Radio station nearing startup
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:54 PM
By Tom Jeffery
LEIPSIC - Dreams do come true.
It was around 10 years ago when Tom Deitering, Leipsic, came up with the idea of having a Catholic radio station for Putnam County. Listening to EWTN, which is the global Catholic network, on a short wave radio sparked his vision.
Seven years passed and Deitering looked into buying a radio station. It was too expensive, but a number of radio frequencies started to open up in the area. The Leipsic native applied for a frequency in Oct. 2007, and was finally approved in Sept. 2009.
Analog broadcasting ended at midnight, Feb. 17, 2009 and television stations switched to 100 percent digital broadcasts.
"It helped us, more frequencies opened up after television made the switch," said Jim Lammers, who was hired as assistant director and producer of the station."
WJTA 88.9 FM, Holy Family Radio was born.
A non-profit board was formed to run the station, Bishop Leonard Blair sent his approval and they received financial support from the Catholic churches in the St. George Deanery.
Deitering has a number of underwriters and over 1,500 individuals have donated to the station.
"We had a great response, a good start, and it took off from there," according to Lammers. "Around 18 months ago, they found a used tower and prepared the foundation. Last week, on Tuesday, the antennae was aimed in the right direction. We started broadcasting last Wednesday, at 10:30 p.m. with music but we still have to shut it off every couple of hours."