Radio Disney

Radio Disney was an American radio network operated by the Disney Radio Networks unit of Disney Branded Television within the Disney General Entertainment Content, headquartered in Burbank, California.

Radio Disney
Radio Disney logo.svg
TypeRadio network
Country
United States
HeadquartersBurbank, California, U.S.
Ownership
OwnerDisney Branded Television
History
Launch dateNovember 18, 1996; 24 years ago (1996-11-18)
ClosedApril 14, 2021; 6 months ago (2021-04-14)
Coverage
AvailabilityNational, through broadcast stations, satellite radio, and internet radio
AffiliatesSee list
Links
Websiteradio.disney.com at the Wayback Machine (archived December 29, 2020)

The network broadcast music programming oriented towards children, pre-teens and teenagers, focusing mainly on current hit music and a heavy emphasis on teen idols (particularly those signed with Disney Music Group record labels, such as Hollywood and Walt Disney); compared to most CHR stations, Radio Disney was far more aggressive in playing only current hits and eschews recurrent rotation.[1]

For many years Radio Disney affiliated with stations in markets of varying size, mainly large and mid-sized markets; however, by the early 2010s, Disney had begun to phase out the network's affiliations with terrestrial radio stations, and sold its owned-and-operated Radio Disney stations (with the exception of KDIS in Los Angeles) to third-parties, in order to focus more on its programming, marketing, creating revenue producing events and distribution of Radio Disney as an internet radio outlet on digital platforms.[2]

In 2015, Radio Disney partnered with iBiquity to distribute the network terrestrially via its HD Radio platform, and with iHeartRadio for further digital distribution.[3] In the same year, Radio Disney launched a spin-off service, Radio Disney Country, which carried a country music format catered towards a similar audience; in 2017, this service replaced the main Radio Disney service on KDIS, which was renamed KRDC. The network also lent its name to the Radio Disney Music Awards, an annual music awards presentation broadcast on television since 2014 by Disney Channel.

On December 3, 2020, Disney announced that Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country would be shut down in the first quarter of 2021.[4][5][6] On April 14, 2021, Radio Disney ceased broadcast when its last remaining terrestrial station, KRDC, was quietly changed to a simulcast of KSPN 710 AM, an ESPN Radio frequency.

BackgroundEdit

Disney had for a long time been involved in the music business, building off its success in movies and TV shows, which later became Disney Music Group. However, with radio, Disney was not committed to the medium only doing a few shows. Radio Disney is Disney's third 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.[7] Even before the 1996 Disney-CC/ABC merger, Disney and ABC Radio considered as early as 1992 planned for a children's radio network but dropped the idea.[8] Starting on July 31, 1994, Disney started a weekend radio show, Live From Walt Disney World, that originated from both Disney World and Disneyland on Radio AAHS.[8][9]

In November 1995, ABC Radio Networks and Children's Broadcast Corp. reached an agreement for ABC Radio to provide marketing and sales to Radio AAHS. After Disney's acquisition of CC/ABC, Disney had ABC Radio cancel the agreement in August 1996 plus announced the start of its own children's network and ended AAHS's Disney World broadcasting rights.[10]

HistoryEdit

ABC Radio NetworksEdit

Radio Disney was test launched on November 18, 1996 in four markets, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Birmingham, Alabama by ABC Radio Networks. In late March 1997, a fifth test market was added, Seattle on former KidStar station KKDZ.

Pleased with the results in those four test markets, ABC Radio Networks announced on May 8, 1997 that Radio Disney would begin a nationwide rollout, with the network having 14 affiliates by the end of the year.[11] On August 26, 1997, Radio Disney was launched in Los Angeles on KTZN/710.[12]

By August 1998, 28 stations had affiliated with Radio Disney, with an expected 63 stations by the end of 1999. Radio Disney purchased KAAM (AM) (Plano, Texas) for $12 million and switched the station to the network in July.[13] In 1998, the network was based out of its Dallas station.[14]

Radio Disney Family Pledge

Because my family matters, I promise to spend at least one hour each week with my family participating in fun things that draw us together and celebrate what makes us unique.

— Radio World[15]

Other than music, the network aired other programs such as "Mickey & Minnie's Tune Time," a two-hour weekday toddler program, and two 60-second features per hour which included contests, "ABC News for Kids" and "Gross Me Out."[13] The network ran its Radio Disney Project Family Initiative from July 1 to September 15, 2003 with family-themed programming and events to get family to sign on to the Radio Disney Family Pledge.[15]

 
Former Radio Disney logo, used from 2002 to 2007.

Radio Disney would later begin being carried on XM Satellite Radio in 2001,[16] with the station launching on Sirius Satellite Radio in 2002.[2] Disney entered a joint venture to launch Capital Disney digital radio channel in Britain and operated from 2002 until June 29, 2007.[17] In 2004, Disney paid the former Children's Broadcasting Corporation (which operated children's radio network Radio Aahs) $12.4 million in a lawsuit settlement.[18]

In April 2002, Radio Disney began using a new logo, which was followed by the network redesigning its website, and changing its slogan to "Your Music, Your Way" on May 28, 2002.[19][20]

On July 30, 2003, ABC Radio Networks founded the Radio Disney Group, who took over operations of most of Radio Disney's stations.[21]

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 pm. ET on stations in select markets, such as WQEW.[citation needed] 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.[22] 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.[citation needed]

Disney Channels WorldwideEdit

In August 2006, operational duties of Radio Disney were transferred to the company's Disney–ABC Cable Networks Group (currently d.b.a. Disney Channels Worldwide), which otherwise operates Disney's cable television properties, except for ESPN.[23]

On June 12, 2007, Disney spun off and merged its ABC Radio Networks with Citadel Broadcasting into Citadel Communications while retaining its ESPN Radio and Radio Disney networks and stations.[24][25]

 
Former Radio Disney logo, used from 2007 to 2009.

