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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

BELMONT — While the first full-power commercial Catholic radio station in the new Carolina Catholic Radio Network has gone dark, the network has a plan to lease three full-power AM radio stations that will provide local Catholic radio from Gaffney, S.C., to Greensboro on a continuous basis.

The Salisbury station that broadcast along I-85 corridor from Concord to Lexington and carried Catholic talk radio programming on 1490 AM WSTP was on the air for nearly six months, said David Papandrea, who serves as a "media missionary" for EWTN in the area.

The network considered that station a “test site,” and it started on the air as a trial as a result of a gift from the station’s owners. It carried EWTN and some local programming. Because of the location of the station, a lot of the burden of underwriting the station would fall on Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury, Papandrea said.

“We learned a lot from that station,” he said. “We used it as a beta site, and in the end we couldn’t keep it on right now. That’s not to say it won’t be in the future.”

Papandrea explained CCRN could get more return on investment from the other three stations they are looking to lease along the I-85/485 corridor from the North and South Carolina state line to Greensboro. Those stations would provide free Catholic radio to 80 percent of the Charlotte-designated media market and 50 percent of the Triad (I-40 South).

Currently, the network has one station on the air: Belmont Abbey College’s WBAC-LPFM 101.5. The college launched its FM station in February.

To lease those stations, Papandrea said they’ll need $10,000 a month for rents and another $10,000 a month for sales, marketing, programming and technical expenses in addition to $25,000 in one-time capital for the network studios at Belmont Abbey College.

While they work to raise the money, representatives from the network are meeting with the diocese’s vicariates to talk about specific programming. They are looking for local parish programs that showcase the ministries to complement EWTN’s free shows.

The station is also searching for volunteers to work these positions: Financial Controller, Corporate Fundraiser, Operations Director, Marketing Director, Hispanic Ministry Director, Spiritual Advisor and Clergy Advisory Board.

The hope is to possibly use this network to also broadcast major diocese events, such as the Eucharistic Congress, as well as sporting events from the schools.

“We’re looking for help and programming, so when we hit these numbers, we want to be able to flip a switch and put these three stations on the air,” Papandrea said.

— Kimberly Bender, online reporter

How you can help fund a new Catholic radio network

Donations can be made online: CarolinaCatholicRadio.org

Or by mail: Carolina Catholic Radio Network, P.O. Box 1148, Clemmons, NC 27012-1148
For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact David Papandrea at 704-880-0260 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..