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About WQXR

A Visual History of WQXR

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WQXR has a long and storied history. Our slideshow illustrates milestones from the eight decades that WQXR has been on the air in New York.

WQXR has been on the air in New York for almost 80 years. During that time, the station has stayed true to its commitment to provide New Yorkers with access to great works of classical music. This slideshow illustrates some of the milestones in WQXR's history.

WQXR was founded by John Hogan. In the late 1920s, he launched a radio station originally called W2XR: the '2' meant that the station was non-commercial and the 'XR' stood for 'Experimental Radio.'
WQXR was founded by John Hogan. In the late 1920s, he launched a radio station originally called W2XR: the '2' meant that the station was non-commercial and the 'XR' stood for 'Experimental Radio.' ( “Rebel in Radio: The Story of WQXR by Elliott Sanger.” )
In 1936, Hogan partnered with Elliot Sanger and turned W2XR into WQXR, the first licensed high fidelity station in the U.S. and a commercial venture. Above: an early production booth at 730 Fifth Ave.
In 1936, Hogan partnered with Elliot Sanger and turned W2XR into WQXR, the first licensed high fidelity station in the U.S. and a commercial venture. Above: an early production booth at 730 Fifth Ave. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
WQXR acquired its first commercial sponsor in May, 1936: Martinson’s Coffee. Other early sponsors included Wanamaker's Department Store, Simon & Schuster, and Random House.
WQXR acquired its first commercial sponsor in May, 1936: Martinson’s Coffee. Other early sponsors included Wanamaker's Department Store, Simon & Schuster, and Random House. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
In June 1936, WQXR began producing a monthly program guide, sold over the air for 10 cents a copy.
In June 1936, WQXR began producing a monthly program guide, sold over the air for 10 cents a copy. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
On September 1, 1938, WQXR became the first station in the United States to broadcast taped content on the air. The station broadcast the first act of the opera Carmen.
On September 1, 1938, WQXR became the first station in the United States to broadcast taped content on the air. The station broadcast the first act of the opera Carmen. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
Co-founders Jack Hogan (right) and Elliott Sanger listening to the WQXR hi-fidelity radio in 1943. WQXR became the first licensed FM station in New York City in November 1939.
Co-founders Jack Hogan (right) and Elliott Sanger listening to the WQXR hi-fidelity radio in 1943. WQXR became the first licensed FM station in New York City in November 1939. ( “Rebel in Radio: The Story of WQXR by Elliott Sanger.” )
WQXR was sold to The New York Times for $1 million on January 25, 1944. The New York Post broke the story of the sale the following day. In July, 1946, the Times began broadcasting news on WQXR.
WQXR was sold to The New York Times for $1 million on January 25, 1944. The New York Post broke the story of the sale the following day. In July, 1946, the Times began broadcasting news on WQXR. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
Many of classical music’s biggest stars came to the WQXR studios throughout the 1940s and '50s, including Jascha Heifetz (right), seen here sitting next to WQXR music director Abram Chasins.
Many of classical music’s biggest stars came to the WQXR studios throughout the 1940s and '50s, including Jascha Heifetz (right), seen here sitting next to WQXR music director Abram Chasins. ( “Rebel in Radio: The Story of WQXR by Elliott Sanger.” )
The WQXR-FM antenna on the 54-story Chanin Building at 42nd St. and Lexington Ave. went into operation on Dec. 15, 1941. Previously in Long Island City, it moved to the Empire State Building in 1965.
The WQXR-FM antenna on the 54-story Chanin Building at 42nd St. and Lexington Ave. went into operation on Dec. 15, 1941. Previously in Long Island City, it moved to the Empire State Building in 1965. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
WQXR-FM became the first New York City radio station to broadcast in stereo on September 7, 1961. Pictured is WQXR’s 50,000-watt transmitter at Maspeth, Long Island.
WQXR-FM became the first New York City radio station to broadcast in stereo on September 7, 1961. Pictured is WQXR’s 50,000-watt transmitter at Maspeth, Long Island. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
In the late 1990s, WQXR partnered with Disney/ABC to broadcast Radio Disney over the airwaves of its AM sister station, WQEW. Disney/ABC bought WQEW outright in 2007.
In the late 1990s, WQXR partnered with Disney/ABC to broadcast Radio Disney over the airwaves of its AM sister station, WQEW. Disney/ABC bought WQEW outright in 2007. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
WQXR moved out of The New York Times Building - its home since 1950 - to 122 Fifth Avenue in June 1989.
WQXR moved out of The New York Times Building - its home since 1950 - to 122 Fifth Avenue in June 1989. ( WQXR Archive Collections )
The New York Times announced the sale of WQXR in a deal with Univision and WNYC on July 14, 2009. On September 8, the FCC approved WNYC's application to operate WQXR at 105.9.
The New York Times announced the sale of WQXR in a deal with Univision and WNYC on July 14, 2009. On September 8, the FCC approved WNYC's application to operate WQXR at 105.9. ( WNYC/flickr )
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