In March 2008, Radio Disney and Gracenote signed a licensing agreement starting immediately that allow the lyrics be seen along with the song online on Radio Disney Internet Radio Player.[26] The channel began streaming live on iTunes Radio Tuner in August 2008.[27] In November 2008, Radio Disney relocated its main operations from Dallas to Los Angeles.[14] The former radio studio that housed Radio Disney in Dallas began to be used by The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show in 2008.[14]

The network launched on October 8, 2008 the Next Big Thing feature which allows listeners vote on young unsigned artists' songs to be played.[28] In 2013, the Radio Disney Music Awards began airing on the Disney Channel.[29]

Sometime in 2009, in September at the latest, Radio Disney changed its logo to the one they still used until their closure.[30]

By 2009, Radio Disney was starting to reduce its station footprint to the larger markets to make the network more profitable. In January 2010, Radio Disney Group 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.[31] Disney sold six AM stations and one FM station that year.[2] 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.[32]

On April 10, 2014, it was announced that Radio Disney's Top 30 Countdown would become a syndicated radio show, distributed by Rick Dees' Dees Entertainment.[33] Aha Radio, Slacker and ShowMobile signed online carriage agreements with the network in mid-2014.[2]

Shift to HD Radio and digitalEdit

On August 13, 2014, Radio Disney's general manager Phil Guerini announced plans to sell all but one of its remaining owned-and-operated stations on or before September 26, 2014, in order to focus more on the network's programming, co-branded events, and digital outlets. Listenership reports indicated that the majority of Radio Disney's audience listened to the network via satellite radio and other digital platforms, and only 18% via terrestrial AM/FM radio. KDIS remained operational to serve as the originating station for the Radio Disney network,[2][34] while the remaining stations would continue carrying Radio Disney programming until their respective sales were completed.[35] The last five Radio Disney owned-and-operated stations for sale were sold on September 15, 2015 to Salem Media Group (who was the largest purchaser of the stations) for $2.225 million.[36][37]

On April 13, 2015, Disney announced that the Radio Disney network would move to HD Radio subchannels; the network will be distributed by iBiquity, with ad sales handled by its HD Radio Digital Network unit. A network representative that the move was intended to target families as in-car listeners.[38] On August 6, 2015, Radio Disney was made available for listening on iHeartRadio.[3][39][40]

It was announced that on November 25, 2019, Disney has secured a deal with Entercom to bring Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country to the company's Radio.com platform.[41]

Decline and closureEdit

On December 3, 2020, Disney announced that both Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country would shut down in the first quarter of 2021 as part of its restructuring plan to focus more on producing content for the television networks and Disney+, with KRDC being put up for sale.[4][5] Radio Disney began to wind down operations on December 31, 2020 as their DJ's hosted their final shows, and was discontinued on SiriusXM on that same date. Radio Disney Country was completely shut down at noon Pacific Time on December 31; KRDC subsequently returned to the main Radio Disney feed. On January 1, the station ceased its Top 40 format and switched to an automated throwback playlist which mainly consisted of songs from throughout the 24-year history of the network.[6] The Radio Disney app and website shut down on January 22, 2021, while the station continued to broadcast on iHeartRadio until it was removed sometime during March.[42] At that point, the station was only heard in the Greater Los Angeles Area and San Diego County on terrestrial radio until April 14, 2021 at 10 am PT, when it was quietly discontinued and switched to a simulcast of sister station KSPN. The final song Radio Disney played prior to being switched was “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.

On March 25, 2021, Disney launched its replacement service, Disney Hits, exclusively on SiriusXM. Unlike Radio Disney, Disney Hits will only include music from The Walt Disney Company's productions.[43]

Despite the station now being defunct, Radio Disney’s Instagram and Twitter remain active to promote other Disney movies and TV shows, mainly those airing on Disney+.

ProgrammingEdit

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. The specialized radio format favors music which often takes on a sound reminiscent of "bubblegum pop" of the 1960s and '70s.

