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Wnye fm logo.png
City New York City
Broadcast area New York metropolitan area
Branding Radio New York
Frequency 91.5 MHz FM
(also on HD Radio)
First air date November 1938 (Apex band)
1942 (FM band)
Format Variety, Educational
ERP 2,000 watts[1]
HAAT 281 meters (922 ft)[1]
Class B1[1]
Facility ID 3539[1]
Callsign meaning W New York City Board of Education
Affiliations NPR
Public Radio International
Owner NYC Media Group
(New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications)
Sister stations WNYE-TV
Website Radio New York

WNYE (91.5 MHz) is a non-commercial educational FM radio station located in New York City. WNYE is operated by the NYC Media Group, a division of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, along with WNYE-TV (channel 25) and the NYCTV cable networks. WNYE's studios are in the NYC Media Group's headquarters within the Manhattan Municipal Building, while its transmitter is atop the Condé Nast Building. Because its funding comes from the City of New York, WNYE is different than most non-commercial radio stations in that it does not ask for listener donations and it airs no fund drives.


WNYE began broadcasting as a high-frequency Apex band station in November of 1938 with the call letters WCNY, giving it an earlier starting date than any other FM station in New York City.[2] In October 1939 the call letters were changed to WNYE, because the original call sign was considered to be too similar to WNYC, the New York City municipal station.[3] WNYE switched to 42.1 MHz in the old FM band in 1942. In 1946, it moved to 91.7 MHz, in today's current FM band. Then in 1948, it settled at 91.5 MHz.

The station's original licensee was the New York City Board of Education, and as such WNYE-FM was a laboratory devoted to programming designed for the city's public school system. As time went on, WNYE-FM also broadcast adult learning, community-interest and ethnic programming as well. The station's studios and transmitter were originally located within Brooklyn Technical High School. In the middle-1990s the studios were moved to nearby George Westinghouse High School in Downtown Brooklyn.

In December 2004, the Department of Education transferred the licenses of the WNYE stations to the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The transfer integrated WNYE-FM-TV's operations with those of the city-owned cable television services CUNY-TV and Crosswalks Television Network, combining them to form the NYC Media Group. WNYE-FM's programming format remained largely unchanged at that time, but in March 2007 the station was rebranded as "Radio New York, WNYE 91.5 FM," and in 2009 it launched its digital programming with a new transmitter located at the Condé Nast Building (4 Times Square).[4]


On February 11, 2008, the station management announced a partnership with Seattle-based station KEXP-FM to produce a new format branded as Radio Liberation,[5] featuring indie rock music simulcast from KEXP.[6] The format started on March 24, 2008, replacing a number of NPR, BBC and Public Radio International shows.[7]

On June 1, 2011 KEXP was replaced with The Alternate Side from Fordham University's WFUV.[8] It featured indie rock and alternative rock programming. This ended on August 21, 2015.[9]

As of August 31, 2015 WNYE airs adult album alternative music by simulcasting WFUV weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.[10] On weekday late mornings and afternoons, the station airs news programming from NPR and other public radio organizations. That includes the NPR news show "All Things Considered," "Here and Now" from WBUR-FM in Boston and "The Diane Rehm Show," a news and interview program from WAMU in Washington, D.C. Late nights, music programs are heard including the "World Cafe" from WXPN Philadelphia, "Afropop Worldwide" from Public Radio International and "Echoes" which specializes in ambient and electronic music. Evenings and weekends are devoted to ethnic programming for the Greek, Irish, Croatian, Haitian, Slavic and Brazilian communities, as well as New York Islanders hockey games, simulcast with WRHU.


  1. ^ a b c d According to the Engineering details for WNYE-FM in their license application at the Federal Communications Commission, April 2009.
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 pg. C-144
  3. ^ "Radio and Education", Broadcasting, October 15, 1939, page 74.
  4. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg, DoITT commissioner Cosgrave, and NYC Media Group president Arick Wierson launch new transmitter site for WNYE 91.5 FM Radio New York at 4 Times Square", press release PR-109-09, City of New York. March 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "KEXP and Radio New York liberate listeners from the norm" (Press release). Pyramid Communications. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Air raid", Time Out New York, Issue 651, Mar 19–25, 2008.
  7. ^ "Indie scene can be heard now on WNYE", Daily News, March 23, 2008.
  8. ^ "The Alternate Side Debuts On WNYE June 1", thealternateside.org, June 1, 2011.
  9. ^ "WFUV Dissolves The Alternate Side", radioinsight.com, August 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "radio-schedule". www1.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′22″N 73°59′10″W / 40.7562°N 73.9862°W / 40.7562; -73.9862