced by Governor Chris Christie, as part of his long-term goal to end State-subsidized public broadcasting. The four stations were previously the northern half of New Jersey Network's statewide radio service, with the stations in southern New Jersey going to Philadelphia public radio station WHYY-FM. Upon taking control of the four stations on July 1, 2011, they were rebranded as New Jersey Public Radio.
Past WNYC radio personalities include H. V. Kaltenborn, who hosted radio's first quiz program on WNYC in 1926, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle's Current Events Bee, a forerunner to shows like National Public Radio's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! In its early years the station lacked funds for a record library and would borrow albums from record stores around the Manhattan Municipal Building, where its studios were located. Legend has it a listener began lending classical records to the station and in 1929, WNYC began broadcast of Masterwork Hour, radio's first program of recorded classical music.
Following the U.S. entry into World War II, then-Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia made use of the station every Sunday in his Talk to the People program. During a lengthy newspaper workers strike, La Guardia also used the WNYC airwaves to read the latest comic strips to local youngsters while they were not available in New York.
Margaret Juntwait, an announcer and classical music host at WNYC for 15 years, left for the Metropolitan Opera in September 2006. Prior to her death in 2015, Juntwait served as announcer for the Met's Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts, the first woman to hold the position and only the third regular announcer of the long-standing broadcast series, which was launched in 1931. John Schaefer, a music show host at WNYC for 35 years, has written liner notes for more than 100 albums, for everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to Terry Riley and was named a "New York influential" by New York Magazine in 2006.
WNYC produces 100 hours a week of its own programming, including nationally syndicated shows such as Studio 360, On the Media, Selected Shorts and Radiolab, as well as local news and interview shows that include Soundcheck and The Brian Lehrer Show. The entire schedule is streamed live over the internet and several shows also air over Sirius and XM Satellite Radio. As a result, the station receives listener calls from far-flung states and even has international listeners.
WNYC-AM-FM has a local news team of 18 journalists, as well as dozens of producers and other broadcasting professionals.
WNYC broadcasts the major daily news programs produced by NPR, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the BBC World Service and selected programs from Public Radio International including This American Life and Live From Here.
In 2006 the station began wnyc2 (lower case letters), an all-classical music channel broadcast on HD Radio and on the Internet. The slogan is, "Five hundred years of new music", and most of the playlist comes from the 20th and 21st centuries. This channel became part of WQXR as Q2 when WNYC's parent company acquired WQXR.
In 2013 WNYC launched The Jonathan Channel, a 24-hour streaming Internet radio station programmed by Jonathan Schwartz and dedicated to popular standards from the "Great American Song Book." The channel also features live programming hosted by Schwartz, including a simulcast of his Sunday WNYC-FM show.
Other locally produced programs include:
WNYC has been an early adopter of new technologies including HD radio, live audio streaming, and podcasting. RSS feeds and email newsletters link to archived audio of individual program segments. WNYC also makes some of its programming available on Sirius XM satellite radio.
2 Dope Queens is a podcast hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson that aired between April 4, 2016 and November 14, 2018.For the first seven days following the podcast's launch it was number one on the iTunes podcast charts. It is produced by WNYC Studios. The podcast features female comedians, comedians of color, and LGBT comedians, in an effort to represent people from different backgrounds. The podcast's guests include Jon Hamm, Nick Kroll, LeVar Burton, Naomi Ekperigin, Nore Davis, Aparna Nancherla, Marc Maron and Michelle Buteau. 2 Dope Queens is WNYC Studios first comedy podcast.On June 27, 2016 Sooo Many White Guys, the first 2 Dope Queens spin-off, debuted. The podcast is hosted by Phoebe Robinson and produced by Ilana Glazer.A four-episode HBO special based on the show aired in February and March 2018 directed by podcast guest Tig Notaro.Alison Stewart
Alison Stewart (born July 4, 1966) is an American journalist and author. Stewart first gained widespread visibility as a political correspondent for MTV News in the 1990s.God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, by Kurt Vonnegut, is a collection of short fictional interviews written by Vonnegut and first broadcast on WNYC. The title parodies that of Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. It was published in book form in 1999.Gothamist
Gothamist LLC was the operator, or in some cases franchisor, of eight city-centric websites that focused on news, events, food, culture, and other local coverage. It was founded in 2003 by Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung. In March 2017, Joe Ricketts, owner of DNAinfo, acquired the company and, in November 2017, the websites were shut down after the newsroom staff voted to unionize. In February 2018, it was announced that WNYC, KPCC and WAMU had acquired Gothamist, LAist and DCist, respectively. Chicagoist was purchased by Chicago-born rapper Chance the Rapper in July 2018.John Hour
The John Hour refers to the public naming of "johns" (male customers of female prostitutes).
