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|Availability||National, through broadcast stations and satellite radio|
|Slogan||Your Music, Your Way|
|Parent||Disney Channels Worldwide|
(Disney–ABC TV Group)
|November 18, 1996|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
|Availability||National, through broadcast stations and satellite radio|
|Slogan||Your Music, Your Way|
|Parent||Disney Channels Worldwide|
(Disney–ABC TV Group)
|November 18, 1996|
Radio Disney (corporate name Radio Disney, Inc.) is an American radio network that is owned by The Walt Disney Company, under the Disney–ABC Television Group operating subsidiary Disney Channels Worldwide. It broadcasts music and other content aimed at preteens and young teenagers under 16 years of age; it can be described as a youth-targeted contemporary hit radio format with heavy emphasis on teen idols. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California.
Radio Disney is formatted like a traditional radio station, featuring prize giveaways (in which listeners can enter via telephone, the internet and since 2008, text messaging) and occasional in-studio interviews called "Takeovers," which usually occur during the weekday late-afternoon timeslot. Radio Disney is Disney's second foray into radio; in late 1955, Walt Disney started, The Magic Kingdom radio show – running Monday through Fridays and  which was heard on ABC Radio from 11:35 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The broadcasts originated from the new Disneyland Park in Anaheim.
For many years Radio Disney affiliated with stations in markets of varying size, mainly large and mid-sized markets, however since the early 2010s, it has started to withdraw from areas located outside of the 25 largest radio markets, owing to those listeners tuning in via either their website or mobile phone/tablet applications, along with the low adoption rate of HD Radio, which many Radio Disney stations have on their AM signals to match FM audio quality.
Radio Disney was launched on November 18, 1996 (coinciding with the 68th anniversary of the debut of Steamboat Willie) at 5:58 a.m. Eastern Time; the first song ever played on the network was "Get Ready For This." The network's initial slogan was "We're All Ears", that was used heavily in on-air jingles. Radio Disney started with songs that were played on Top-40 stations, as well as popular oldies and songs from various cartoon series and movies. Some media analysts likened the Radio Disney product to a mix of child-friendly artists and contests with music, formatics and pacing borrowed from legendary ABC-owned Top-40 stations of the past like WABC or WLS, which had long abandoned their younger audiences for adult-oriented talk formats.
Artists featured on the network in its early years included 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, Bowling For Soup, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child, Hanson, Mandy Moore, 'N Sync, A-Teens, Aaron Carter, Dream Street, Hoku, Eiffel 65, Jump5, 3LW, and the Spice Girls. The station became popular amongst children, teens and tweens. In 2000, music artists like Lil' Romeo, No Secrets, Play, and others became popular because of their airplay on the network. The network's new (but short-lived) slogan around this time was changed to "Music and Prizes That Rock!" Later in 2000, Radio Disney raised its age limit for eligibility to win prizes and sweepstakes from 12 to 14-years-old.
Near the end of 2001, Radio Disney's playlist began to be closely tied with singer/actors from original programs seen on co-owned cable network Disney Channel, starting with Hilary Duff and Raven-Symoné. This was followed later in the decade by Miley Cyrus, Mitchel Musso, and more recently with the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Bridgit Mendler and others. This has caused a bit of controversy as some[who?] feel that most actors from Disney Channel are simply trying to start a singing career.
Around this time, Radio Disney unveiled its current slogan, "Your Music, Your Way". In 2002, the network launch its inaugural Radio Disney Music Awards, a music awards ceremony that has been held every year since.
In 2004, Disney paid the former Children's Broadcasting Corporation (which operated fellow children's radio network Radio Aahs) $12.4 million in a lawsuit settlement. Disney had collaborated with Radio Aahs for a time prior to the launch of Radio Disney as a direct competitor to the Minneapolis-based company, which reached about 30 stations at its height; Aahs' former owners sued for damages on claims of a breach of contract.
2006 marked the network's 10th anniversary; Radio Disney rebroadcast its first hour of programming from November 18, 1996 on June 6, 2006 at around 4:58 p.m. ET on stations in select markets such as WQEW. Also, as part of the 10th anniversary, Radio Disney held the "Totally 10 Birthday Concert" on July 22, 2006 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. It also included a simultaneous live webcast on the Radio Disney website. A second concert was held in Dallas, Texas on November 18, 2006 at the Dallas Convention Center.
In February 2006, The Walt Disney Company announced the divestiture of much of its radio holdings to Citadel Broadcasting, although Disney chose to retain ownership of Radio Disney, ESPN Radio and their respective owned-and-operated stations. Operational duties of Radio Disney were transferred to the company's Disney–ABC Cable Networks Group division, which otherwise operates Disney's cable television properties, except for ESPN (Disney's broadcast and cable properties were later folded into the Disney–ABC Television Group).