List of former programs broadcast by Radio DisneyEdit

  • Fearless Everyday – hosted by blogger and entrepreneur Alexa Curtis, is Radio Disney's first show to introduce topics like social media and mental health to listeners.
  • #ICYMIIn Case You Missed It
  • 1 Hour of Nonstop Music – A One Hour Program that plays commercial free music.
  • More Music Monday – Non-stop commercial-free music on Mondays with no hosts.
  • Morning Update
  • Radio Disney Country Spotlight
  • Radio Disney Insider Show
  • Really Good Time – Hosted by DJ Lela B, the program features dance music including remixes of popular songs. In addition, Lela B also hosts the Weekend Warm-Up show which similar features remixes of songs.
  • The Radio Disney Top 3The Radio Disney Top 3, hosted by Morgan Tompkins, features the three most requested songs of the day, and after, a caller who is able to name all three songs will win a prize or super entry.
  • TBT Top 3
  • Radio Disney's Top 10 (originally Top 30 Countdown and Radio Disney's Top 30) – The longest-running program, originally hosted only by Susan Huber, soon by Jake Whetter, later by Ernie D., and now by Richardo Ordieres. Songs that receive the most requests during the week are included on the countdown, played in descending order. In 2016, the Radio Disney Top 30, after being the longest-running program in the station, was shortened to only 10 songs. Around New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, a special version of the countdown featuring the 50 most requested songs of the year is broadcast. As of February 2018, it is hosted by various artists or other guest hosts.
  • Connect Family – Originally named Family Fun Day, the program was retitled early in April 2007 as Connect Family (borrowed from the network's on-air campaign of the same name); it was formally hosted by Ernest "Ernie D." Martinez and Blake Kuhre. Between songs, parents and children would discuss with the DJs how they spend time with one another, their family life and play contests for children to win prizes and entries into Radio Disney contests.
  • For the Record with Laura Marano – A weekly one-hour show hosted by Laura Marano, chronicling her journey as she launches her career. This show closed in April 2016.
  • Frequency Jam – A Friday night program which debuted around 2002/2003, in which three songs would be played by DJs Ernest "Ernie D." Martinez or Brian Kuhre. The song with the most votes (via Radio Disney's website) would be the next song that would be played as the winner. Frequency Jam ended in February 2007 with the redesign of Radio Disney website.
  • Morgan & Maddy in the Morning – hosted by Morgan Tompkins and Maddy Whitby started on April 1, 2013[44]
  • Nate and Megan in the Morning – A morning show hosted by Nate and Megan.
  • Move It Party – Saturday weekend show hosted by Morgan Tompkins and Maddy Whitby[44]
  • Playhouse DisneyPlayhouse Disney (originally "Mickey and Minnie's Tune Time" from 1998[13] to February 2001[45]) aired on Radio Disney weekdays during the school year from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. ET and was hosted by Robin, Tina, B. B. Good and Susan Huber from its inception; it was also hosted by Betsy. Playhouse Disney was originally a two-hour block, but was later reduced to one hour; segments featured in the block included Circle Time Story (originally "Mickey and Minnie's Storytime Theatre" from 1998 to 2001), which featured read-along stories from Disney movies. Like the now-defunct Playhouse Disney block on Disney Channel, it was targeted towards preschoolers. Songs for young children were played along with trivia contests.

Serial radioEdit

In July 2010, Radio Disney debuted its first scripted serial called My Dream, a contemporary story utilizing a format reminiscent of serials from the 1940s. Unlike Depression-era radio serials that typically featured episodes lasting 15 to 30 minutes, episodes of My Dream runs for only 90 seconds and play multiple times throughout the day.[46] 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.[47]

Features and contestsEdit

Radio Disney carried a number of features from interactive contests to informational programs.

Final featuresEdit

  • Music Mailbag – The hour-long Saturday program. After a new song selected for entry into Radio Disney's regular playlist was played, listeners were urged to call into the network's hotline or vote on its website to "Pick It" (make the song part of the network's playlist rotation) or "Kick It" (reject it as an entry into the playlist). By the time the station shut down, voting was conducted via Twitter as the station’s website was no longer used.
  • 60 Seconds With (actor/actress/artist name) – A segment featuring minute-long excerpts from interviews and celebrity "takeovers".
  • Grand Prize Drawing – Grand prize drawings often occur over the course of one to four weeks, depending on the contest. Contestants can win entries in a regular contest that contestant wins; contestants also periodically have the opportunity to win a "super entry", in which 100 entries for the drawing are entered into the contest. The winner of the grand prize will usually win a vacation, or a chance to meet a popular artist heard on Radio Disney or the opportunity to meet another celebrity. Drawings usually occur on a Friday.
  • Planet Premiere – A music artist sits down with Ernest "Ernie D." Martinez or Candice Huckeba as their newest album or song is played on Radio Disney. Before each song plays, the artist tells the listeners how the song was conceived, and what its meaning was.
  • Power Prize – The "Power Prize" occurs at least six times a day. A winner of a contest will not only win a super entry, but also a "power" prize. This started when Radio Disney stopped giving out prizes to every contest winner.
  • Radio Rewind – A segment of a song was played backward and callers would try to guess the name of that song. The song would usually be played forward after someone wins.
  • Sound File – The news on new music and artists (new entries appear weekly during the Top 10 Countdown).
  • Super Entry – Winners of a contest receive 100 entries into the grand prize drawing. When the "super entry" first started, the winner would get 40 entries.
  • TBT Top 3Throwback Thursday Top 3, A long time segment That Plays Throwback Songs, But not that far back. and after that, a caller would try to guess 3 songs, and a caller will win.
  • Title Text – A segment that a DJ says the first letter for each word of a song, and callers would try to guess the full words of the song, and will play after someone wins. (For Example: C, S, T, F,: Can't Stop the Feeling.)

