New York Public Radio

On Air, Online, and On the Streets

On Air, Online, and On the Streets

With the personality and vibrancy of its home town, and talent attracted from around the world, New York Public Radio brings its listeners a uniquely thought-provoking and soul-enriching array of news, current affairs, music, and cultural programming.


WNYC 93.9 FM and 820 AM produce a wide range of original programs for local and national audiences, including the innovative public affairs program The Brian Lehrer Show and the longstanding interview program The Leonard Lopate Show. WNYC’s award-winning news team presents current affairs programming of unmatched depth, and its dynamic music shows Soundcheck, New Sounds, and Spinning on Air have long been important platforms for new music, featuring artists and genres not found elsewhere on the dial. WNYC is also the New York City home of The Saturday Show and The Sunday Show, hosted by Jonathan Schwartz, the voice of American standards. provides an easy to use audio player for our radio streams and offers original, interactive digital content, host blogs, videos and the headlines from our newsroom and our news partners around the world. Podcasts for The Brian Lehrer Show, The Leonard Lopate Show, and Soundcheck are available on or


Besides serving its local audience, WNYC creates programming for national distribution, including the news show The Takeaway (a co-production with Public Radio International), the cult culture and science show Radiolab, the media criticism program On the Media, and Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, public radio’s only nationwide weekly program about pop culture and the arts. WNYC is also home to the best programs from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. WNYC produces popular podcasts available on both iTunes and our on the websites for The Takeaway,, Radiolab,, On the Media,, and Studio 360,


WNYC has often earned recognition for journalistic excellence. Four of its programs—On the Media, Studio 360, The Brian Lehrer Show, and Radio Rookies, a showcase of work by teen journalists from around the city—have won George Foster Peabody Awards, the highest honor in broadcast journalism.  In December 2011, WNYC's work was honored with two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards. Visit our awards page to see our award-winning work.


Classical 105.9 FM WQXR is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic, among other city venues. WQXR broadcasts essential shows such as the Metropolitan Opera Radio Saturday Matinee Broadcasts, the New York Philharmonic This Week on Thursday evenings, the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase on Wednesday evenings, and Symphony Hall each weeknight. For listeners in search of the new, WQXR also operates Q2 Music, a 24-hour-a-day online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, cross-genre adventures, and performances from New York City’s edgier venues. provides essential playlist info for online listening, as well as original content, host blogs, NYC cultural news, and videos.


Through the four NJPR stations – WNJT 88.1 FM-Trenton, WNJP 88.5 FM-Sussex, WNJY 89.3 FM-Netcong, and WNJO 90.3 FM-Toms River – New York Public Radio expands its already considerable presence in New Jersey. Since the transaction closed on December 5, 2011, New York Public Radio’s reach – through NJPR, WNYC FM, WNYC AM, and WQXR – rose from 60 percent to approximately 72 percent of the state’s population. New Jersey residents account for approximately 25 percent of WNYC’s audience and 28 percent of WQXR’s audience. New Jersey-specific and regional news and programming is heard regularly on WNYC on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and The Brian Lehrer Show, and WNYC reporters and programs have been honored with awards by the Garden State Journalists Association. WQXR is licensed to Newark, NJ.


In addition to its radio and online programming, New York Public Radio engages audiences in person at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level, state-of-the-art broadcast studio and performance venue. The Greene Space is host to an exciting and wide-ranging line-up, including live broadcasts and tapings of WNYC programs, concerts and festivals from WQXR, audio theater, literary readings, art exhibits, political debates, symposia, and town hall meetings. To give a flavor of the variety of the fare, among the events staged at The Greene Space are a conversation with Cornel West and Eddie Glaude Jr. on the state of politics, a film screening and conversation with Sting and Trudie Styler, and the Battle of the Boroughs, a search for the best emerging talent in New York City. For more information and a schedule, please visit To read a white paper reflecting on our experience launching and programming The Greene Space, click here.



New York Public Radio launched on July 8, 1924 as WNYC Radio, the radio station of the City of New York. In 1997, the station secured its independence from the city when the WNYC Foundation bought the broadcast licenses for $20 million. WNYC moved its facilities in June, 2008 from the Municipal Building, where the station had broadcast since its inception, to a new home in the Hudson Square neighborhood of lower Manhattan, just west of SoHo. In April, 2009, WNYC opened The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on the ground floor of the new location. In October, 2009, WNYC acquired WQXR, New York’s classical music station, from The New York Times Company. The franchise formally became known as New York Public Radio in March, 2010.


To learn more about more about New York Public Radio, read our Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report.  To learn more about the people behind New York Public Radio, visit our executive team page and our staff page.


The Back Story

WNYC has a long and distinguished history of providing New York City and the nation with unique news, educational, cultural, and public affairs programming. WNYC-AM 820, one of the oldest radio stations in America, first went on the air on July 8, 1924. WNYC 93.9 FM signed on in 1943.


Before January 1997, both stations were owned by the City of New York and were operated by the WNYC Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established by private citizens committed to the cause of public radio. In 1995, the WNYC Foundation agreed to buy the two WNYC radio licenses from the city for $20 million. WNYC Radio is now run as an independent, not-for-profit organization. Grants and listener contributions cover more than 60% of the operating budgets for the stations.


In 2008, WNYC moved from the New York City Municipal Building to state-of-the-art studios in the Hudson Square neighborhood of lower Manhattan. In 2009, the station unveiled The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.


The nation's first commercial classical radio station, WQXR was founded in 1936, when owner and founder John Hogan joined with advertising executive Elliott Sanger to create the Interstate Broadcasting Company. The chief asset of the company then was a mechanical television station called W2XR. In December, 1936, W2XR’s call letters were changed to WQXR, and it began broadcasts as an AM radio station. WQXR-FM signed on in 1939. The New York Times Company bought both stations in 1944. In 2007, The Times sold WQXR’s slot on the AM frequency band to Radio Disney. On September 8, 2009, WNYC secured FCC approval to buy WQXR-FM from The Times in a three-way deal that also involved Univision. The sale closed one month later. WQXR is now operated by New York Public Radio as a noncommercial public radio station.


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