Radio Disney is formatted like a traditional radio station, featuring prize giveaways (in which listeners can enter via phone, online and since 2008, text message) and occasional in-studio interviews called "Takeovers," which usually occur during the weekday late-afternoon timeslot.
1996-2001: The beginning
Radio Disney was launched on November 18, 1996 (coinciding with the anniversary of the debut of Steamboat Willie's 68th birthday) at 5:58 A.M. EST with the song "Get Ready For This." Their slogan was "We're all ears" that was used heavily on jingles. Radio Disney started with songs that were played on Top-40 stations as well as popular oldies and songs from various cartoon shows 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 included 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, Bowling For Soup, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child, Hanson, Jessica Simpson, 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, these artists like Lil' Romeo, No Secrets, Play, and others became popular due to the station. Their new short-lived slogan was changed to "music and prizes that rock!" Later in 2000, Radio Disney increased the age limit for winning prizes and sweepstakes from 12 to 14.
2001-2007: Disney Channel stars
Near the end of 2001, Radio Disney has been closely tied with singers/actors from original Disney Channel shows starting with Hilary Duff and Raven-Symoné, 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 several people feel that most actors from Disney Channel are simply trying to start a singing career. It also marked the start of their current slogan, "your music, your way".
In 2002, the first Radio Disney Music Awards premiered. It is a music awards ceremony that has been held every year since.
In 2004, Disney paid the former Children's Broadcasting Corporation (which operated Radio Aahs) $12.4 million. 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 and former Aahs owners sued for damages because of a breached agreement.
2006 marked the 10th year since the station first went on the air, the rebroadcast of its first hour of broadcasting was aired on June 6, 2006 at around 4:58pm EDT on select markets such as WQEW. Also, as part of the 10-year anniversary, the concert "Totally 10 Birthday Concert" was held on July 22, 2006 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. It also included a simultaneous live broadcast on the Radio Disney website. A second one was held in Dallas, Texas on November 18, 2006 at the Dallas Convention Center.
In February 2006, the Walt Disney Company announced that it would be keeping Radio Disney and its owned-and-operated stations while divesting much of its radio holdings to Citadel Broadcasting. Radio Disney will be part of the Cable Networks Group. This unit takes care of Disney's cable holdings, except for ESPN.
2007-present: Various changes
In April 2007, Radio Disney completely dropped the word "Ears" (from their first slogan, "We're all ears!") from their (old) phone number, ear mail, and from Playhouse Disney daily programming.
Since the network's debut, Radio Disney was part of the ABC Radio Networks' satellite music group. That is until June 2007 when Disney retained this and ESPN Radio in the sale of the ABC Radio division to Citadel Broadcasting.
Radio Disney has been adding more songs from Disney Channel original shows as well as music produced from other teen music groups, several of which are associated with Walt Disney Records, Buena Vista Records or Hollywood Records. Disney Junior (former Playhouse Disney) programming has been cut back an hour. (originally a 2 hour block).
In November 2008, Radio Disney moved their headquarters from Dallas, Texas to Burbank, California.
In June 2009, Radio Disney again increased the maximum age for winning prizes, this time to 16 years of age. In January 2010, Radio Disney requested permission from the FCC to "silence" five owned-and-operated stations (plus a sixth station operating under an LMA to another company) while the stations were being sold. Sale agreements have been announced for two of the stations (as of January 28, 2010).
Disney launched Radio Disney's new website design in October 2012. The new website is a very, very simplified version of the old website, eliminating many of the old Radio Disney website features. The new site has a player that automatically starts the Radio Disney stream, along with a list for the Dot Com Top 3, and a simple request list, all on the home page. The only other pages on the new website include an about/help page, and an EEO page for the stations.
Radio Disney plays a large selection of songs from stars and shows on Disney Channel along with popular songs found on a typical radio station. They also edit some Top 40 songs to make them more kid-friendly.
In July 2010, Radio Disney aired its first scripted serial called "My Dream," a contemporary story on a format reminiscent of the 1940s. Unlike Depression-era radio serials that typically featured episodes lasting 30 minutes, episodes of "My Dream" last just 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, which is similar to Hannah Montana.
Playhouse Disney (originally "Mickey and Minnie's Tune Time" between 1998–2001) aired on Radio Disney weekdays during the school year at 12:00 ET and ended at 1:00 ET and was hosted by Robin, Tina, B. B. Good and Susan Huber since its inception. It was also hosted by Betsy. Playhouse Disney was once a two hour block, but had been cut back an hour, along with Circle Time Story, (Originally "Mickey And Minnie's Storytime Theatre" between 1998–2001) which featured read-along stories from Disney movies and films. Like the now defunct Playhouse Disney on Disney Channel, it was targeted towards preschoolers. Songs from Playhouse Disney shows, Disney movies, and songs from other shows such as Sesame Street were played, along with contests with preschool related questions, and questions about Disney characters. Classic Disney songs were also played during Playhouse Disney.