Former featuresEdit

 
Greyson Chance being interviewed during "Celebrity Take with Jake".
  • ABC News for Kids – News updates from ABC News Radio which featured child-appropriate news updates and features segments.[13]
  • ABC Notebook
  • Aptitude Dude – voiced by Squeege.
  • Backwards Bop – A small excerpt of a song was played backward and callers would try to guess the name of that song.
  • Battle of the Cities – A trivia game hosted by Mark and Zippy. Two contestants from different cities would call in and the caller with the most answers wins.
  • Bumbling Bill's Safety Spotlight – Bumbling Bill and his friend Sally (Susan Huber) talk about what's safe and unsafe. In a running gag, Bumbling Bill would often malaprop Sally's name. This program ended near the beginning of 2006.
  • Celebrity Take with Jake – A pre-recorded segment hosted by Jake Whetter, providing celebrity news stories focusing on actors and music artists popular with the network's target demographic.
  • Code Word of the Day – The "Code Word of the Day" is given out about five times an hour. If a caller knows the code word when they calls Radio Disney's hotline (usually around 6:30 pm. ET), that person is awarded a prize. This program ended in mid 2017.
  • ESPN Sports for Kids - Sports news and some health tips.
  • Grandma Nature
  • Garage Door Derby – A contest hosted by DJ Aaron K. in which two callers would call in and participate in a race to see whose garage door closed the fastest. The first to say, "It's open!" or "It's closed!" would win a prize.
  • Gross Me Out – "Gross Me Out" was a longtime segment that talked about gross things which kids often like to hear.
  • Hairbrush Karaoke – Similar to the "Karaoke" game with DJ Kara. DJ Susan Huber would get a caller to sing karaoke on the radio, and then they would win a prize. This ended when Susan Huber left Radio Disney.
  • Hogwarts or Hogwash – A game played by DJ Aaron K. The correct caller must answer three out of four questions from the popular Harry Potter book and/or film series as true or false, by saying "Hogwarts" for being true and "Hogwash" for being false.
  • Incubator – A segment played between songs or during commercial breaks featuring interviews with up-and-coming music artists.
  • Karaoke – A contest held by retired DJ Kara Edwards. She would sing one line of a song and the correct caller would sing the other.
  • Laugh Shack – Kids would call in and leave jokes on the network's voicemail (or "earmail") number. The jokes would then later be aired on the radio.
  • Let's Make a Deal – Another game/contest hosted by Mark and Zippy. This was a parody of the television game show of the same name.
  • NBT (Next Big Thing) – This segment was hosted by Jake Whetter, and is similar to the former Incubator feature. Each year since the contest launched in 2008, Radio Disney plays new songs by five up-and-coming music artist that are contestants; listeners are able to vote for which contestant moves on to the next round of the competition until a winner is chosen.
  • Theatre of the B-zarre – An interstitial segment that ended around mid-2006, in which Dr. B and a hairball-like creature named Critter talk about strange and creepy things.
  • The Adventures of Bud and Iggy – A contest that centered on two unheard characters, Bud and Iggy, who are always getting lost. Clues were given as to what city the two are lost in. This longtime contest ended near the end of 2003.
  • The Answer is Always "C." – The DJ would give a caller a multiple-choice question, or questions, but a winner would almost always be assured, as the answer was always the "C." choice.
  • The State Game – Three clues about a state were given out (the state nickname and two facts) and callers would try to guess what state it is. This game was played by B.B. Good and Sherry.
  • Thinkenstein: 2000 – A segment featuring Dr. Thinkenstein (voiced by Clint Ford) a wild, hyperactive scientist with a Karloff-esque voice, who routinely examined technologies and breakthroughs that other scientists were currently working on to improve the future. He frequently discussed his findings with his computer assistant, "I.gor" (nicknamed "E-dot").
  • Your Music, Your Way a.k.a. Your Music & Your Stars, Your Way

Radio Disney Music AwardsEdit

Since 2001, 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 Teen Choice Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, teenagers vote to select the winner of each category including Best Female Artist, Best Male Artist, Best Music Group, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Fiercest Fans, Artist with the Best Style, Most Talked About Artist and more. Hilary Duff is the biggest winner with 21 awards and 35 nominations. There were no awards between 2009 and 2012.

TV ShowEdit

Radio Disney had a television series on Disney Channel that aired from March 1, 2001 to March 17, 2005. The series was still on "Disney Channel on Demand", the channel's video-on-demand service until 2013.[clarification needed]

Radio Disney World ToursEdit

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).

Other networksEdit

Radio Disney NetworksEdit

Radio Disney, Inc.
Radio Disney Networks
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryBroadcasting
DefunctFebruary 2021 (2021-02)
Headquarters3800 Alameda Avenue, ,
United States
Number of locations
1
Key people
  • Phil Guerini (General Manager)
  • Sean Cocchia (EVP, Business Operations, Disney Channels Worldwide)
  • Ivan Heredia (VP, Marketing)
  • Gary Marsh (President and CCO, Disney Channels Worldwide)[48]
ServicesRadio network
ParentDisney Channels Worldwide
(Walt Disney Television)
Divisions

Radio Disney Networks[48] is an American radio network that is owned by Disney Channels Worldwide, Inc., a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television, a primary component of The Walt Disney Company's Disney Media Networks segment. Radio Disney Networks broadcasts three separated digital channels, Radio Disney, Radio Disney Country and Radio Disney Junior, via radio station's HD channel or by online stream sites. The original Radio Disney network play music and other content aimed at preteens and young teenagers; it can be described as a youth-targeted contemporary hit radio format with heavy emphasis on teen idols. Recently Radio Disney has become a Mainstream Top 40 Indicator reporter on Nielsen-BDS eventually being upgraded to monitored status with Nielsen-BDS. Radio Disney is also a monitored reporter on the Mediabase 24/7 Top 40 panel.[citation needed] The network is headquartered in Burbank, California.

