New York Public Radio

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New York Public Radio
Industry Radio
Founded November 7, 1967 (1967-11-07)
Headquarters New York, N.Y., U.S.
Area served
Key people
Laura Walker, President and CEO

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.[1][2]

New York Public Radio is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated in 1979, and is a publicly supported organization.[3]

The NYPR stations broadcast from studios and offices in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan. WNYC's AM transmitter is located in Kearny, New Jersey;[4] WNYC-FM and WQXR-FM's transmitters are located on the Empire State Building in New York City.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]


Independence from the City[edit]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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 Manhattan Municipal Building, WNYC's home from 1922 to 2008.

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.

Move to new studios[edit]

On June 16, 2008 NYPR 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 on Varick Street, near the Holland Tunnel. The station now occupies three and a half floors of a 12-story former printing building. 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, NYPR 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.[10]

Acquisition of WQXR-FM[edit]

On October 8, 2009 NYPR took control of classical music station WQXR-FM, then at 96.3 FM. WQXR-FM'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.[11] 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-FM 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.

New Jersey expansion[edit]

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.[12]


WNYC reporter

NYPR 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 The Leonard Lopate Show, 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.

NYPR's WNYC-AM-FM has a local news team of 18 journalists, as well as dozens of producers and other broadcasting professionals.

Studio 360 is a weekly one-hour program about arts and culture hosted by Kurt Andersen, the former editor of Spy Magazine. Taking current issues and trends as jumping-off points, the show explores a broad range of cultural ideas. Each program begins with a topical section of stories about the arts and culture from around the United States and around the world. It won a Peabody Award in 2004 for its episode American Icons: Melville's Moby-Dick.[13]

On the Media is a nationally syndicated, weekly one-hour program hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, formerly of Advertising Age, covering the media and its effect on American culture and society. Many stories investigate how events of the past week were covered by the press. Stories also regularly cover such topics as video news releases, net neutrality, media consolidation, censorship, freedom of the press, spin, and how the media is changing with technology. It won a Peabody Award in 2004.[14]

The Brian Lehrer Show is a two-hour weekday talk show covering local and national current events and social issues hosted by Brian Lehrer, a former anchor and reporter for NBC Radio Network. It won a Peabody Award in 2007 "for facilitating reasoned conversation about critical issues and opening it up to everyone within earshot."[15]

The Leonard Lopate Show, originally "New York & Company," is a two-hour weekday talk show hosted by Leonard Lopate, a painter who studied with Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko and the brother of writer Phillip Lopate. The show covers a broad range of topics including current events, literature, theater, science and history. It won a Peabody Award in 2012 "for considering all things New York in lively broadcasts that, like the host, value light more than heat."[16]

Soundcheck is a one-hour weekday talk and music show hosted by John Schaefer. The program looks at music and the arts, featuring interviews with musicians, critics, journalists, authors and others. It sometimes has live musical performances in mix of genres, including indie rock, jazz, classical, and world music.

In 2006 NYPR 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 NYPR 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:

  • The Jonathan Schwartz Show: airing Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons on WNYC-FM, featuring American Popular Standards, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Nat "King" Cole, as well as Schwartz's unique insights.
  • New Sounds: guest musicians, from David Byrne to Meredith Monk, present performances and showcase new works from classical to folk and jazz.
  • Radiolab: each episode is a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences centered around one idea.
  • Radio Rookies: provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world. It won a Peabody Award in 2005.[17]
  • Selected Shorts: actors read contemporary and classic short fiction before a live audience. Works range from Chekhov, Maupassant, Malamud, and Singer, to Jhumpa Lahiri and Jonathan Franzen.
  • Spinning On Air: specializes in unusual, uncategorizeable music, with an emphasis on in-studio performances.
  • The Takeaway: a weekday one-hour show, formerly hosted by John Hockenberry, co-produced with Public Radio International.[18]
  • Death, Sex & Money: Anna Sale talks to celebrities and regular people about relationships, money, family, work and making it all count.


NYPR does business as WNYC Radio, WQXR, and NJ Public Radio.[19]

NYPR reported a total revenue of $68,038,410 for the tax year ending June 30, 2015, in their last IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement filing.[19]

New York Public Radio

Financial Information

Calendar Year Total Revenue
2014[19] $68,038,410
2013 [20] $68,712,094
2012 [21] $61,302,388
2011 [22] $54,810,073
2010 [23] $53,448,885
2009 [24] $54,860,056
2008 [25] $56,233,846
2007 [26] $46,685,724

Listenership and new media[edit]

NYPR 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2013 Income Tax Returns" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "New York Public Radio". 
  3. ^ "New York Public Radio Financial Statements and Supplemental Schedule" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "WNYC-AM". New York Radio Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-04-07. 
  5. ^ "Transmitter information for WNYC 93.9 FM". Radio Locator. 
  6. ^ "New York Public Radio Acquires Four NJN Radio Stations". Archived from the original on 2011-09-07. 
  7. ^ "New Jersey Public Radio Partners". 
  8. ^ "Opinion: Don't sell out WNYC." The New York Times, February 28, 1994. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Myers, Steven Lee (March 22, 1995). "New York, signing off, to sell its radio and TV stations". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ Collins, Glenn (July 17, 2006). "WNYC's Planned Move Will Finish Its Breakup With the City". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ Perez-Pena, Richard (July 17, 2009). "Times Co. agrees to sell WQXR Radio". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  12. ^ NJN Press release (via WMGM-TV): "GOV. CHRISTIE SELECTS WNET FOR NJN TAKEOVER", June 6, 2011. Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ 64th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2005.
  14. ^ 64th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2005.
  15. ^ 67th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2008.
  16. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  17. ^ 65th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2006.
  18. ^ Nocera, Joe (May 3, 2008). "An Upstart Up Against a Jewel". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c IRS 2014 Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  20. ^ IRS 2013 Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  21. ^ 2012 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  22. ^ 2011 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  23. ^ Listed as Prior Year revenue figure in the 2011 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  24. ^ 2009 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  25. ^ 2008 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  26. ^ 2007 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement

External links[edit]