Relevant Radio (corporate name Immaculate Heart Media, Inc.) is a radio network in the United States, mainly broadcasting talk radio and religious programming involving the Catholic Church. It is the largest Catholic radio network by owned station base. Since it merged with Immaculate Heart Radio in 2017, the network has 62 stations and 63 affiliate stations with an estimated reach of 36 states and 136 million people; though the radio network of EWTN is larger with nearly 400 affiliates with a 45-state reach, that network owns only one shortwave station. The network originates from studios in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with additional studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Madison, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas, and Newark, New Jersey.
|Thomas Vorpahl, Chairman of the Board; Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD, Executive Director|
|December 12, 2000|
The network airs a variety of programming aimed at practicing Catholics, mostly in a listener-interactive talk format. "Morning Air", which the network describes as "a classic drive-time format that combines inspiration & entertainment" was the first program developed by Relevant Radio in 2003. The network now airs almost exclusive programming developed internally, which also is available to stream live or by podcast on a free mobile app.
The network was founded by a group of Catholic businessmen, including Bob Atwell and John Cavil (who founded WJOK in 2000) and Mark Follett, who had been the owner of Anchor Foods, an Appleton-based distributor of frozen appetizers. Starboard Media Foundation, Inc. bought the license to a radio station in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, that had been carrying all-sports programming, and turned it into an all-Catholic station, saying the call letters stood for "Jesus Our King". The station received its license from the FCC on December 12, 2000, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is the patron saint of Relevant Radio along with Saint John Paul the Great.
The network has grown to 22 stations, including 5 in the top 25 radio markets, and 45 affiliated stations that carry some or all of Relevant Radio programming. It also offers live streaming from its website and podcasts of favorite show segments.
On October 13, 2016, Relevant Radio announced that it would merge with Loomis, California-based Immaculate Heart Radio, which owned and operated 19 stations in the western United States at the time of the merger. The merger was completed on June 30, 2017, with all stations being licensed to Immaculate Heart Media, Inc., while Relevant Radio continued as the on-air branding.
- "Catholic network calls Green Bay home", Green Bay News-Chronicle, date uncertain, 2004. (Newspaper now defunct)
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