SHEFFIELD — The new WUNT radio station will be on-air within the next few weeks.
After several years of planning and praying, WUNT Program Director Paul Butler has announced the new Christian radio station will be on-air by the end of March at the 88.3 radio frequency. The new station will be on-air 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
At the start, WUNT will have limited programming with a wide variety of musical programs, Butler said. The station also has several local programs which will be aired with more to come. WUNT will also use some nationally-syndicated programs, but the station does not want to duplicate national programming already available through other area Christian radio stations, like WCIC out of Peoria and WDLM out of the Quad Cities, he said.
Located at 108 S. Main St. in Sheffield, the new radio station is an outreach of the Bureau County-based Road Map Ministries and is governed by a five-member board of directors, comprised of area pastors.
Phase 1 of the WUNT project has been basically completed with the purchase and installation of the basic equipment needed for the station. Phase 2 will allow WUNT to host interview programs in the studio through the use of additional phone equipment and production facilities. Phase 3 will involve the purchase of equipment which will allow WUNT to broadcast from across the community, through remotes and at live events.
As far as fundraising to support the new station, Butler said WUNT had an initial goal to raise $120,000 to $140,000 for start-up costs and operation costs for the first year. About $67,000 of that amount has been raised, with only Phase 1 equipment being able to be purchased. Since FM radio can not sell commercials, the station will seek underwriters to help with the costs.
In addition to the ongoing funding needs, WUNT also needs volunteers to serve on a community advisory council, Butler said. The council will meet every other month, starting March 18, to help determine whether the programming and policies of the radio station are meeting the specialized spiritual, educational and cultural needs of the community. Council members will be selected by an application process.
Looking at other needs, Butler said the station is still looking for volunteer staff members to handle various shifts, as well as a operations position which will also develop into help with production work.
The basic commitment of WUNT is to build unity into the Church and transform the community, Butler said. Because WUNT is a community radio station, the goal is to address issues which are within the community from a faith-based perspective and to highlight the ministries and outreaches of the local churches.
Though WUNT will go on-air by the end of March, the community open house for the new radio station is set for May 2. More information on the station is available through its website and Facebook page.
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.
Programming for WUNT
• Locally-produced programs
1. “Growing Stronger Together” with Marla Graham and Meg Murphy. A weekly 30-minute program on developing and maintaining healthy relationships from a Biblical perspective.
2. “The Good Life” with Paul Butler. A weekend magazine program focusing on a broad range of topics encouraging people to find small ways to live the good life while building the Kingdom of God and serving Christ in their families and churches.
3. “Community Voices” with Linda Marlow. A weekly 30-minute program highlighting events happening throughout Bureau County. The program will also include interviews with local residents serving their community as well as many community leaders.
4. “Freedom Seekers” with Pam Heil. John 8:32 declares: As a survivor of abuse who has found healing in Christ, Heil offers Biblical truth for overcoming bondage, shame, guilt and a painful past.
5. “Walking Next to Jesus” with Lisa Kay. A program for new believers and old alike as Christians learn to walk more in step with the Savior. Program will include book discussions, topical interviews and general discipleship encouragement.
• Syndicated programs:
1. The World and Everything in It (Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.). A two-hour, weekend radio news magazine hosted by Nick Eicher and Joseph Slife. The program features reports, interviews and analysis from WORLD’s editorial team.
2. Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul. A daily, 30-minute teaching program providing accessible, in-depth Bible teaching with pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul, focusing on the life-changing truths of historic Christianity and keeping the church community informed about pertinent issues facing believers today.
3. The Darren Streblow Comedy Show. An hour-long humor program with comedian Darren Streblow.
4. UNI News. Four-minute newscast at the top of the hour, one-minute headlines at bottom of the hour. UNI News strives to keep listeners informed by providing clear, factual stories of the day’s international and national news events, including moral and religious issues of public importance. Coverage will include an hourly newscast and a number of news features/programs throughout the week.