In April 2007, Radio Disney completely dropped the word "Ears" (from their first slogan, "We're all ears!") from its (original) phone number, e-mail address, and from Playhouse Disney daily programming. Since the network's debut, Radio Disney was part of the ABC Radio Networks' satellite music group. This changed in June 2007, when Disney retained the network and ESPN Radio in the sale of the ABC Radio division to Citadel Broadcasting.
Radio Disney has added more songs from Disney Channel original programs as well as music produced from other teen music groups to its playlist rotation in recent years, several of which are associated with Disney Music Group labels Walt Disney Records, Buena Vista Records and Hollywood Records. The Playhouse Disney preschool music block was also cut back from two hours to one, with the block being renamed Radio Disney Junior in 2011 in accordance with the launch of the Disney Channel preschool block and standalone cable channel.
In November 2008, Radio Disney relocated its main operations from Dallas, Texas to Burbank, California. In June 2009, Radio Disney again increased the maximum age of eligibility to participate in prize contests, this time to 16 years of age.
In January 2010, Radio Disney requested permission from the FCC to "silence" five of its owned-and-operated stations (along with a sixth station operating under a local marketing agreement with another company) while the stations were being sold. On January 28, 2010, sale agreements were announced for two of the stations.
Radio Disney unveiled a new design for its website in October 2012. The new site is a very simplified version of its previous design, eliminating many of the site's old features. The new site's main page features a player that automatically starts the live programming stream, along with a list for the Dot Com Top 3 results, and a simple request list. The only other features of the new site are tabs for videos, the weekly Top 30 Countdown list, information on the Next Big Thing (NBT) contest, and annual awards at the top and links for an about section, contest rules, help page, and EEO station reports on the bottom. However, certain pages from the older version of the site are still accessible from select pages of the new one.
In June 2013, Disney announced the sale of seven owned-and-operated stations in medium-sized markets, in order to refocus Radio Disney's broadcast distribution on the top-25 radio markets. By February 2014, it had disaffiliated from all of its non-owned and operated stations.
Radio Disney plays a large selection of songs from stars and programs on Disney Channel, along with popular songs from mainstream pop and R&B artists that are found on conventional radio stations. The network airs edited versions of some Top 40 songs (which remove profanity and any other suggestive content) to make them appropriate for younger listeners.
In July 2010, Radio Disney debuted its first scripted serial called My Dream, a contemporary story ulitizing a format reminiscent of serials from the 1940s. Unlike Depression-era radio serials that typically featured episodes lasting 30 minutes, episodes of My Dream runs for only 90 seconds and play multiple times throughout the day. My Dream stars Daphne Blunt as a 14-year-old girl trying to make a name for herself in the music industry while dealing with the usual struggles, responsibilities and emotional ups and downs of an everyday teen.
Since 2002, Radio Disney has held an annual awards ceremony, the Radio Disney Music Awards, to honor popular music artists featured on the network. Similar to the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, children vote to select the winner of each category including "They're The One" (Best Music Group), "Ultimate Breakout Star" (Biggest Viral Artist), "The Bestest" (Song of the Year) and Funniest Celebrity Take (celebrity interview) and "So FANtastic" (Fiercest Fans). Artists who have won awards in past ceremonies include Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, One Direction, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
Radio Disney carries a number of features from interactive contests to informational programs.
Radio Disney has had a number of different DJs since its launch in 1996. Below are a number of DJs along with their years of employment. Many Radio Disney DJs left the network around 2008, when Radio Disney moved its broadcasts and operations to Burbank, California.
In 2000 and 2001, Radio Disney launched two separate "world tours" that traveled to major U.S. cities including Atlanta, New York City, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. In 2000, the tour featured up-and-coming talent (No Authority, Myra) and then Radio Disney DJs, Mark and Zippy. The tour played in theatrical venues and had audiences of up to 2,000 people per show (there were four shows each weekend in each city).
A live stream of Radio Disney's programming is available at RadioDisney.com and is also available under the Pop/Top 40 section of the iTunes radio tuner. Streams are also available via the Radio Disney mobile app for Apple iOS devices and on Xbox 360 consoles via the iHeartRadio application.
From 1997 to 1999, the network was streamed digitally in RealAudio format on the Disney.com website. The service was discontinued in 1999, only to resurface a short time later as a pre-installed streaming channel on QuickTime 4's streaming media list. The service disappeared again around 2000 in concurrence with the release of Quicktime 5. In March 2006, the stream resurfaced again in a Windows Media Player format as Radio Disney 2.0. It was then later revamped in a Flash format complete with lyrics and previously played songs. In October 2011, a stream of Radio Disney was made available in Canada on Family.ca, the website of cable network Family Channel (which coincidentally receives much of its U.S. programming from Radio Disney's sister cable television network Disney Channel).
