UNION CITY, Ind. — Positive Alternative Radio is donating its station, WJYW, known on the air as “Joy FM” to STAR Educational Media Network, along with two translators in the Richmond, Indiana, area.
STAR and PAR signed legal documents July 29 for an effective date of Aug. 15, pursuant to transferring ownership of the stations, pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission.
“This donation is an expression of how much PAR values local Christian radio,” said Edward Baker, president of PAR. “We wanted to strengthen a local broadcaster and 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 farthest 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 a difference in listener’s lives.”
STAR Educational Media Network operates STAR 88.3 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which feeds other full-power stations and translators to cover most of northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan.
According to STAR’s President and CEO Melissa Montana, “WJYW is a good fit for our operation. We are so excited by this generous donation. 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.
PAR is a nonprofit ministry founded in 1985 by Edward Baker’s father, the late Dr. Vernon H. Baker, and his mother, Virginia. Today, PAR owns and operates stations and networks in key markets in Virginia, eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. The stations provide adult contemporary and southern gospel music, as well as Christian content available across a variety of digital platforms. In providing services to fellow Christian broadcasters and a weekly blog, “Dear Christian Radio,” PAR is dedicated to helping Christian communication ministries strive for excellence, company officials said. STAR Educational Media Network operates Star 88.3 and a translator in Fort Wayne, plus translators in Kendallville, Warsaw and Auburn, Indiana, as well as a full-power station in Orland, Indiana.