At 6 am on July 1, 2004 many prayers were answered. It was then, WILB 1060 AM, began to broadcast full-time Catholic Radio was in Northeast Ohio. Living Bread Radio was a reality at last. It had long been a dream to make the fullness of the Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ preserved and faithfully transmitted by the Catholic Church for over 2000 years, available via radio in Northeast Ohio. Countless hours of prayer and labor by a core of the faithful had born its fruit.
The journey of Living Bread Radio did not begin on that summer morning in 2004. In fact, it began over 12 years earlier with the founding of St. Raphael Center, Inc. in 1992. From its very inception, one of St. Raphael Center’s goals was to operate a Catholic Radio station to serve Northeast Ohio. The first step was to commission a frequency search to see if a new station could be started. It was determined, according to the Federal Communications Commission regulations, no new frequencies were available. Consequently, it would be necessary to buy an existing station. This idea was well beyond the resources of St. Raphael Center at the time. It was decided to watch and pray for God’s guidance and timing.
In 2001, a two-hour daily time slot became available at an acceptable price on 1060 AM in Canton. Every weekday “Catholic Answers Live” and “The Doctor Is In” programs were broadcast. The first Catholic programming was made available to the over one million people within the reach of the 5000 watt station.
In early 2003, the owner of 1060 AM let it be known he would entertain St. Raphael Center’s proposal to purchase the station. The asking price was still well beyond the Center’s resources. It was clear, however, the time was right. Trusting in God’s providence an offer was made for the station. Many more prayers followed and God began to open the doors previously closed. Within the first six months of 2004, over $200,000 was pledged or donated to St. Raphael Center with the express purpose of purchasing the license. This was enough to allow for the purchase to go ahead. The deal was finalized and the switch was thrown on that beautiful July morning.
During this time we produced several local programs like Truth Matters, Life Line, Liturgy of the Word, and Living Bread Radio Presents.
After four years of broadcasting, in 2006, Living Bread Radio undertook an extensive three year 15,000 watt signal upgrade project. AM 1060, under the guidance of Mr. Bill Glasser and with the generous contributions of our listeners and volunteers accomplished the following:
- Completed a signal strength field study
- Filed an FCC application
- Built a new transmitter building
- Demolished the original transmitter building
- Erected a new 200 foot radio tower
- Laid 30,000 feet of wire to upgrade the tower ground system
Three years later, after hundreds of hours of volunteer work and at a cost of $290,000, AM 1060 began broadcasting at 15,000 watts on October 20, 2009. This upgrade doubled our listening area from a population of over one million listeners to well over two million listeners in Northeast Ohio.
In 2009, Living Bread Radio created our Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up with all of our social media fans. Please “like” and follow us and share some our posts with your friends.
In 2010 Living Bread Radio launched a new interactive website which offered video straight from the Vatican as well as locally produced program audio archives, podcasting and 24/7 streaming audio. In keeping up with the technology trend, we then created an app for all Apple mobile devices like the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The app can be downloaded for free in the iTunes app store. To date we have almost 10,000 downloads of our iPhone app.
2010 also saw the FCC award of the 89.5 FM frequency for a new station in Boardman/Youngstown. This would take 2 more years to complete filing and purchasing equipment.
In 2011 we created the Android app for mobile devices. This app is available for free at the Google Play Store. To date we have almost 6,000 downloads of our Android app.
The Living Bread Radio Network Is Launched
In 2012 we launched 89.5 FM in the Youngstown/Boardman listening area, bringing 24 hour Catholic Radio to 200,000 more souls.
Since then we have added two more locally produced programs, Faith with Father and Around the Town.
We have a number of special events planned in 2014 to help celebrate our 10th year on the air so stay tuned.
Our plans include purchasing equipment for use at remote events including area Catholic Conferences, Ordinations and other special events.
In order to stay ahead of the technology curve we have plans to improve our website and will need to update our apps in order to run with the latest operating systems and new mobile devices.
Thanks To You
With your continued support, we can spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to more souls through all of our media outlets. Please browse the rest of the Living Bread Radio website and learn about the staff, the programming and different ways that your prayers and financial support can help.