Exploring Music

Leaving WQXR, NYC

Hi – Bill Siegmund the engineer here. Thursday October 8th at 8:00pm Eastern will be the end of WQXR @ 96.3FM. WQXR had been owned by the New York Times since 1944, until it was sold to NPR affiliate WNYC this past summer. And it’s been the base of operations for Exploring Music for almost four years. Today Bill M. and I recorded some shows on French music, and when I walk out of here I won’t be coming back. Well, I will come back to pack up our equipment, but by the time that happens this place will be emptied of all the wonderful, incredible, generous, hard-working people who’ve made this station as good as it is over the years. I’m done working now, and as I write I’m listening to WQXR’s programming, which is at the moment a live broadcast from the Instituto de Cervantes here in Manhattan. They do a series called In the Gardens of Spain, hosted by the always delightful David Dubal. The series continues for a few weeks, and will carry over to the new WQXR, which moves to 105.9 on the FM dial. The technical aspects of the broadcast were expertly handled by Anthony Bartlett, whom you might know from his having engineered some of our Exploring Music shows, and the concert was attended by Margret Mercer, WQXR’s program director, and Harold Chambers, the former Director of Operations. These are two of the people I will miss from around here, and I hope very much to catch up with them for some revelry this week. Thanks from all of us on Exploring Music to everyone who has been so gracious during our stay here. I look forward to all the times our paths will cross in the future.



9 Responses to “Leaving WQXR, NYC”

  1. Candice Agree says:

    Hey Bill, it was always great to run into you at WQXR from time to time. I’m glad you enjoyed In the Gardens of Spain. Just wanted to let you know that the series will continue but not on the air. Tonight was the final broadcast. This is the fourth season of the series, and it seems somehow fitting that it should be my last broadcast on WQXR, 14 years and two months to the day since I started as an announcer there. It was my study of Spanish at Instituto Cervantes that inspired me to present some program ideas to Cervantes’ Director Antonio Muñoz Molina. I was thrilled that David and Margaret so enthusiastically made this series one of QXR’s standout programs. What a way to go!

    Does Exploring Music stay in production at another location?

  2. Leigh says:

    Heartbroken at the changes happening with WQXR! I cannot fathom why such a magnificent – magnificent! – crew of people was not retained intact. I just don’t understand. As an inveterate insomniac, I have listened to QXR 24/7 for years at all hours, and everyone there has become a fond acquaintance. You have spent hours with me at my kitchen table, woken me up, and put me to sleep. You know, I was disappointed when Nimet retired, completely discombobulated when the overnight announcers disappeared – and now! Yikes! Oh, sigh. The only constant is change. My very best to you, Candice, and to Bill S. and Bill M., and all of QXR for more and better successes! And thank you, Bill S., for clarifying that Harold Chambers is a real person – I had just thought David Dubal was a little bit nutty with this imaginary friend of his.

  3. Anthony Bartlett says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Bill! I’m glad you enjoyed the broadcast — I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Especially considering that we weren’t sure if we would even have a working ISDN line until the day of the concert!

    As it happens, I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to continue working at the “new” WQXR. I’ll miss all my former colleagues, but I’m hopeful that this change will breathe new life into the station.

    Hope to see you and Bill M. in the new location soon!

  4. Any way you shift this it really sucks that they did this. I may sing R & B and Jazz for a living but I am a classically trained singer who relished driving home from the gig and listening to “QXR” to wind down from the pace of it, while maintaining a connection with my classical roots. Don’t quite know if they’ll keep it at the level it needs to be. For the sake
    of all classical music devotees I hope they do.

  5. I am a classically trained pianist, and performer, who was a scholarship student of Nadia Reisenberg, (Robert Sherman’s mother).

    I found David Dubal’s program, “Reflections from the Keyboard,” to be a fabulous way to listen to different musical interpretations. It was my favorite program on WQXR, and I sincerely hope they will reschedule it. I believe many people feel the same way.

    Thank you.

    Hadassah Guttmann Ph.d

  6. Jayne says:

    I too am very disappointed at the changes on QXR. I also listen to NYC but not for the same programming and when I used to come across Terrance McKnight I had to stop listening. He was nothing compared to the night shift at QXR. I can’t believe they brought him over to QXR. After working 14 hour days I really looked forward to listening to QXR during my 2 hour trip home. Bad enough that I can’t get QXR at home anymore, but now losing David Dubal and the others at night is really a disappointment. Please NYC/QXR fix this!!

  7. Sy Ribakove says:

    What has become of WQXR’s pronunciation guide for announcers? Helga Nelson needs it or some other reliable guide to pronouncing the names of composers. In the past weeks I have heard her say Elgr, Fala, and Cuddly for Elgar, de Falla, and Kodaly. Alas, WQXR! How the once-mighty have fallen. Sloppy, self-aggrandizing commentary by Ms. Nelson. Pfooey!

  8. carol marano says:

    change seems to be inevitable… we are never prepared for it when it happens, no matter how much we beleive we are…
    I hope WQXR is in it’s “original” form, in Heaven!

  9. ERIKA HALL says:

    February 15th:
    You do not have the broadcasting range any more! I drive up
    I 95 a bit from Greenwich and am loosiing you!
    The morniing hour from 7 onward has good talk, but a bit too much and sometmes a bit too fast.
    You are repeating the same music, as if your music library has shrunk(???).
    It was a bit better last week.
    I have lived with you for the last 40 plus years and need youi like I need to breathe.
    Please improve!! ( I have contributed!)

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