Radio Disney Junior
On February 9, 2011, it was announced that Radio Disney would begin a new children's block for kids 2-7 and their parents. The music block runs from 12:00-1:00 PM EST. It began airing on February 14, 2011, to coincide with the release of Disney Junior. This block is hosted by Hallie.
Radio Disney World Tours
In 2000 and 2001, Radio Disney launched two separate "world tours" that traveled to large markets across the United States. In 2000, the tour featured up and coming talent (No Authority, Myra) and then Radio Disney DJs, Mark and Zippy. The tour traveled to the following cities: Atlanta, New York, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. It played in theatrical venues and had audiences of up to 2,000 people per show (there were 4 shows each weekend in each market).
Features and contests
Radio Disney carries a number of features from interactive contests to informational programs.
- 60 Seconds With (actor/actress name) - DJs talk with the hottest artists.
- Celebrity Take with Jake - Jake chats about the newest celebrity news that's pre-recorded every day at 7:35AM PST, 1:35PM PST and 4:35PM PST.
- Code Word of the Day - The Code Word of the Day is given out about 5 times an hour. If a caller know the code word when he or she calls Radio Disney, (usually around 6:30 PM ET) they can win a prize.
- Family Portrait - The radio show for the whole family. Callers call in to Radio Disney Ear Mail and describe their family traditions.
- Music Mailbag - Every Saturday, The hour was hosted by Hallie or Candice. After a new song was played listeners call in to the station or vote online to "Pick It" or "Kick It".
- NBT (Next Big Thing) - This segment is hosted by Jake. Every year, Radio Disney airs new songs by five contestants and listeners can vote. It is very similar to Incubator.
- Planet Premiere - A music artist sits down with Ernie D or Candice as their newest album or song is played on Radio Disney. Before each song plays, the artist tells the listeners how the song came about, and the meaning of the song.
- Park Pop Question - An on air game played by Blake (usually during the "Wakey Blakey" morning show) that relates to The Walt Disney Company's Parks and Resorts division.
- Power Prize - This happens at least six times a day. A winner of a contest will not only win a super entry, but also a really cool "power" prize. This started when Radio Disney quit giving 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.
- Saturday Night Move It Party - Every Saturday night, Morgan and Maddie dance along with Radio Disney listeners to remixes of their favorite songs.
- Snipp it Clip (In the Mix) - They play a small part of 3 songs and the person who guesses all three wins.
- Sound File - The news on new music and artists. (New entries weekly during Top 30 Countdown)
- Super Entry - Winners of a contest get one-hundred (100) entries into the grand prize drawing. When first started, the winner would get forty (40) entries.
- The Dot Com Top 3 - The .com Top 3 airs every night at 9:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. PT. Candice plays the top 3 most requested songs of the day, and after, a caller with all three songs will win a prize or super entry.
- Top 30 Countdown - The longest running program was hosted by Jake. Songs that got the most requests during the week were on the countdown, starting from 30 to the most requested song of the week. At the end of the year, the same thing was done, only it was the 50 most requested songs of the whole year. The Top 30 Countdown airs: Saturdays - 7am to 10am PT, 10am to 1pm ET and Sundays - 11am to 2pm PT, 2pm to 5pm ET.
- Word to the Wise - Played as fillers during commercial breaks, word to the wise talks about topics such as safety & good habits. Later installments were labeled as "A message from Radio Disney, because we care about kids".
- Friday Night Talent Show - This segment is hosted by Candice. Every Friday, callers would have to call in and sing any song they pick.
- ABC News For Kids - Kid friendly, and informational news with Jim Hickey.
- ABC Notebook
- Aptitude Dude
- Backwards Bop - A snippet of a song was played backward and callers would try to guess the name of that song.
- Battle Of The Cities - A trivia game that retired DJs, Mark and Zippy, hosted. 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 talk about what's safe and unsafe. Bumbling Bill can never seem to get Sally's name right. This program ended near the beginning of 2006.
- Connect Family - Originally "Family Fun Day" but re-branded early in April 2007 under the "Connect Family" title, formally hosted by Ernie D. and Blake. Parents and kids would hang out and play contests on Radio Disney.
- Frequency Jam - A program which started around 2002/2003. Every Friday night, three songs would be played by Ernie D. or Brian. The song with the most votes (via Radio Disney's website) would be the next song that will get played. Frequency Jam ended in February 2007 when Disney redesigned their website.
- Grandma Nature
- Garage Door Derby - This contest was run with D.J. Aaron K. Two callers would call in and race their garage doors. The first to say, "It's open!" or "It's closed!" would win a prize.
- Gross Me Out - Gross Me Out was a long time program that talked about gross things which kids often like to hear.
