Catholic Radio Launches in Los Angeles | Jim Graves | CWR
After a long absence, Catholic programming enters the country’s largest radio market.
Los Angeles welcomed the return of English-speaking Catholic radio on November 17, when Archbishop Jose Gomez “flipped the switch” to turn on KHJ AM 930, broadcasting Catholic programming to a market of 15 million for the first time in more than a decade. The station is owned and operated by Immaculate Heart Radio (IHR), and features such programs as Right Here Right Now with Patrick Madrid, Catholic Answers Live, and The Terry and Jesse Show. IHR has a station in San Diego, KCEO AM 1000, which, combined with the Los Angeles station, gives the network coverage from Oxnard to the Mexican border.
At the November 17 launch, Archbishop Gomez called KHJ “a beautiful blessing for our mission,” and said, “Catholic radio is truly a gift from God. It is another way that God uses to speak to us.”
“Our launch has gone great. We’re off to a good start,” said Doug Sherman, founder and CEO of IHR. “Right now, our focus is to build audience, which we’re doing through billboard advertisements, articles in local papers, and, at the parish level, through the Knights of Columbus. We’re also hoping that people active on the radio dial will find us.”
IHR purchased KHJ for $10 million, funded by cash donations, pledges, and low-interest loans from friends of IHR. IHR had intended to purchase a smaller station, but opted for KHJ instead when it became available. Sherman was excited to enter the LA market, he noted, as it is the biggest in the United States.
“It’s an important way to spread the Catholic faith,” he said.
In attendance at the station’s launch party were several Catholic celebrities, including former professional baseball player Mike Sweeney.