Radio Disney Junior was available via the Watch Disney Junior app in August 2014.[2] On November 4, 2015, Radio Disney Networks launched a country music-focused internet radio station, Radio Disney Country.[49] Disney Channels Worldwide replaced its Watch app series with the singular, DisneyNow, which combines its TV and radio channels the week of September 29, 2017.[50] On November 13, 2014, Radio Disney and Radio Disney Junior became available on Slacker Radio with Radio Disney's Top 30 Countdown starting on November 15, 2014.[51]

Radio Disney CountryEdit

Radio Disney Country
 
Logo of Radio Disney Country on its only affiliate, KRDC
TypeRadio network
Country
United States
History
Launch dateNovember 4, 2015; 5 years ago (2015-11-04)
ClosedDecember 31, 2020; 9 months ago (2020-12-31)
Coverage
AffiliatesSee list
Links
Websiteradio.disney.com

Radio Disney Country is a defunct country music focused internet radio network that launched on November 4, 2015, and was initially exclusive to Radio Disney's own digital platforms.[49] The service focused upon current songs, current and past material from popular artists, and pop songs featuring country musicians. Guerini explained that the format of the channel was meant to allow it to draw from a wider range of songs than traditional country radio stations, owing to the format's "embrace" of rock, hip-hop and pop-oriented songs (with Rolling Stone noting its airplay of Lil Nas X's Western-trap song "Old Town Road" in 2019 as an example of this strategy).[52] The network's launch coincided with the 2015 CMA Awards.[49][53] Like its sister station, Radio Disney Country emphasized current hits and used little recurrent rotation.[1]

On June 9, 2017, Disney announced that it would expand the network's distribution to include other digital platforms, such as iHeartRadio and TuneIn, as well as curated playlists on Apple Music and Spotify, and terrestrial radio with the flip of KDIS to the network as KRDC 99.1 FM and AM 1110 (the main Radio Disney network continued to be carried locally on a subchannel of KRTH until late 2018 when its contract to carry the network expired).[54]

The station's Let the Girls Play segment premiered on December 5, 2018.[55] In July 2019, Radio Disney Country opened a Nashville Music Row based studio.[56] In July 2019, Disney agreed to license Radio Disney video content to Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation to telestream via a patented process the content to the web and the audio to a radio station, WIGO-AM, as The Radio Disney Hour (working tile).[57]

Radio Disney Country's targeted audience was women aged 18 to 34 years old.[56] The network's mix of music would be every thing with 60% popular artists and 40% up and coming artists.[53] It ceased in the afternoon of December 31, 2020.[6]

Radio Disney JuniorEdit

 
Radio Disney Junior logo.

On February 14, 2011, a Radio Disney Junior block was launched in tandem with the Disney Junior on Disney Channel block. The hour long block focused on music for the preschool age plus fun "audio theater" with Disney Junior characters.[58]

ProgrammingEdit

  • Magical World of Disney Junior, Disney and Pixar movies music
  • Pirates & Princesses, themed songs
  • Get Up and Move, dedicated to health and wellness[51]

StationsEdit

Despite being music-oriented, the network was carried primarily on AM stations. The Walt Disney Company owned most of the network's affiliates, though some stations were operated through local marketing agreements that had varying degrees of local management. The last separately-owned Radio Disney affiliate, WOLF in Syracuse, New York, left the network on February 1, 2014.

On August 13, 2014, it was announced that all of Radio Disney's remaining stations, excluding KDIS, were to be sold in an effort to focus more on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network. KDIS would be retained to serve as the originator of Radio Disney's programming, and its operations was assumed by the network's national staff.[2][34] However, Disney later announced that it would syndicate Radio Disney through affiliations with HD Radio subchannels.[59][60]

Many former Radio Disney stations have diverse histories prior to the network affiliation. The call signs of Radio Disney stations (particularly those owned by The Walt Disney Company) were variations on the Disney name and that of Mickey and Minnie Mouse; at least one appeared to be named for Goofy (WGFY), and another after Walt Disney World (WDW).

