WQED-FM 50th Anniversary

Join us in celebrating half a century of being Pittsburgh's Voice of the Arts!

While many radio stations have changed formats over the years, WQED has kept classical music on the air since it was introduced five decades ago. Signing on to the broadcast airwaves at 89.3 FM on January 25, 1973, then WQED Board Chair Leland Hazard, quoting Goethe, said that “every day at least one ought to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and if it were possible speak a few reasonable words.” Such is the purpose of WQED-FM.

January 25, 2023 - 50 years of WQED-FM

Fm 50 Collage 1

Classical QED 30thAnniversary party with (front row) Ceci Sommers, Paul Johnston, Judy Cannava and (back row) Jim Cunningham and Stephen Baum. (1993)

Jim Cunningham presents Q Award to Johnny Costa, former musical director of Mister Rogers' Neighborhoodduring the 21st Classical QED Anniversary celebration. (January 25, 1994)

Al fresco fundraising in front of WQED Studios with Engineer David Tepe, Jim Cunningham, Announcer/Producer Stephen Baum and On-Air Producer Dicky Nassar. Volunteers answering phones in the back. (June 1992)

Anna Singer at the Byham Studio in the Cultural District looking out on Katz Plaza. (2010)

Anna Singer presenting Jim Cunningham with a custom tie for celebrating 40 years with Classical QED. (June 2019)

Anna Singer on-air in Classical QED’s radio studio.

First words spoken on WQED-FM

Dedication of WQED-FM. January 25, 1973

"At this time, WQED-FM begins its broadcast day. WQED-FM is owned and operated by Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting, Incorporated, and operates on a frequency of 89.3 megahertz with an effective radiated power of 43 thousand watts. Studio and transmitter are located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The words I have just spoken are the first broadcast sounds from this new FM radio station. It will be a companion in excellence to WQED and WQEX-TV. It is an FM radio station devoted to the arts; to the music of the centuries; to the poetry of all time; to the sounds of drama -- to the sounds and thoughts which move our souls.

No other radio station will offer just such programs as WQED-FM will offer -- programs for everybody who cares for the music of the timeless masters; the voices of great actors; the rhythm and cadence of words; the sounds of culture.

Celebrities from the arts will be heard on WQED-FM. The programs will be as old as man's first glimmerings of sensitivity and as new as yesterday's agonies of war, hopes for peace, yearnings for the good life.

So it is that we continue to meet the challenges of our video and audio call-words: Quod Erat Demonstrandum: that which was to be demonstrated - demonstrated to people - all people - who have thirst for excellence, hunger for the essences of the best, knowledge that culture is not a dirty word but the very stuff of life.

It was said best by Goethe: "Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonest; the spirit and the senses so easily grow dead to the impressions of the beautiful and perfect, that every one should study, by all methods, to nourish in mind the faculty of feeling these things ... for this reason, one ought every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Ladies and Gentlemen, such is the purpose of WQED-FM."

-- Leland Hazard, Honorary Chairman of the WQED Board, Noon, January 25, 1973

Dusty Kirk, Vice-Chair of the RAD Board, spoke with WQED-FM's Anna Singer during the station's 50th Anniversary Celebration on January 25, 2023.