"A Radio Christmas Story"

      It was 6pm on Christmas night 1998 when my phone rang.  The familiar voice on the other end of the line was that of my long time old friend Bobby.  We exchanged our holiday greetings and started talking about our favorite subject: Radio Gossip... (of course!)

      It was on this night Bob mentioned that the home of New York City's only station still programming 'America's Favorite Popular Standards' was slated to drop format in January and start broadcasting Radio Disney.  Hard to believe, but the time was rapidly approaching when those golden voices of America's greatest recording artists were going to become 'homeless' and silenced on the New York airwaves.

      Faceless (and voiceless) to the listening audience, Audio Engineer
      Bobby spent Christmas night alone behind the controls at WQEW.

      Truly saddened would best describe the feelings of countless dedicated listeners over the format loss at WQEW, New York City's very last big band station.  For well over 10 years, their 50 thousand watt signal graced the entire U.S. north-east corridor and parts of Canada with the talents of many wonderful artists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller and Barbara Streisand.

      It also meant that WQEW would no longer have the need for a steady air talent, sales or production staff.  In the days to come, Bob along with many of his colleagues would be out of work, replaced by a microwave dish and a receiver tuned to decode Radio Disney at WQEW's transmitter site in Maspeth.

      With all the microphone faders taped to the "off" position,
      Bob continued to deliver the finest Christmas music to the
      New York metropolitan area.

      Note the 4 CD players in the photo - there's no automation system used.  For 8 straight hours (and without a relief person to cover), Bob was responsible for programming all the Christmas music, image liners and had to hit the top of the hour network news!

      After learning about what was soon to happen to Bob and his colleagues, a moment of silence passed on the phone.  Then, in his cheerful way Bob said: "The end of the world is still a very long way off!  Aside from all this, it's Christmas!  Friends who care enough to chat with me on Christmas are my family... and that's what makes the holiday season so special."

      Although Bob would eventually be out looking for work, he felt confident about securing employment someplace else in radio.

      The very last WQEW Listener's Choice Countdown Booklet
      (A complete music library in it's own right!)

      I asked Bob if he would like some company (after all, at work or not, nobody should have to spend Christmas night alone).  I offered to bring him a cup of coffee and a little surprise...  another radio engineer who was also spending Christmas night alone...  our friend Mike from WFAN 66.  That was when I took these shots of us all celebrating Christmas together at the WQEW studios.  

      Mike Erickson and Bobby Carle spending
      Christmas 1998 behind the WQEW console.

      These are some of the only Christmas holiday pictures and last memories of the once famous "Home Of American Popular Standards", WQEW AM in New York City.

      Music Library For Both WQEW AM And WQXR FM In New York

      View Through Window To Main Audio Library 

      Master Engineering Room For WQXR & WQEW

      Master Engineering Room Shot 2

      Audio Processing - Switching & Monitoring Equipment 

      WQEW Production Studio

      Rick Hall At WQEW "The Home Of American Popular Standards"

      The Les Davis Jazz Program Advertisement

      Less than one week later, Bob was released by the management at WQEW.  I don't think it's necessary to say, Mickey Mouse became  became the Program Director, Goofy was hired as the new Chief Engineer, and Donald Duck took the General Manager's position!

        Over the years, Bob worked for a large number of Long Island and Metropolitan NYC stations including:
      WNBC 66, WYNY 97.1, WABC 77, WPLJ 95.5, WOR 710, WINS 1010, WMCA 570,  WBBR 1130 AM, Sports Radio 66 WFAN -  and of course, the once famous WQEW 1560!

      You can reach Bob via e-mail at:

      To WCWP To WackRadio Online To WGLI - The Mighty 1290

      Copyrightę 1999-2012 WackRadio.com - All Rights Reserved.