Former Radio Disney stations
AM/FM stations
Callsign Frequency Location Years of affiliation Comments
KADZ 1550 Arvada/Denver, Colorado 1998−2003 Station was shut down in 2003, format continued on sister station KDDZ.
KALY 1240 Albuquerque, New Mexico 2003–2010 Sold in 2010; later carried similarly formatted JENNiRADIO but now has an oldies format
KAVT 1680 Fresno, California 2000–2008 Was not yet on the air in June 2000, but was by December 2000. Flipped to Adult Standards on March 1, 2008.
KBEE 860 Salt Lake City, Utah 1996–2003 Affiliation moved to KWDZ in 2003
KDDZ 1690 Arvada/Denver, Colorado 1998–2015 Went silent on December 8, 2015, but came back in February 2016. Now catholic radio programming.
KDEF 1150 Albuquerque, New Mexico 2000–2003 Affiliation moved to KALY
KDIS 710 Los Angeles, California 1997–2003 Swapped with then ESPN Radio 1110 in 2003.
KDIS-FM 99.5 Little Rock, Arkansas 2003–2013 Sold in 2013; format changed to religious programming in 2014.
KDIZ 1440 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 1996–2015 Sold to Salem Media Group in 2015; Went silent on December 15, now broadcasting business talk (programming moved from KYCR)
KDYS 1520 Lafayette, Louisiana 1997–2004 Originally a Radio Aahs affiliate; dropped Radio Disney upon station sale on October 25, 2004.
KDZR 1640 Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington 2003–2015 Switched to conservative talk as Talk 1640
KDZZ 1580 Albuquerque, New Mexico 1997–2000 One of Radio Disney's two known daytime-only stations. In 2000, the staion moved up to AM 1600, which would allow the station to go 24/7. The station changed its callsign to KIVA and switched to an all-news format afterwards.
KEBC 1560 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2003–2013 Dropped Radio Disney for a comedy format in March 2013.[61]
KIID 1470 Sacramento, California 2001–2015 Sold to Punjabi American Media LLC.
KKDD 1290 San Bernardino/Riverside, California 1998–2012 Changed to Contemporary Christian music format on April 3, 2012.
KKDZ 1250 Seattle, Washington 1997–2015 Sold to Universal Media Access in 2015 and became "Desi 1250 AM" with South Asian programming
KMAP 1050 Bakersfield, California 2000–2003 Sold to religious group. Switched to Christian format still in use today.
KMBS 1310 Monroe, Louisiana 1997–2000 Now airs talk format as "Redden Radio 1310".
KMIC 1590 Houston, Texas 1999–2015 Dropped Radio Disney on January 9, 2015 to temporarily go dark. Sold to DAIJ Media.[62]
KMIK 1580 Phoenix, Arizona 1998–2015 Sold to Gabriella Broadcasting Licensee on October 20, 2015. Station went silent as a result.
KMKI 620 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 1998–2015 Sold to Salem Media Group on September 15, 2015.[63] After a brief moment simulcasting KWRD-FM (from September 18 until September 25, 2015), the station flipped to Business News/Talk (assuming the former programming of KVCE).[64]
KMKY 1310 San Francisco, California 1997–2015 Sold to Radio Mirchi, went silent on October 13, 2015.
KMUS 1380 Tulsa, Oklahoma 2004–2010 Sold in 2011; changed to Spanish.
KRDC 1110 Pasadena, California 2003–2017; 2020–2021 Call sign changed to KRDC in 2017 and became the main affiliate for Radio Disney Country. Radio Disney Country ceased operations on December 31, 2020. KRDC subsequently flipped back to the main Radio Disney feed, and carried automated content until April 14, 2021.
KOIL 1020 Omaha, Nebraska 2006–2009 On January 1, 2009, KOIL changed call letters to KMMQ and briefly went silent. The station returned to the air with a regional Mexican format on January 5.[65]
KORL 690 Honolulu, Hawaii 1999–2004 Affiliate originally operated under the call letters KQMQ. Dropped Radio Disney in January 2004
KPHN 1190 Kansas City, Missouri 2002–2013 Sold in 2014; format changed to religious programming.
KQAM 1480 Wichita, Kansas 2002−2010 Sold in 2009; flipped to talk radio on January 6, 2010.[66]
KRDY 620 Grand Junction, Colorado 1999–2000 Station now airs Christian format.
KRDY 1160 San Antonio, Texas 2003–2013 Sold in 2013; format changed to Spanish religious programming in 2014.
KRNN 1380 Little Rock, Arkansas 1999–2003 Affiliation moved to FM dial KDIS-FM
KRYS 1360 Corpus Christi, Texas 1997–2000
KSON 1240 San Diego, California 1998–2003 Station became a Vietnamese/ethnic station in late 2003
KWDZ 910 Salt Lake City, Utah 2003–2013; 2014–2015 Had been up for sale since 2013.[32] Dropped Radio Disney on August 17, 2013 to remain silent.[67] The station resumed operations on August 14, 2014,[68] but resumed Radio Disney in October. Was sold to Citicasters Licenses (iHeartMedia).[69] Went silent again on July 17, 2015.[70]
KWTX 1230 Waco, Texas 1998-2001
KXTP 970 Duluth, Minnesota 1998-2002
KYDZ 1180 Omaha, Nebraska 1999–2006 Originally used the KOIL call sign; affiliation moved to (and KOIL reused on) 1020 AM on January 3, 2006. The two stations briefly simulcast the Radio Disney format as part of the transition until February 28, when it was removed from KYDZ for good.[71]
W260BP 99.9 Cumberland, Maryland 1998–2011 Translator for WDZN.
WAJD 1390 Gainesville, Florida 2000–2009
WALL 1340 Middletown, New York 2005–2010 Format changed to oldies.
WBWL 600 Jacksonville, Florida 2002–2010 Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.
WBBQ 1340 Augusta, Georgia 1999–2000
WBHR 660 Sauk Rapids/St. Cloud, Minnesota 1998-2001
WBVA 1450 Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia 2000-2001 Simulcast of WVAB. Disaffiliated from Radio Disney due to contractual issues in November 2001.
WBYU 1450 New Orleans, Louisiana 2003–2011 Closed down September 26, 2011.[72]
WCHY 1290 Savannah, Georgia 1998–2002
WCOG 1320 Greensboro, North Carolina 2001–2010 Sold in 2010; format changed to sports radio.
WDDY 1460 Albany, New York 2002–2013 Sold in 2013; format changed to religious programming in 2014.
WDDZ 1250 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2011–2015 Sold to Salem Media Group in 2015, flipped to Conservative Talk on May 13, 2015 as "AM 1250 The Answer".
WDDZ 550 Providence, Rhode Island 2001–2010 Sold in 2010, format changed to business radio. Call letters reused for Pittsburgh affiliate.
