Redeemer Radio commemorated their planned sale and transition to a new format with Mass and an open house on Monday, September 25. The impending sale of the radio stations to Relevant Radio allows the staff to focus on Spoke Street, a national, podcast-oriented Catholic media company that developed from demographic changes in the local station’s listenership.
In his homily to those gathered at the station on Monday, Father Thomas Shoemaker compared the Gospel reading to this new chapter in Redeemer Radio’s story.
“Jesus tells us that you don’t light a lamp and then put it under your bed,” he said. “If you get a fire, you want people to light the room, you want people to see this, you want to share that light with others.”
Father Shoemaker said Redeemer Radio has shared that light and the Gospel for the last 17 years.
“This has been a radio station that’s brought people to the Church; it’s been a radio station that has inspired people to live a deeper faith. It’s been a station that’s brought people to the sacraments.”
He then talked about how this transition in mission is a positive change.
“Young people, they’re not so much listening to the radio; they’re on their computers and on their iPhones or whatever they’ve got in their ears,” Father Shoemaker said. “They’re the people who love podcasts and not programming. So now, we’re providing both for the right generation.”
There is something very positive coming from this transition, Father Shoemaker said, even though people are going to miss local programming on the station.
“But there’s a beautiful, beautiful thing happening, as we still do have Catholic radio very much available and drawing us closer to Christ. And we also have the podcasts going for those who enjoy the podcasts more.”
Father Shoemaker continued to say that the transition is a way of letting the light of Christ shine out in the world, and that it is a way of not only sharing the Catholic faith, but letting other people see the beauty of the Faith.
“This radio station has brought people to Christ. Our prayer today is that that will continue, that more people will come to find Christ, find their way to the Church and to the sacraments, through Relevant Radio, through the Spoke Street podcasts, and through all the works that we’ve done. This has been a fruitful ministry; we pray that it will continue for many, many years to come.”
After Mass, Mariam Schmitz, Chief Operating Officer for Spoke Street, said: “We appreciate your prayers as we navigate this transition from the Redeemer Radio to Spoke Street. Definitely a bittersweet chapter, so we’re glad you all are here to help us remember and celebrate the next chapter.”
In a statement emailed to listeners, representatives for Redeemer Radio wrote about how the mission of station has been to “fill the gap” between listeners and the Church. Now that podcast listenership has surpassed radio listenership in their target audience, shifting resources to fill that new gap will best serve the community.
Although Spoke Street is focusing on podcasts, Relevant Radio will continue to broadcast Catholic content throughout the diocese on the frequencies formerly owned by Redeemer Radio (106.3 FM in the Fort Wayne area and 95.7 FM in the South Bend area).
The letter to listeners continued: “Thank you for listening. Thank you for donating. Thank you for underwriting. Thank you for creating content. Thank you for working for us. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for helping make Redeemer happen. What began as a prayer and a dream in our diocese has turned into something that’s still living its original calling but now on a national level. You helped make that happen.”
For more information on Spoke Street, and to explore its lineup of podcasts, including “Truth in Charity” with Bishop Rhoades, the locally produced “Doctor, Doctor” show, and dozens of other faith-filled Catholic podcasts, visit spokestreet.com.
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