New York may be losing WQEW (1560 on the AM dial) to a new format, but followers of the popular standards station are not letting it go without a fight.
Fans of the station -- which plays Broadway tunes as well as pre- and post-war jazz and vocal selections -- will mass outside the New York Times building tomorrow at 11:45 to protest the Times' lease of WQEW to Radio Disney. Disney plans to change the format to children's programming, beginning Dec. 27.
According to the Daily News, the George Gee Orchestra will play standards at the protest, while swing dancers cut a rug on West 43rd Street.
WQEW took on the standards format in 1992. On Sundays, 7-8 PM, Bob Jones hosts a program of Broadway music. The station also broadcasts a show of the music of Frank Sinatra.
WQEW averages 600,000-700,000 listeners a week, reported the News. WQEW host Jonathan Schwartz recently told the New York Times the old format is currently searched for a new home. Talks are "ongoing and progressive," he said, adding that "people with money" are interested.
Disney will have the option to buy the station after eight years.
-- By Robert Simonson