An Interesting History of A Classical Station Going Rock Then Back To Classical Again

The year, 1974 and I was sitting in the barbers chair having my hair cut. Classical music station WNCN 104.3 FM was playing on the radio. The time was about 11:45 am. Then suddenly at 12:00 noon, the station ID came on. "WQIV, New York, Quadraphonic 104.3. Suddenly "Roll Over Beethoven" by the Electric Light Orchestra came on. The station was now rock! Here's an article that remembers this change which only lasted about 9 months.

WQIV 104.3.

This article was taken from NYC Radio A great website on radio in New York City.


WQIV was a short-lived FM rock station (November 7, 1974 - August 25, 1975) owned by Starr Broadcasting that replaced classical WNCN. Its original studios were located at 2 West 45th Street. The station was called WQIV because it broadcast in quadraphonic stereo sound (although very few people had quad-capable receivers.) I don't remember all that much about WQIV other than the fact that it marked Rosko's return from living in France to FM radio in New York. I actually applied for a job there as some sort of production/engineering person -- I felt I could help them improve their sound, which I didn't think was up to the quality of either WNEW-FM or WPLJ and even though WNCN was a fine-sounding classical station (I had once freelanced there doing some production work on weekends.) In retrospect, it may have been that there were phase cancellation effects that made the station's production sound seem "weak" when not listening in Quad. I was interviewed by then-PD Larry Miller, but I (thankfully) didn't get the job. The move to a rock format was highly controversial and was challenged in court. A Chicago group headed by William Benton eventually forced Starr to accept an offer from GAF Broadcasting of $3 million for the station or risk a license challenge before the FCC. GAF returned the station to a classical music format. However, GAF itself was under upheaval and when a new chairman was elected, he sold WNCN to Clear Channel for $100 million. In December of 1993, the call letters were changed to WAXQ. According to radio historian Rob Frankel, the airstaff included Jim Cameron, Larry Miller, Rosko, Dave Mallow and Allan Morgan (whose real name was Larry Miller) and Thom O'Hare, who had done stints at KSAN and KMET in San Francisco. Rob also remembers Lisa Karlin and Al Bernstein having airshifts. Larry Miller was the original P.D. and was replaced by Thom O'Hare when he resigned after a dispute with Starr Broadcasting management.