- Hairbrush Karaoke - Similar to the game "Karaoke" with D.J. Kara. D.J. 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 Aaron K. The correct caller must answer three out of four questions from the popular Harry Potter series as true or false, by saying 'Hogwarts' for being true and 'Hogwash' for being false. This game is no longer being played, as Aaron K. is no longer on air.
- Karaoke - A contest by retired DJ, Kara. 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. Jokes would then later be aired on the radio.
- Let's Make A Deal - Another game/contest hosted by Mark and Zippy. This was also parody of the television game show of the same name.
- Theatre Of The B-zarre - a program that ended around mid 2006. Dr. B and a hair-ball like creature named Critter talked about strange and creepy things.
- The Adventures of Bud and Iggy - Bud and Iggy always get lost. Clues are given out about what city they are lost in. This long-time contest ended near the end of 2003.
- The State Game - Three clues about a state were given out (the state nickname and two facts) and callers would try and guess what state it is. This game was played by B.B. Good and Sherry.
- Thinkenstein: 2000 - Dr. Thinkenstein, a wild, hyperactive scientist with a Karloff-esque voice, 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 has had a number of different DJs since its launch in 1996. A list of current DJs and a schedule can be found on Radio Disney's website. Below are a number of DJs along with their years of employment. Many Radio Disney DJs left the station around 2008, which was when Disney moved their studio to California.
- Blake Kuhre (2005, known on-air as Wakey Blakey)
- Brian Huen (1997, known on-air as Brian)
- Candice Huckeba (2005-2007, 2009)
- Ernest Martinez (1999, known on-air as Ernie D.)
- Halicia Ashford (2008, known on-air as Hailie)
- Jake Whetter (2008, known on-air as Jake)
- Eliott (2008)
- Morgan Tompkins (2009, known on-air as Morgan)
- Maddie Whitby
- Aaron Kannowski (2003–2008, was known on-air as Aaron K., currently owner of Uptown Sound)
- Sharon Michaels (1998–2008, was known on-air as B. B. Good)
- Betsy (2008–2009)
- Bob Evans (1996–1997)
- Cherami Leigh (2007–2008, was known as Cherami, currently voice actress at FUNimation Entertainment)
- David Jordan (2001–2005)
- Dean Wendt (1996–2001, currently voice of Barney on Barney & Friends)
- Don Crabtree (1996–2007, now district manager in Farmers Insurance)
- Giel Anderson (2003–2008, was known on-air as Giel)
- Jim Hickly (2001–2005)
- Mark Sutherland (1997–2001, was known on-air as Just Plain Mark, currently host of Static Beach radio)
- Kara Edwards (1997–2001, was known on-air as Kara, currently voice actress at FUNimation Entertainment)
- Kim Stewart (1997–2000, now on KSCS)
- Lee Cameron (1996–1999)
- Lenny (2006)
- Penny Nichols (2001)
- Robin Jones (1996–1997)
- Rita (2007)
- Kyle Hebert (1996–2005, was known on-air as Squeege, currently voice actor at FUNimation Entertainment)
- Sherry Rodgers (1996–2008)
- Sheryl Shannon (1996–2008, was known on-air as Sheryl Brooks)
- Susan Huber (1996–2008, currently voice actress at FUNimation Entertainment)
- Tina (1997–1998)
- Terri (2004–2008)
- Web Fingors (2001–2003)
- Gary Wallace (1997–2001, was known on-air as Zippy, later hosted Total Axxess as Wally, currently host of The Wally Show)
Radio Disney is streamed at RadioDisney.com and is also available under the Pop/Top 40 section of the iTunes radio tuner.
Radio Disney is also available as a special feature on the Blu-ray release of Hannah Montana: The Movie via Disney BD-Live as well as the PSP game, Hannah Montana: Rock Out the Show.
From 1997 up until 1999, the network was streamed digitally in RealAudio format from Disney's website. The service was pulled 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 when Quicktime 5 was released. 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. Starting in October 2011, Radio Disney is available in Canada on Family.ca
Subscription Radio and TV
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 most digital cable-TV systems. However, on September 18, 2007, Music Choice replaced Radio Disney with their own channel, Kidz Only!, similar to Radio Disney, but with a less interrupted music format. Radio Disney is also available via Dish Network on channel 6079. Radio Disney could be heard previously on DirecTV channel 867, but as of February 9, 2010, DirecTV changed their music programming from XM Radio to Sonic Tap. A few Digital Cable providers with radio services offer Radio Disney as a live radio broadcast selection to the listings, but other providers (like Dish Network) don't.
Despite being music-oriented, the network uses primarily AM stations, with a few FM stations. The listing below is accurate as of January 2010. Despite their current standing, many of these stations have diverse histories. Many of the current call signs of Radio Disney stations are variations on the Disney name and that of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. At least one appears to be named for Goofy. Another is named for Walt Disney World (WDW).