In October 1979, New York City mayor Ed Koch instructed WNYC, the city's public radio station, to read the names of convicted "johns". Koch intended to use this public shaming, swiftly dubbed "The John Hour", as a tool to reduce prostitution.
The first John Hour was broadcast on WNYC in October 23, 1979, readed by announcer Joe Rice; it was also read on WMCA and published in the New York Daily News. An uproar ensued. On October 26, the New York Times editorialized:
"This week's premiere of Mayor Koch's 'John Hour,' which broadcast the names of nine convicted customers of prostitutes, was a shabby show, in no way redeemed by its brevity. It took only about a minute for city-employed announcers to read the names over city-owned radio and television stations. But it was a mighty misuse of government power."After one broadcast, "The John Hour" was discontinued.In March 2008, New York governor Eliot Spitzer was exposed as a customer of a high-priced prostitution ring. In the wake of this scandal, Koch advocated reinstating "The John Hour".Leonard Lopate
Leonard Lopate (born September 23, 1940) is an American radio personality. He is the host of the radio talk show Leonard Lopate at Large, broadcast on WBAI, and the former host of the public radio talk show The Leonard Lopate Show, broadcast on WNYC. He first broadcast on WKCR, the college radio station of Columbia University, and then later on WBAI, before moving to WNYC.New Jersey Public Radio
New Jersey Public Radio (NJPR) is an NPR member network serving portions of northern New Jersey. It is owned by New York Public Radio (NYPR), which also owns WNYC-AM-FM in New York City, and WQXR-FM in Newark and its simulcaster WQXW in Ossining, New York. The network comprises the four northernmost radio stations of the former New Jersey Network (NJN). It primarily serves northern New Jersey residents who are unable to get a clear signal from the WNYC stations.
The network went on the air on July 1, 2011, after NJN ended operations the day before.New York Public Radio
New York Public Radio (NYPR) is the owner of WNYC (AM), WNYC-FM, WNYC Studios, WQXR-FM, New Jersey Public Radio, and the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Combined, New York Public Radio owns WNYC (AM), WNYC-FM, WQXR-FM, WQXW, WNJT-FM, WNJP, WNJY, and WNJO.New York Public Radio is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated in 1979, and is a publicly supported organization.The NYPR stations broadcast from studios and offices in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan. WNYC's AM transmitter is located in Kearny, New Jersey; WNYC-FM and WQXR-FM's transmitters are located on the Empire State Building in New York City.The four New Jersey Radio stations are collectively referred to as New Jersey Public Radio. They are a group of four northern New Jersey noncommercial FM stations acquired by New York Public Radio from the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority on July 1, 2011.New Jersey Public Radio news content comes from the WNYC newsroom as well as from a growing network of partners in the New Jersey News Service.On the Media
On the Media (OTM) is an hour-long weekly radio program, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, covering journalism, technology, and First Amendment issues. It is produced by WNYC in New York City. OTM is first broadcast on Friday evening over WNYC's FM service, and syndicated nationwide to over 400 other public radio outlets. The program is available by audio stream, MP3 download, and podcast. OTM also publishes a weekly newsletter featuring news on current and past projects as well as relevant links from around the web.Radiolab
Radiolab is a radio program produced by WNYC, a public radio station in New York City, and broadcast on public radio stations in the United States. The show is nationally syndicated and is available as a podcast. In 2008, live shows were first offered.Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show focuses on topics of a scientific and philosophical nature. The show attempts to approach broad, difficult topics such as "time" and "morality" in an accessible and light-hearted manner and with a distinctive audio production style.
