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Sacred Heart Radio to reach wider audience

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

By Paul McKibben

ARCHDIOCESE — Sacred Heart Radio has acquired a new frequency that will allow it to reach more listeners.
The Norwood-based Catholic radio station purchased an FM frequency (89.5) from Hamilton City Schools at public auction on Aug. 25, according to Bill Levitt, Sacred Heart Radio’s general manager.

“This FM station’s signal covers the Tri-County area where Sacred Heart Radio’s 740 AM signal is very weak or doesn’t reach at all,” he said.

Levitt said Sacred Heart Radio’s signal currently covers the Tristate area, but said it is best heard in downtown Cincinnati and east and west of the city during the day. He said the null in its signal to the north (the Tri-County area) is required so WNOP doesn’t interfere with a Canadian station that is also broadcasting on 740 AM.
Sacred Heart Radio began broadcasting on Jan. 1, 2001. It is completely supported by listeners.

“This station will reach over 300,000 new listeners that have not been able to receive and therefore benefit from receiving SHR’s Catholic programming for the nearly 10 years that [we have] been on the air,” Levitt said.
Levitt said it will be up to the Federal Communications Commission to determine when Sacred Heart Radio will start using the new frequency. He said license transfers can take as many as 120 days or more once they are filed.
“That means Catholics throughout the Tristate will give our brothers and sisters in the Tri-County area their own Sacred Heart Radio on 89.5 FM as a Christmas/10th anniversary gift,” he said.
Even with the new frequency, there are parts of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that Sacred Heart Radio will not be able to reach; the Dayton area is the largest area. However, Levitt said, “God willing, Sacred Heart Radio will be there soon.”
Sacred Heart Radio can also be heard on its website www.sacredheartradio.com.
The station received pledges from parishes in the Tri-County area, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Diocese of Covington and from regular listeners. During a three-week period,  $172,000 in pledges was received.
Matt Swaim, producer of the “Son Rise Morning Show” on EWTN Radio, which is heard on Sacred Heart Radio, said by being in the Tri-County area that gives the program more of an opportunity to connect with parishes there who are currently out of the FM signal’s range.
“Because the ‘Son Rise Morning Show’ features national and local content, this offers us the chance to include some of the pastors and Catholic organizations from that area in more of our interviews and features,” he said.

Swaim said two hours of the program are nationally syndicated through EWTN’s network of more than 140 stations and Sirius channel 160.

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