The Walt Disney Company owns a large number of its affiliates; the rest are operated through local marketing agreements that have varying degrees of local management.
Markets airing on HD Radio may have an 8-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.)
WQEW, Radio Disney's New York station, is a clear channel station that is audible throughout most of the eastern and midwestern United States and much of eastern Canada at night.
|KDIS||99.5||Little Rock, Arkansas||Yes|
- ¹ Station not owned by the Walt Disney Company
- ² Indicates a clear channel station
|WMKI||850||Birmingham, Alabama||1997–1999, call letters reused for Boston affiliate and call letters reverted to WYDE|
|KRNN||1380||Little Rock, Arkansas||Affiliate moved to FM dial KDIS-FM|
|KKDD||1290||San Bernardino/Riverside, California|
|KSON||1240||San Diego, California||Station became a Vietnamese/ethnic station in 2004|
|KADZ||1690||Denver/Boulder, Colorado||Call letters were later renamed to KDDZ|
|WDZK||1550||Hartford, Connecticut||Sold in 2010; format changed to religious programming in 2011.|
|WMYR||1410||Fort Myers, Florida|
|WBWL||600||Jacksonville, Florida||Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.|
|WMNE||1600||West Palm Beach, Florida||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.|
|KORL||690||Honolulu, Hawaii||Affiliate originally operated under the call letters KQMQ|
|KQAM||1480||Wichita, Kansas||Sold in 2009; format changed to talk radio.|
|WHBE||680||Louisville, Kentucky||Sold in 2010; format changed to sports radio.|
|WDDZ||1500||Zion, Illinois||Former simulcast of WRDZ. Call letters reused for Providence affiliate.|
|WYNK||1380||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|WBYU||1450||New Orleans, Louisiana||Went silent on September 26, 2011; sale pending.|
|WDZN||100.1||Cumberland, Maryland||Changed to rock format in July 2011.|
|WDSS||1680||Grand Rapids, Michigan||As of August 7, 2008, no longer Radio Disney|
|WBHR||660||Sauk Rapids/St. Cloud, Minnesota|
|KYDZ||1180||Omaha, Nebraska||Originally used the KOIL call sign; affiliation moved to (and KOIL reused on) 1020 AM|
|KDEF||1150||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Affiliate moved to KALY|
|KALY||1240||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Sold in 2010; now carries similarly-formatted JENNiRADIO|
|WGSM||740||Long Island, New York||When WQEW became Radio Disney, this affiliate ceased being Radio Disney in late December 1998.|
|WALL||1340||Middletown, New York||Format changed to oldies.|
|WEOK||1390||Poughkeepsie, New York||Format changed to oldies.|
|WOLF||96.7||Syracuse, New York||Now WWLF-FM, a simulcast of (the current) WOLF-FM|
|WWLF||100.3||Syracuse, New York||Now known as MOViN' FM|
|WKEW||1400||Greensboro, North Carolina||Affiliate moved to WCOG in 2001|
|WCOG||1320||Greensboro, North Carolina||Sold in 2010; format changed to sports radio.|
|KMUS||1380||Tulsa, Oklahoma||Dropped Radio Disney and went silent on January 22, 2010, but not sold until 2011|
|WWCS||540||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Affiliation moved to WDDZ.|
|WHRC||1450||Providence, Rhode Island||Originally known as WDYZ (reused for Orlando affiliate). Sold in 2001; affiliation moved to WDDZ.|
|WDDZ||550||Providence, Rhode Island||Sold in 2010, format changed to business radio. Call letters reused for Pittsburgh affiliate.|
|WOWW||1430||Memphis, Tennessee||Format changed to news/talk in March 2012.|
|KRYS||1360||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|KBEE||860||Salt Lake City, Utah||Affiliate moved to KWDZ in 2001|
|WBVA||1450||Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia||Contract problems caused the station to stop broadcasting Radio Disney.|
|WHKT||1650||Norfolk, Virginia||Sold in 2010; format changed to talk radio.|
|WKYG||1230||Parkersburg, West Virginia|
|WAMF||1300||Fulton, Oswego County, New York||Dropped WOLF simulcast in 2012 in favor of classic country in October 2012.|
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, and the Dominican Republic. There are plans to resume broadcasting of a Disney branded radio station in the UK, but this time under the 'Radio Disney' brand, aimed at a younger audience than its predecessor in the UK, On October 21, 2010 Disney premiered the radio in Brazil. It plans to broadcast in the Philippines, Sweden and Mexico in the near future.
Radio Disney is available in Latin America via terrestrial broadcast. Similar to Radio Disney in the US, it broadcasts in Spanish to Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica,.
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 TV operators 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 ceased broadcasting and closed down on June 29, 2007.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Radio Disney. The list of authors can be seen in the . As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|