UNION CITY, Ind. – Christian radio in East Central Indiana will continue stronger than ever, said owners, thanks to an agreement announced between Positive Alternative Radio and STAR Educational Media Network.
PAR is donating its station, WJYW, known on-‐the-‐air as “Joy FM” to STAR, along with two translators in the Richmond, Indiana area.
STAR and PAR signed legal documents July 29 for an effective date of August 15, pursuant to transferring ownership of the stations, pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission.
“This donation is an expression of how PAR values local Christian radio,” said Edward Baker, President of PAR. “We wanted to strengthen a local broadcaster an help their ministry to become even more effective.”
PAR operates stations and networks including those based in Virginia, Tennessee, north Carolina and Kentucky. WJYW was the furthest from its home office in Blacksburg, Virginia. To further its mission, the decision was made to donate WJYW to a local broadcaster versus making it part of a network, according to Brian Sanders, PAR’s executive vice president.
“We could have easily cut costs by eliminating our local presence and feeding this Indiana station from Virginia or Tennessee,” Sanders explained. “But, we believe in local Christian radio and wanted to put WJYW in the hands of someone in the region who can continue making difference in listener’s lives.”
STAR Educational Media Network operates START 88.3 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, which feeds other full power stations and translators to cover most of Northeast Indiana, Northwest, Ohio and Southern Michigan.
“WJYW is a good fit for operation,” STAR’s President and CEO Melissa Montana.
“We are so excited by this generous donation,” she said. “This helps us extend our reach further south, empowering our ministry to encourage more believers and share the Gospel with more people.”
STAR 88.3 and WJYW play a lot of the same Contemporary Christian Music, Sanders and Montana noted, so most listeners will not sense an abrupt change when the LMA and subsequent transfer are enacted.
“You will hear almost all of your favorites and a few new songs, too. Plus, we want to build a deep connection with the local community, reaching out to churches, ministries and Christian-owned businesses to help make the area we’re serving an even better place to live,” Montana said.