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WQEW (1560 kHz) is a Radio Disney affiliate licensed to New York Citymarker. Its transmitter is located in Maspeth, Queensmarker. WQEW has a transmitter power of 50,000 watts and is listed as a Clear channel station. On some nights, WQEW can be picked up loud and clear as far West as Cleveland, Ohiomarker, where it out performs WWMK AM 1260 in its distance areas.


WQEW began its life as W2XR, an experimental television station, owned by inventor John V. L. Hogan, operating at 2100 kHz, which went on the air on March 26, 1929. In 1933, the Federal Communications Commission added three "high-fidelity" channels to the radio dial, which at that time ended at 1500 kHz. Hogan received a license for one of these channels, 1550 kHz, and W2XR began to broadcast classical music recordings in addition to mechanical television; a year later, the television broadcasts ceased and W2XR became a radio station exclusively.

In 1936, Hogan and Elliott Sanger formed the Interstate Broadcasting Company, with the intention of turning W2XR into a commercial station. On December 3, 1936, W2XR became WQXRmarker—the cursive form of the letter "Q" mimicks the number "2". An FM service, W2XQRmarker, was added in 1939. The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941 formally extended the AM band to 1600 kHz, ending the "high-fidelity" service but keeping all four original stations near their existing dial positions; WQXR moved to its present dial position, 1560 kHz, and at the same time became a class I-B clear channel station.

The New York Post approached the company in the early 1940s about purchasing the stations. Sanger said publicly that he would have preferred to sell to The New York Times, and on July 25, 1944, the Times paid $1 million for ownership of Interstate Broadcasting Company. (The Times continued to operate its radio stations under the Interstate Broadcasting name for many years, but now uses the name The New York Times Radio Company.) It broadcast classical music full time. In the 1960s, there was controversy when its 11 PM program "Nightcap" was sponsored by Schenley Liquors. Advertising hard liquor was considered a violation of the voluntary NAB standards.

In 1971, the Times put WQXR up for sale. Many offers were received for the FM station, but none of the bids for 1560 AM were satisfactory to management. When the FCC agreed to waive rules prohibiting stations from simulcasting if they were broadcasting classical music, the Times took WQXR off the market. Simulcasting was also allowed, for example, for WGMS and WGMS-FM in Washingtonmarker.

In 1992 the station broke away from the FM simulcast for good, changing to a pop standards format, which was inaugurated by a live studio performance by Tony Bennett. The change followed close on the heels of WNEWmarker's switch from standards to business information, and to reflect that heritage, WQXR changed callsign to WQEW. Although successful, the station's advertising revenues were not spectacular, and on December 28, 1998, the Times pulled the plug and affiliated with Radio Disney after entering an 8-year local marketing agreement with Disney. At the end of this agreement in late 2006, Disney had the option to purchase the station from the Times or to extend the arrangement with the Times maintaining ownership. ABC/Disney exercised the option to purchase in early January 2007 [151249]. Disney/ABC officially became the owner of the station on May 24, 2007.

WQEW does carry a live sports slate through arrangements with Disney's WEPNmarker and CBS Radio's WFANmarker. The broadcasts air when the two all-sports stations have multiple games of local New York area sports teams to air simultaneously. Broadcasts of St. John'smarker and Seton Hallmarker men's basketball are most common, and there have been some New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils hockey games in the past.

Extended IDs

Each Radio Disney station has different and unique legal IDs for identifying itself. Extended IDs vary from market to market and usually last about eight seconds.
  • The mouse is in the house, AM 1560, Radio Disney.
  • New York is all ears, AM 1560, Radio Disney.
  • The station just for New York, AM 1560 Radio Disney.
  • The station cooked up for New York, AM 1560, Radio Disney.
  • Hey New York, the mouse is in the house, AM 1560 Radio Disney.
  • It's a party everyday, New York, AM 1560, Radio Disney.




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