At 6:00 a.m. on July 1st, 2004 many prayers were answered. It was then, WILB AM 1060, began to broadcast full-time Catholic Radio 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 AM 1060 in Canton. Every weekday â€œCatholic Answers Liveâ€ and â€œThe Doctor Is Inâ€ programs were broadcast. The first Catholic programming was made available to the over one million people within the reach of the 5,000 watt station.
WILB, AM 1060
In early 2003, the owner of AM 1060 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.Â These programs can still be heard today!
After four years of broadcasting, in 2006,Â Living Bread Radio undertook an extensive three year 15,000 watt signal upgrade project. Â AM 1060, under the guidance of Mr. Bill Glasser and withÂ 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 fromÂ a population of over one million listeners to well over two million listeners in Northeast Ohio.Â To this day, AM 1060 is the LARGEST Catholic Radio signal in the State of Ohio.
Social Media, Website and Mobile
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 streaming audio. In keeping up with the technology trend, we then created an app for iPhone and Android mobile devices. The app can be downloaded for free in the iTunes app store, or on Google Play. To date we have over 10,000 downloads of our 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.
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.Â With the addition of this new frequency, we adopted the term “network” to refer to our station.Â We were no longer one single station in Canton, but rather a network of stations providing Catholic programming to Northeast Ohio.
Since then we have added two more locally produced programs, Faith with Father and Around the Town.
Living Bread Radio Network 2013 – 2014
In 2014 we celebrated our 10th year anniversary with a Mass and reception. We hosted Fr. Mitch Pacwa for our banquet speaker, both in Canton and in Youngstown.
We purchased equipment for remote coverage at events including area Catholic Conferences, Ordinations and began broadcasting from these various events.
A new website was launched in June of 2014 to keep our listeners up to date on the new programs and events in the area.
2016 – A year of accomplishments
For many years, the idea was passed around about having a Catholic quiz show on the air.Â This would be a great way to teach the faith to others, but also test us on our knowledge of our faith.Â As with anything, this would take a lot of work and prayer to accomplish.
With that work and prayer came a massive effort and in the Fall of 2016, we launched “Catholic Challenge.”Â The show has proved to be very popular, and a great teaching tool.Â Catholics and non-Catholics, young and old have all played along, trying their best to answer all of the questions.
In the midst of all the planning of “Catholic Challenge,” we also adopted a new logo.Â This fresh, contemporary image still integrates the Monstrance, which represents the Living Bread.Â Surrounding the Monstrance are three “swooshes.”Â These represent the Holy Trinity, our belief in the Three-in-One.
94.5 FM – Canton Vicinity
As if a brand new game show and logo weren’t enough, on September 8th, 2016, The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Living Bread Radio Network added 94.5 FM to their family of Catholic Radio stations. 94.5 FM is a translator station and mirrors the programming that is heard on AM 1060, but 24 hours a day. 94.5 FM, a low power station, can be heard in the following locations 24 hours a day: Canton, North Canton, Massillon, Jackson Township, Perry Township, Canal Fulton, Lake Township, Louisville, Green, Portage Lakes, Uniontown, Hartville, Navarre, East Canton, and Barberton.
As we reflect on our incredible history, we give all the glory to GOD.Â God has enabled us to accomplish things we never thought were possible.Â We also give glory and thanks to YOU, our listeners and supporters.Â It is because of your generosity that we can continue our mission.Â YOU can be a part of our future!Â Please consider donating to the Living Bread Radio Network.
With your continued support, we canÂ spread theÂ Good News of Jesus Christ to more souls through all of our media outlets.Â Please browse the rest of the Living Bread RadioÂ website and learn about the staff, the programming and different ways that your prayers and financial support can help.
Also, don’t forget to update our app in order to run with the latest operating systems and new mobile devices.