Radio Disney is available on Sirius XM Radio in digital audio in both the United States and Canada on channel 79. It was carried previously on Music Choice on the digital cable tiers of most television providers. Music Choice replaced Radio Disney on September 18, 2007, with its own channel, Kidz Only!, which is similar in format to Radio Disney, but with a less interrupted music format. Radio Disney could be heard previously on DirecTV channel 867, until the satellite provider switched its digital music programming from XM Radio to Sonic Tap on February 9, 2010. A few digital cable providers with radio services offer Radio Disney as a live radio broadcast selection, although other providers (like Dish Network) do not.
Despite being music-oriented, the network is primarily carried on AM stations, with only one FM station as an affiliate. The list below is accurate as of March 2014[update]. Despite their current standing, many of these stations have diverse histories. Many of the current call signs of Radio Disney stations (particularly those owned by The Walt Disney Company) are variations on the Disney name and that of Mickey and Minnie Mouse; at least one appears to be named for Goofy, and another is named for Walt Disney World (WDW).
The Walt Disney Company owns all of the network's affiliates; in the past, some stations were operated through local marketing agreements that have varying degrees of local management, but the last separately-owned Radio Disney affiliate left the network in 2014.
Markets airing on HD Radio may have an eight-second delay in the AM broadcast, which makes those stations fall behind other Radio Disney stations on AM. A winner of a contest may be chosen before or while the contest details are announced (in order to keep the analog/digital signals in sync, it is standard practice for Hybrid Digital Radio to delay all content by a few seconds).
|Owned and operated stations|
|KMKY||1310||San Francisco, California|
|KDIS||1110||Los Angeles, California (flagship)|
|WFDF||910||Farmington Hills/Detroit, Michigan|
|KDIZ||1440||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota|
|WQEW¹||1560||New York City, New York|
|WSDZ||1260||St. Louis, Missouri|
|WGFY||1480||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|KDZR||1640||Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington|
|WWJZ||640||Mount Holly, New Jersey/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|KMKI||620||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas|
|Callsign||Frequency||Location||Years of affiliation||Comments|
|KADZ||1550||Arvada/Denver, Colorado||–2003||Station was shut down in 2003.|
|KALY||1240||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Sold in 2010; later carried similarly-formatted JENNiRADIO but now has an oldies format|
|KBEE||860||Salt Lake City, Utah||–2001||Affiliation moved to KWDZ in 2001|
|KDEF||1150||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Affiliation moved to KALY|
|KDIS||710||Los Angeles, California||–2003||Swapped with then ESPN Radio 1110 in 2003.|
|KDIS-FM||99.5||Little Rock, Arkansas||–2013||Went silent on July 31, 2013. Sold to Salem Communications and became Christian radio station in 2014.|
|KEBC||1560||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||2004–2013||Dropped Radio Disney for a comedy format in March 2013.|
|KDYS||1520||Lafayette, Louisiana||1997-2004||Originally a Radio Aahs affiliate; dropped Radio Disney upon station sale in 2004.|
|KKDD||1290||San Bernardino/Riverside, California||–2012||Changed to Contemporary Christian music format in April 3, 2012.|
|KMUS||1380||Tulsa, Oklahoma||–2010||Dropped Radio Disney and went silent on January 22, 2010, but not sold until 2011|
|KORL||690||Honolulu, Hawaii||Affiliate originally operated under the call letters KQMQ|
|KPHN||1190||Kansas City, Missouri||–2013||Went silent on July 31, 2013. Sale pending.|
|KQAM||1480||Wichita, Kansas||–2009||Sold in 2009; format changed to talk radio.|
|KRDY||1160||San Antonio, Texas||–2013||Went silent on September 28, 2013. Sale to Salem Communications pending.|
|KRNN||1380||Little Rock, Arkansas||Affiliation moved to FM dial KDIS-FM|
|KRYS||1360||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|KSON||1240||San Diego, California||Station became a Vietnamese/ethnic station in 2004|
|KWDZ||910||Salt Lake City, Utah||2001–2013||Went silent on August 17, 2013. Sale pending.|
|KYDZ||1180||Omaha, Nebraska||Originally used the KOIL call sign; affiliation moved to (and KOIL reused on) 1020 AM|
|WALL||1340||Middletown, New York||–2010||Format changed to oldies.|
|WAMF||1300||Fulton, Oswego County, New York||–2012||Dropped WOLF simulcast, in favor of classic country in October 2012.|
|WBWL||600||Jacksonville, Florida||–2010||Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.|
|WBHR||660||Sauk Rapids/St. Cloud, Minnesota|
|WBVA||1450||Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia||Disaffiliated from Radio Disney due to contractual issues.|
