WNYC Throws A Gala To Thank NYT For Selling Classical Music Station


Last night, New York public radio station WNYC threw a gala at Gotham Hall to celebrate its recent acquisition of New York’s classical radio station WQXR and honor its former owner, The New York Times Co.

Hosted by Alec Baldwin, the evening featured performances by folksinger Judy Collins and opera diva Deborah Voigt. David Sanger, a New York Times correspondent and host of the “Washington Report” on WQXR — and grandson of the station’s founder Elliott Sanger — presented the Times Co. with an award, accepted by Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., commemorating the company’s stewardship of WQXR since 1944.


Later, Baldwin announced that the winner of the evening’s raffle would get a radio — actually, an Internet radio tuned to WQXR. “The New York Times got a piece of glass, for the millions and millions of dollars they’ve coughed up,” he said. “A piece of glass. The winner of the raffle gets a radio.”

(Video and more pictures after the jump)

All of WNYC and WQXR’s talent was at the event. We shared a table with WQXR midday host Midge Woolsey and weekend DJ David Garland. Elliott Forrest and Jeff Spurgeon sat nearby and we chatted briefly with the newest host of “The Takeaway,” Celeste Headlee and we spotted Brian Lehrer, Soterios Johnson and John Hockenberry, among others. Isaiah Sheffer, host of “Selected Shorts” on WNYC, won the night’s raffle.


Hockenberry and Baldwin

Of course all the bigwigs were there, too: WNYC’s chairman of the board Herb Scannell, CEO Laura Walker, NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller, New York State Senator Martin Golden and Joe Uva and Timothy Ward of Univision, which helped WNYC purchase WQXR from the Times.


Sulzberger, Sanger, Walker, Scannell and Baldwin

One thing that we got a chance to ask about was the complaints we’ve heard from WQXR listeners that they can no longer get the station since its move to 105.9 FM. Although the signal is not as strong in its new spot on the dial, we were told that WNYC has been working with NPR to offer its listeners a discounted price on Internet radios, similar to the one that was raffled off last night. For those commenters that expressed their remorse about not being able to hear the classical station, that might help solve your problem.

(Photos by Alan Klein)