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
(and voiceless) to the listening audience, Audio Engineer
Bobby spent Christmas night alone behind the controls at
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.
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.
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!
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
Bob would eventually be out looking for work, he felt
confident about securing employment someplace else in radio.
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.
Erickson and Bobby Carle spending
Christmas 1998 behind the WQEW console.
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.
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
The Les Davis Jazz Program Advertisement
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
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!
reach Bob via e-mail at:
1999-2012 WackRadio.com - All Rights Reserved.