|WBYU||1450||New Orleans, Louisiana||2003–2011||Closed down September 26, 2011.|
|WCOG||1320||Greensboro, North Carolina||–2010||Sold in 2010; format changed to sports radio.|
|WDDY||1460||Albany, New York||–2013||Sold in 2013; format changed to religious programming in 2014.|
|WDDZ||550||Providence, Rhode Island||–2010||Sold in 2010, format changed to business radio. Call letters reused for Pittsburgh affiliate.|
|WDDZ||1500||Zion, Illinois||1998–2000||Former simulcast of WRDZ; call letters reused for Providence affiliate.|
|WDRD||680||Louisville, Kentucky||–2010||Sold in 2010; format changed to sports radio.|
|WDZK||1550||Hartford, Connecticut||–2011||Sold in 2010; format changed to religious programming in 2011.|
|WDZN||100.1||Cumberland, Maryland||–2011||Changed to rock format in July 2011.|
|WDZY||1290||Richmond, Virginia||–2013||Sold in 2013; format changed to religious programming in 2014.|
|WDSS||1680||Grand Rapids, Michigan||–2008||Disaffiliated from Radio Disney on August 7, 2008.|
|WEOK||1390||Poughkeepsie, New York||–2010||Format changed to oldies.|
|WGSM||740||Long Island, New York||1996–1998||Disaffiliated from the network when WQEW became the market's Radio Disney affiliate in late December 1998.|
|WHKT||1650||Norfolk, Virginia||–2010||Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.|
|WHRC||1450||Providence, Rhode Island||Originally known as WDYZ (reused for Orlando affiliate). Sold in 2001; affiliation moved to WDDZ.|
|WKEW||1400||Greensboro, North Carolina||Affiliation moved to WCOG in 2001|
|WKSH||1640||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||–2013||Went silent on September 28, 2013. Sale pending.|
|WKYG||1230||Parkersburg, West Virginia|
|WMBO||1340||Auburn, New York||2000s–2013||Former simulcast of WOLF; previously known as WKGJ and WWLF before reverting to its original WMBO call sign. The station flipped to oldies.|
|WMKI||850||Birmingham, Alabama||1997–1999||Call letters reused for Boston affiliate and call letters reverted to WYDE|
|WMNE||1600||West Palm Beach, Florida||–2009||After sale to Travis Media, resumed broadcasting on May 6, 2010 as an ethnic radio station, and changed call letters to WHTY as of June 2.|
|WMYR||1410||Fort Myers, Florida|
|WOLF||1490||Syracuse, New York||2000s–2014||The station went silent in anticipation of a change in format.|
|WOLF-FM||96.7||Oswego, New York||Former simulcast of WOLF; now WWLF-FM, a simulcast of (the current) WOLF-FM|
|WOWW||1430||Memphis, Tennessee||–2012||Format changed to news/talk in March 2012.|
|WWCS||540||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||–2010||Affiliation moved to WDDZ.|
|WWLF-FM||100.3||Sylvan Beach, New York||Former simulcast of WOLF; originally known as WBGJ. Now known as MOViN' FM|
|WYNK||1380||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|WVOA-FM||105.1||DeRuyter, New York||August 14–28, 2009||WOLF (AM) simulcast was during 2 weeks; format changed to country music.|
The Radio Disney Jams series CDs are various artists compilations of music featured on Radio Disney.
Internationally, there are Radio Disney stations in Australia, Chile, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. There are plans to resume broadcasting of a Disney-branded radio station in the United Kingdom, but this time under the 'Radio Disney' brand, aimed at a younger audience than its predecessor in the UK. On October 21, 2010, Radio Disney launched in Brazil. Since October 1, 2013, Radio Disney is available in Russia via Disney.ru. It plans to broadcast in the Philippines and Sweden in the near future.
Radio Disney is available in Latin America via terrestrial broadcast. Similar to Radio Disney in the U.S., it broadcasts in Spanish to Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Radio Disney planned to begin broadcasting on the digital radio platform in the United Kingdom by the end of 2008. On July 6, 2007, Ofcom, the communications regulator of the United Kingdom, announced that the 4 Digital Group, a consortium headed by Channel 4 and featuring Emap, UTV, British Sky Broadcasting, Global Radio, Carphone Warehouse and UBC, had been awarded a license to run a new digital radio multiplex which would include Radio Disney as one of ten new national radio stations. On October 10, 2008, Channel 4 withdrew plans to launch 4 Digital, ending the probability of Radio Disney launching on the service.
A similar station, Capital Disney began broadcasting in 2002 on the DAB digital radio network, on Sky Digital (Digital Satellite) and various digital cable television providers in the UK. The station was a joint venture between the UK's Capital Radio Group and Disney. The idea being to use Capital Radio's programming experience to assist Disney in launching a radio station in the UK. In early 2007, both Capital Radio (by now called GCap Media) and Disney agreed to pursue different goals, and as a result, Capital Disney closed down on June 29, 2007.