Partnering with Huntington University
By Kevin Peterson
Updated 16 Hour(s) 37 Minute(s) ago
You may have heard that WLAB (Star 88.3)/Ft. Wayne, Ind., was recently put up for sale, and a group of the current employees will be the buyer.
"The board of directors of the Indiana District-Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (our current owners) accepted our bid to purchase the radio station," PD Don Buettner says. "Led by GM Melissa Montana and myself, we formed our own not-for-profit organization called Star Educational Media Network. Pending FCC approval, we will become the new owners of Star 88.3!"
He goes on to say that this move means that they will be able to continue on with the programming and existing staff and now will be able to impact their community in even greater ways. "There are smiles on our faces and a spring in our step today here in the office as we celebrate this incredible victory. Even during a bad economy and with stations being sold and employees being cut, we just saw God can do some incredible things to make this happen and we hope our story will be an inspiration for those of you who may be in challenging situations right now."
Montana says that from the time bids opened on the station until they closed the deal, they had a little over a month to form their new company and raise the $1 million needed to buy the station. She adds that an alliance they formed with a local college helped seal the deal. "Huntington University has agreed to support this outreach so that we can continue to grow and move forward and work with them in the form of an alliance," states Montana. "They believe in us and we believe in them and want to help their cause. We are working in partnership with them (not ownership) and will gladly have their name alongside ours in all forms of promotion and outreach throughout the years to come. They have made it possible to accomplish this transaction with their support. In this agreement with them we will also have a debt to service. We are a non-profit organization which is governed by a board."
To read the full story of their new adventure into ownership, see the June 5 issue of R&R.