Historic, but not famous

Elliott M. Sanger, co-founder WQXR

Elliott M. Sanger was the co-founder and longtime chief of WQXR, the pioneer classical music radio station that became the station of The New York Times in 1944. Mr. Sanger founded the station in 1936 with John Vincent Lawless Hogan, an engineer and inventor.

They shared a dedication to classical music and a conviction that programming semi-classical and light concert music with high standards would attract listeners and eventually advertisers. They believed there was an audience for live concerts in their entirety and for new composers and performers. At a time when sponsors generally controlled the content of radio broadcasts, Mr. Sanger, a scholarly man with a wry humor, prohibited what he deplored as ”singing jingles and raucous sound effects.”

He was also an early advocate of FM broadcasting and in 1939, WQXR became the first FM station in New York City and presented the first regularly scheduled FM program in the country. Besides being a radio pioneer, Mr. Sanger also collected rare books on New York City history, which he presented to Columbia’s library upon his death in 1989.

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