Radiolab received a 2007 National Academies Communication Award "for their imaginative use of radio to make science accessible to broad audiences". The program has received two Peabody Awards; first in 2010 and again in 2014. In 2011, Abumrad received the MacArthur grant.Although Radiolab is a "limited run series", numerous seasons of five to ten episodes each have been produced.Rolando Valdés-Blain
Rolando Valdés-Blain (8 March 1922 – 2 April 2011) was a Cuban classical guitarist, born in Havana, and immigrated to New York as a child. In the 1930s he and his brother Alberto had a weekly music show on WNYC radio. He served in Burma from 1942 to 1946 during World War II and afterwards studied at the Madrid Royal Conservatory, where he was awarded the Grand Prize for concert guitar playing by Joaquín Rodrigo. He toured worldwide under the management of impresario Sol Hurok and his United States tours as guitar soloist included Yale University, Carnegie Recital Hall, and the Spanish Ballet. He was one of the pioneering classical guitarists to perform as soloist together with a symphony orchestra, in 1955 with the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet at the New York City Center. He appeared in Tennessee Williams's Broadway play Camino Real and he also composed the music for the play Bullfight. He was vice-president and adviser of Manuel Velazquez guitars and founder of the Guitar Department at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1968 he was invited to give a command performance at the White House. The New York Times called his performance "a musical gem…reflecting every baroque nuance of the music".Soundcheck (radio program)
Soundcheck is a talk radio program about music and the arts hosted by John Schaefer. It is produced by WNYC-FM, New York Public Radio. From 2002 to 2012, the show aired at 2 p.m. ET on 93.9 FM in New York City and on XM Satellite Radio Channel 133. The show underwent a summer hiatus from the airwaves in May 2012, and returned in September of that year.Studio 360
Studio 360 is an American weekly public radio program about the arts and culture hosted by novelist Kurt Andersen and produced by Public Radio International (PRI) and Slate in New York City. The program's stated goal is to "Get inside the creative mind" and uses arts and culture as a lens to understand our world. The program was created by PRI based on an identified need for programming dedicated and focused on arts and culture journalism in media. And while the show features regular guest interviews with authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Lethem, and Miranda July, and musicians as diverse as Laura Veirs, Don Byron, and k.d. lang, it also has several recurring segments. The American Icons series attempts to understand lasting American cultural icons such as The Great Gatsby and Kind of Blue. The hour on Moby-Dick was the recipient of the 2004 Peabody Award. PRI and WNYC co-produced the show from 2000 to 2017, when Slate replaced WNYC.Studio 360 is broadcast weekly on more than 160 terrestrial radio stations throughout the country, and is also available as a podcast via the program's website, pri.org, and iTunes. It can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio on the PRI blocks on XMPR, channel 133.
In addition to the program's main podcast, a spinoff arts and culture podcast titled Sideshow is also distributed. Sideshow is hosted by Studio 360 producer Sean Rameswaram.The Takeaway
The Takeaway is a morning radio news program co-created and co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC. Its editorial partner isWGBH-FM; at launch the BBC World Service And The New York Times were also editorial partners. In addition to co-producing/co-creating the program, PRI also distributes the program nationwide to its affiliated stations. The program debuted on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, and WEAA in Baltimore. To date, the program has approximately 280 carrying stations across the country, including markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Portland, Boston, and more. The current hosts are Tanzina Vega (Monday through Thursday) and Amy Walter (Friday/Saturdays).WNYC-FM
WNYC-FM (93.9 MHz) is a non-profit, noncommercial, public radio station licensed to and located in New York, New York. It is owned by New York Public Radio which also owns WNYC (AM), WQXR-FM, New Jersey Public Radio, and the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Combined, New York Public Radio owns WNYC, WNYC-FM, WQXR-FM, WQXW, WNJT-FM, WNJP, WNJY, and WNJO.
New York Public Radio is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated in 1979, and is a publicly supported organization.WNYC-AM-FM, along with Newark, New Jersey-licensed classical music outlet WQXR-FM (105.9 MHz), broadcast from studios and offices in the Hudson Square section of Manhattan. WNYC-FM's transmitter is located on the Empire State Building in New York City. The station serves Greater New York, along with Northern New Jersey and Southwestern Connecticut.WNYC (AM)
WNYC (820 AM) is a non-profit, noncommercial, public radio station licensed to New York City. The station is owned by New York Public Radio along with sister stations WNYC-FM and Newark, New Jersey-licensed classical music outlet WQXR-FM (105.9 MHz). It is a member of NPR and carries local and national news/talk programs. Some programming is simulcast on WNYC-FM and at other times different programming airs on each station. WNYC broadcasts from studios and offices in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan and its transmitter is located in Kearny, New Jersey;WNYC Studios
WNYC Studios is a producer and distributor of podcasts and on-demand and broadcast audio. WNYC Studios produces and distributes several podcasts including 2 Dope Queens, Death, Sex and Money, Freakonomics Radio, Snap Judgment, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Note to Self, On the Media, Only Human, Radiolab, More Perfect, and Nancy. WNYC Studios is a subsidiary of New York Public Radio and is headquartered in New York City.WNYC Transmitter Park
WNYC Transmitter Park is a 6.61-acre public park located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, where Greenpoint Avenue dead-ends by the East River shoreline. The site was acquired by the public radio station WNYC in 1935 as the site of twin antennas used for broadcasting. From 1937 to 1990, the city-operated station broadcast its AM signal from this location. Following the adoption of antennas in Kearny, New Jersey and atop the World Trade Center, the Greenpoint property sat unused. Ground was broken for WNYC Transmitter Park in August 2010, followed by two years of construction, with the park opening in September 2012.WPXN-TV
WPXN-TV virtual and UHF digital channel 31, is the Ion Television station licensed to New York City. The station is owned and operated by Ion Media and its transmitter is located at One World Trade Center.
Radio stations in the Metropolitan New York market
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|Via FM subcarrier|
|NOAA Weather Radio|
by frequency & subchannel
See also List of NPR stations
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