WDDZ 1500 Zion, Illinois 1998–2000; 2002 Former daytime-only simulcast of WRDZ; call letters reused for Providence affiliate.
WDLP 1290 Panama City, Florida 1999–2000 Station now airs electronic dance music.
WDRD 680 Louisville, Kentucky 2002–2010 Sold in 2010; before the sale, the station flipped to the sports radio format as an ESPN Radio Owned-and-operated station.
WDSS 1680 Grand Rapids, Michigan 2003–2008[73] Disaffiliated from Radio Disney on August 7, 2008.
WDWD 590 Atlanta, Georgia 1996–2015 Sold to Salem Media Group in 2015, flipped to Christian Talk on May 11, 2015 as "Faith Talk 590".
WDYZ 990 Orlando, Florida 2001–2015 Dropped Radio Disney on March 18, 2015. Sold to Salem Media Group in 2014.[74]
WDZK 1550 Hartford, Connecticut 1998–2010 Sold in 2010; format changed to religious programming in 2011.
WDZN 100.1 Cumberland, Maryland 1998–2011 Changed to rock format on July 15, 2011.
WDZY 1290 Richmond, Virginia 1998–2013 Sold in 2013; format changed to religious programming in 2014.
WEOK 1390 Poughkeepsie, New York 2005–2010 Format changed to oldies.
WFDF 910 Farmington Hills, Michigan 2002–2015 Sold in 2014 to The Word Network;[75] format changed to religious programming in 2015.[76]
WGFY 1480 Charlotte, North Carolina 1998–2015 Sold to Charlotte Advent Media Corporation in 2015. Went silent on May 5, 2015, before returning to the air on June 9, 2015, with a Christian talk format.
WGSM 740 Long Island, New York 1997–1998 Disaffiliated from the network when WQEW became the market's Radio Disney affiliate in late December 1998.
WHKT 1650 Norfolk, Virginia 2001−2010 Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.
WHRC 1450 Providence, Rhode Island 1997–2001 Originally known as WDYZ (reused for Orlando affiliate). Sold in 2001; affiliation moved to WDDZ.
WJDY 1470 Salisbury, Maryland 1999–2002
WKEW 1400 Greensboro, North Carolina 1998–2001 Affiliation moved to WCOG in 2001
WOSW 1300 Fulton, New York 2006–2012 WOLF simulcast, known as WAMF for most of its run as Radio Disney. Flipped to classic country in September 2012, branded as "Real Country 1300."
WKBZ 1520 Muskegon, Michigan 2001 Station briefly aired Radio Disney format starting January 17, 2001. The station's owner, WLC Broadcasting went bankrupt in March 2001 and the station went off the air at the end of the month. Its license was canceled in June 2002.
WKSH 1640 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2002–2013 Sold in 2014; format changed to religious programming.
WKYG 1230 Parkersburg, West Virginia 1998–2004
WMBO 1340 Auburn, New York 1999–2013 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 1996–1999 Call letters reused for Boston affiliate and call letters reverted to WYDE
WMKI 1260 Boston, Massachusetts 1997–2015 Sold in 2015; Station is now owned by Salem Media Group. Dropped the Radio Disney affiliate on September 3, 2015 and went silent in anticipation for a change of format. Format changed to Business news. And the call letters changed to WBIX.[77]
WMNE 1600 West Palm Beach, Florida 1999–2010 After sale to Travis Media, resumed broadcasting on May 6, 2010[78] as an ethnic radio station, and changed call letters to WHTY as of June 2.
WMYM 990 Miami, Florida 1999−2015 Sold in 2015; went silent on June 11, 2015.
WMYR 1410 Fort Myers, Florida 2000−2005 Dropped Radio Disney in mid-February 2005.
WNEX 1400 Macon, Georgia 1999−2008 Flipped to talk radio in November 2008.
WOLF 1490 Syracuse, New York 1999–2014 Dropped Radio Disney on February 1, 2014 to remain silent.[79] The station resumed operations on January 6, 2015[80] as WNDR-FM simulcast.[81]
WOLF-FM 96.7 Oswego, New York 1999–2006; August 14–27, 2009 Former simulcast of WOLF; now WCIO, a simulcast of (the current) WCIS-FM
WOWW 1430 Memphis, Tennessee 2000−2012 Format changed to news/talk in March 2012.
WPGA 980 Macon, Georgia 1998−2008 Simulcast of WNEX. Flipped to talk radio in November 2008.
WQEW 1560 New York City, New York 1998–2015 Was the only Clear-channel station owned-and-operated by Radio Disney. Dropped the affiliation on February 17, 2015 and went silent in anticipation of a change in format. Was sold to Family Radio in 2014.[82] Returned to the air on February 27, 2015 as WFME (AM) with religious programming from Family Radio. Station went dark on February 15, 2021 with the sale of the station's transmitter in Maspeth, Queens. Will return to the air at a later date.
WQUA 102.1 Mobile, Alabama 2002−2005 Sold in 2005 and ended the Radio Disney format in mid-October.
WRDZ 1300 Chicago, Illinois 1998–2015 Dropped Radio Disney on October 30, 2015.[83] Sold to Polnet Communications on December 2, 2015. Became Polish radio station.[84]
WRDZ-FM 98.3 Indianapolis, Indiana 2003–2015 Sold in 2015; format changed to Country.[69] As 2014, WRDZ-FM was the only Radio Disney owned-and-operated station broadcasting on FM.[85]
WSDZ 1260 St. Louis, Missouri 1998–2015 Sold to Salem Media Group in 2015. Went silent on December 11, 2015.
WSIV 1540 Syracuse, New York Unknown when Radio Disney format began or ended, but was airing it in 2001.
WVAB 1550 Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia 2001 Simulcast of WBVA. Disaffiliated from Radio Disney due to contractual issues in November 2001.
WVOA 103.9 Syracuse, New York –2001 Unknown when Radio Disney format began, but the station dropped the format in July 2001.
WVOA-FM 105.1 DeRuyter, New York 2001; August 14–27, 2009 WOLF (AM) simulcast was during 2 weeks;[86] format changed to country music.
WWCS 540 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2001−2010 Affiliation moved to WDDZ.
WWJZ 640 Mount Holly, New Jersey/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1999–2015 Sold to Starboard Media Foundation Inc.[87]
WWMI 1380 Tampa, Florida 1999–2015 Flipped to Business Talk as 1380 The Biz
WWLF-FM 100.3 Sylvan Beach, New York 2001–2006 Former simulcast of WOLF; originally known as WBGJ. Now known as MOViN' FM
WWMK 1260 Cleveland, Ohio 1998–2015 Sold on 12/24/2014 but continued to broadcast Radio Disney up until 4/24/2015. Flipped to a Catholic format on May 7 branded AM 1260 The Rock.[88][89]
WYNK 1380 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1998–2002


