On January 24th Board members of Relevant Radio and Immaculate Heart Radio signed their merger agreement and have submitted a petition to the FCC for the required ownership transfer of radio licenses to the merged entity. The non-profit corporation will be known as “Immaculate Heart Media, Inc. d/b/a Relevant Radio.” Bishops, clergy, listeners, donors, and employees across the country have expressed enthusiastic support for the merger. Through a successful seven month capital campaign sufficient cash and pledges have been raised to substantially strengthen the financial condition of the network and free up resources to be invested in programming, Mission advancement and emerging media opportunities. “We are enthusiastically moving forward with the merger in order to unite and join forces to continue to serve the Church and its Bishops,” said Tom Vorpahl, Chairman of the Relevant Radio Board of Directors.
The merged corporation will broadcast inspirational Catholic radio programs over 108 AM and FM radio stations and translators in 36 states reaching 133 million potential listeners. The network will operate 24/7 in 22 of the nation’s top 50 media markets*, including the four largest markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Additionally, all programs will be live-streamed and available on podcast through multiple internet platforms including websites, mobile apps, and social media portals.
According to Doug Sherman, President of Immaculate Heart Radio, “Catholic radio has been an oasis of encouragement for all of our listeners. It’s a place that they can come and be reminded that there’s hope and Good News. We look forward to the fruit that will come from this merger and the strengthening of Catholic radio in our country.”
The first example of potential market reach can be found in “The Drew Mariani Show.” Starting January, 17, the third hour of Drew’s show is broadcast live on both networks, starting at 5p Eastern/2p Pacific. The new broadcasting entity will now have coast-to-coast reach and access to a potential audience of 133 Million. The FCC is expected to rule on the merger by May 1, 2017.