Doug Sherman, founder and president of the old Immaculate Heart Radio, which began with a small daytimer in Reno, NV, has announced his retirement from IHR. At age seventy, Mr. Sherman says it is time to turn over operations to younger people after having completed the merger of IHR with Relevant Radio. He plans to spend his remaining years with his “incredible wife of 50 years, and a beautiful, loving and active family and 11 grandchildren.”
Doug entered the world of Catholic media after hearing Pope John Paul II’s challenge at the 1993 World Youth Day, to go make a difference in the world. Prior to this he had been a homebuilder with no radio experience. Doug soon launched into the effort to start a Catholic Radio station. The first Immaculate Heart Radio station, KIHM 920 AM Reno, was inaugurated in January of 1997 and was at the time only the seventh Catholic radio station in the nation. Over the next 20 years Immaculate Heart Radio grew to over 27 stations and translators in five western states. This past year Relevant Radio and Immaculate Heart Radio completed their merger with all station licenses have been transferred to Immaculate Heart Media, Inc., a Wisconsin non-stock, non-profit corporation. As a result of this union, Relevant Radio will broadcast Catholic radio programs over 120 AM and FM radio stations and translators in 39 states, reaching 133 million listeners and up to 60 percent of U.S. Catholics. The new network operates 24/7 in 20 of the top 50 media markets, including the four largest markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
Mr. Sherman attributes his success to the Blessed Mother: “The real Heart of Immaculate Heart Radio has been Our Lady, with her incredible graces and protection and support, opening doors where we least expected them, or sending just the right person we didn’t even know we needed.” Doug attributes the success of Immaculate Heart Radio, too, to his wife. “We wouldn’t have come this far, or maybe even gotten started, if it hadn’t been for Janet and her great faith and dedication,” he wrote IHR staff. “At one point we called her the heart of Immaculate Heart Radio and that is still very true.”