|Bishop David Choby launched Nashville’s first Catholic radio station WBOU, 100.5-FM, during the awards banquet of Catholic Media Productions on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The low-power radio station will broadcast programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the “We Believe” radio show produced by Catholic Media Productions. Photo by Andy Telli|
With a tap on a computer screen, Bishop David Choby launched Nashville’s first Catholic radio station, WBOU, 100.5-FM, on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
The low-power radio station, which will broadcast Catholic programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is sponsored by Catholic Media Productions, which has produced the “We Believe” radio show hosted by Deacon Jim Walsh and Methodist minister Dr. Richard Shriver for the last 30 years. The Bishop flipped the switch to launch the station during Catholic Media Productions’ annual awards banquet, held at St. Ann Church in Nashville.
“The work, the camaraderie … the mutual respect that has been captured by the relationship of Richard and Jim” embodies what the Catholic Church has been teaching about ecumenism since the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Choby said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all the work you’ve put into this project,” Bishop Choby said of the radio station. “I think people will enjoy it.”
The station will be an affiliate of Relevant Radio of Green Bay, Wisconsin, which will provide most of the programming for the station. To start, the local programming broadcast by WBOU will be some of the more than 600 “We Believe” radio shows that have been produced by Catholic Media Productions, said John Bosio, who will start a two-year term as chairman of Catholic Media Productions’ Board of Trustees on Jan. 1, 2017.
The “We Believe” shows will be broadcast 10-11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
But Catholic Media Productions already is working on developing more local programming, Bosio said. The board is in talks with Aquinas College in Nashville and with several diocesan offices about the possibility of providing local programming.
Also, Bosio announced at the awards dinner, the board has reached an agreement to start using some of Vatican Radio’s programming in Spanish to serve the growing Latino community in the diocese.
WBOU, which draws its call letters from Catholic Media Productions’ motto “Bridge of Understanding,” is one of five low-power Catholic radio stations approved for the diocese. Other stations are: Risen Radio, WRIM.C 88.9 FM in Cookeville; Risen Radio WRSN 88.1 FM in Lebanon; St. Rose Radio, WSRR 99.3 FM, in Murfreesboro; and ICRadio WGIC 94.9 FM in Clarksville.
The antenna tower for WBOU is located on top of Villa Maria Manor on White Bridge Road. It is currently 108 feet high, including the height of the building, said George McClintock, a member of Catholic Media Productions’ board. The tower will be extended another 27 feet in the coming weeks, which will increase the coverage area.
Currently, the coverage area is about five miles, McClintock said, but that can vary based on the quality of the radio and the altitude of the radio’s location. The higher the altitude, the wider the coverage area, he said, noting that he has received the signal clearly on a hilltop in Cheatham County during testing.
The launching of the radio station is “a great relief,” said Deacon Walsh, who is retiring as chairman of Catholic Media Productions on Jan. 1, 2017.
Radio is a great tool for the New Evangelization, Deacon Walsh said, and WBOU will reach out to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
The “We Believe” show has helped ecumenism by featuring two friends discussing their beliefs and learning from each other in a civil atmosphere, he said. And WBOU can do the same, Deacon Walsh said. “Little by little, we’re coming closer.”
Catholic Media Productions, which also produces the “We Believe” television show aired on cable local access stations across the country, honored several people during the awards banquet, including:
• Certificates of Appreciation: Luis Bustillos, administration; Dwayne Hunter, television; John McClintock, radio; Matthew Parriott, television; Jim Reidle, administration; Deacon Tom Samoray, radio; Jerry Strebel, television; Ken Thomas, administration; and Jim Westcott, radio.
• Our Lady of Radio and TV Award: Father Kevin Dowling, one of Catholic Media Productions two chaplains; and Jim and Claire Mathieson, radio.
• Lifetime Achievement Awards: Kim Baldinger, finance; John Comer, radio; John Hupka, administration; George McClintock, radio; and Mary Jane Rich, administration.