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Classical 96.3 WQXR New York Sold To Univision/WNYC

96.3 WQXR New York Times 93.9 WNYC Univision

The New York Times Company has announced that it has sold Classical 96.3 WQXR New York for $45 Million as part of a three way deal with Univision and WNYC.

The way the deal is structured, Univision will pay $33.5 Million for the 96.3 frequency while WNYC pays $11.5 Million for the 105.9 frequency from Univision and the WQXR intellectual property. Spanish Tropical “La Kalle” WCAA will shift to the stronger 96.3 allocation.

96.3 WQXR is a Class B broadcasting with 6kw at 1362′, while 105.9 is a Class B1 with 610 watts at 1365 feet. The Non-Commercial WNYC operates Talk 820 WNYC and Talk/Classical 93.9 WNYC-FM in New York. In addition to La Kalle, Univision operates Spanish News/Talk 1280 WADO , rimshot Regional Mexican “92.7 La Que Buena” WQBU and two television stations in the New York market.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

4 Comments

  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    This will likely mean that the current home of WNYC-FM at 93.9 to go 24/7 NPR news and information.
    Numerous NPR member stations over the last 15 years have dumped music for 24/7 news and information; at least in New York, there will still be a classical-music outlet.

  2. Profile photo of Lance Venta


    WNYC paid about 1/4 of the purchase price for the rights to the WQXR intellectual property and the 105.9 allocation. They will operate 105.9 WQXR as a non-commercial outlet.

  3. Profile photo of aaron

    What a day. Every time I refresh the page, a new deal comes in.

    Great deal for everyone involved here. NYT gets their cash. Univision gets a signal that can take down 97.9 and has a much better dial position (between 93.1 and 97.9 is definitely where an upstart Hispanic-targeted station should be).

    WNYC gets an amazing deal. Less than 12 million dollars for an NYC FM? Bet no one saw that one coming. Agree with Joseph Gallant that 93.9 is going to be all News/Talk. WNYC has had very disappointing ratings for being New York's dominant public radio station, and going 24/7 NPR will improve them, as well as bringing in more pledges and underwriting.

  4. Profile photo of

    Boy, are the first 3 overly sanguine posters in for some unpleasant surprises!!

    Classical music lovers are – I think it's safe to say – a way more educated and articulate than most group, and they obviously have strong feelings about a change that affects something they value highly. However, sometimes the facts get lost amidst the rhetoric.

    WNYC is engaged in "spinning" this deal big time because – masters of communication that they are – they know that the more you look, the less you're gonna like. (Call it a mix of the "big lie" with "pre-emptive attack.")

    Everybody knows what a joke "battery life" is. "COVERAGE" – as in "how far away can this or that radio station be heard" – is another "your milage may vary" kinda thing … and vary! BY A WHOLE HECKOFA LOT.

    Bottom line, a huge number of WQXR's listeners are going to call this the ultimate "denial of service" attack. It's not just in far-away suburbs – WNYC knows that even the crude maps on the web show that some of WQXR's listeners are going from in-range to out of range…. MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, given NY City's many tall buildings, Lincoln Center residents and those on the Lower East Side, among many others, will be treated to dramatically inferior listening – and, as many have pointed out, this is a rather more important issue when it comes to broadcast classical music than it is with "talk radio."

    BUT – last and WORST – by migrating everything that ISN'T "talk" from 93.9 to 105.9, WNYC is kicking classical music, in particular, in a very sensitive spot.

    That is, WHATEVER your view of this or that WNYC personality or show, when somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of its listeners lose it, that hurts! And when another 10-30 percent complain that the amount of static has increased, how does that represent anything other than WNYC being derelict in its duty to this important and sizable portion of its listner base?!

    Did I say "WORST" before?! I goofed. What's even worse than the preceding – bad as that is – is that $15 million has been earmarked to this act of vandalism. I'm sure Emanuel Ax was not "bought off," but one has to wonder if this Western Mass. resident HAS A CLUE as to what's about to transpire in and around NY CITY.

    Even if the very generous Greene and Spitzer families were picking up the whole tab, rather than 50% thereof, as WNYC management has outlined, there can be not a doubt in the world that the money could be spent more intelligently.

    But to think that their money AND OUR MONEY is being spent in a way that will be diametrically opposed (that is, LESS, rather than MORE, classical music on air, measured by LISTENER-HOURS!!) to the stated goal … is nothing short of obscene.

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