HD Radio Affiliates
Callsign Frequency Location Years of affiliation Comments
KALC 105.9-HD3 Denver, Colorado 2017–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when the station's owner, Entercom's contract with Radio Disney expired.
KRTH 101.1-HD2 Los Angeles, California 2016–2018
KMNB 102.9-HD3 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 2016–2018
KRSK 105.1-HD2 Molalla/Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington 2017–2018
KUDL 106.5-HD2 Sacramento, California 2017–2018
KSWD 94.1-HD3 Seattle, Washington 2016–2018
KHMX 96.5-HD3 Houston, Texas October–December 2016 Dropped Radio Disney when KHMX's Smooth Wave format moved to HD3 from HD2.
KOOL-FM 94.5-HD3 Phoenix, Arizona 2016–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when the station's owner, Entercom's contract with Radio Disney expired.
KLUV 98.7-HD3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 2016–2018
KLLC 97.3-HD3 Oakland/San Francisco, California 2016–2018
KZPT 99.7-HD2 Kansas City, Missouri 2017–2018
KYXY 96.5-HD3 San Diego, California 2016–2018
KFBG 100.7-HD2 2020–2021
WKXC-FM 99.5-HD2 Aiken, South Carolina/Augusta, Georgia 2015–2018
WLMG 101.9-HD2 New Orleans, Louisiana 2017–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when the station's owner, Entercom's contract with Radio Disney expired.
WQMG 97.1-HD2 Greensboro, North Carolina 2017–2018
WNKS 95.1-HD2 Charlotte, North Carolina 2016–2018 Replaced by Party Radio
WPTE 94.9-HD2 Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia 2017–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when the station's owner, Entercom's contract with Radio Disney expired.
WMYX-FM 99.1-HD2 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2017–2018
WKIS 99.9-HD3 Boca Raton/Miami, Florida 2016–2018
WXKB 103.9-HD2 Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Florida 2016–2018
WRVR 104.5-HD2 Memphis, Tennessee 2017–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when the station's owner, Entercom's contract with Radio Disney expired.
WBMP 92.3-HD3 New York, New York 2015–2018
WZPL 99.5-HD2 Greenfield/Indianapolis, Indiana 2017–2018
KFTK-FM 97.1-HD3 Florissant/St. Louis, Missouri 2017–2018
WXTU 92.5-HD3 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2015–2018
WJBR-FM 99.5-HD2 Wilmington, Delaware 2016–2018 Dropped Radio Disney when WJBR duplicated its main signal.
WLLD 94.1-HD2 Lakeland/Tampa, Florida 2015–2018 Dropped Radio Disney and replaced by Classics 94.1
WXYX 100.7-HD2 Puerto Rico 2016–2018
WELX 101.5-HD2
WXLX 103.7-HD2
WXHD 98.1-HD2
KCYE 102.7-HD3 Boulder City/Las Vegas, Nevada 2015–2018 Replaced by NOAA Weather Radio
WZFX 99.1-HD2 Fayetteville/Whiteville, North Carolina 2016–2018
KGSR 93.3-HD2 Austin/Cedar Park, Texas 2017–2018 Replaced by Country music format
WMGV 103.3-HD2 Greenville/Newport, North Carolina 2016–2018

Radio Disney History of #1sEdit

These songs hit No. 1 on Radio Disney's Top 50 Songs from 1997 to 2020.

AlbumsEdit

The Radio Disney Jams series CDs are various artists compilations of music featured on Radio Disney.

InternationalEdit

Internationally, there are Radio Disney stations in Australia, Chile, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru. 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.[94] It plans to broadcast in the Philippines and Sweden in the near future.

Latin AmericaEdit

Radio Disney is available in Latin America via terrestrial broadcast. Similar to Radio Disney in the U.S., it broadcasts in Spanish to Argentina,[95] Bolivia, Chile,[96] Nicaragua,[97] Ecuador,[98] Guatemala, Paraguay,[99] Uruguay,[100] Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica,[101] Mexico,[102][103] Peru[104] and in Portuguese to Brazil.[105] Radio Disney Latin America is a separate operation and won't be affected by the decision to shutter Radio Disney in the United States.[5]

EuropeEdit

Radio Disney planned to begin broadcasting on the digital radio platform in the United Kingdom by the end of 2008.[106] 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.[107]

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.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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