Transfer of Pontiac station expands the network, reach of Catholic Spirit Radio
NORMAL — Catholic Spirit Radio of Bloomington-Normal, WSPI 89.5 FM, is undergoing network expansion.
Public Reality Radio, WPJC, 88.3 FM was transferred to WSPI ownership on Nov. 30. The talk radio station in Pontiac was deeded to Catholic Spirit Radio by Goodrich Radio, which simulcasts its sister flagship station WPRR from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
WPJC began broadcasting in 2003. Early on, it carried non-Catholic Christian programs and later, after acquisition by WPRR, mostly talk-radio programs.
The first WSPI-related broadcast from 88.3 FM was heard at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 when Catholic Spirit Radio president and CEO Jon Hall established an internet-based link to the Pontiac station. This land-based link will soon be replaced by a microwave feed from the studio in Normal.
The Pontiac station will be managed from the Catholic Spirit Radio’s Normal office.
A team of technical volunteers is now working to replace and reconfigure the broadcast equipment. Licensed for 2,500 watts and using a transmission tower in Pontiac, 88.3 FM is now broadcasting at less than 1,500 watts due to problems with one of the transmitter elements.
“We hope to have the station broadcasting at full power shortly,” Hall said.
COVERAGE EXPANDED BY 35,000
Catholic Spirit Radio has been broadcasting since 2011 at 89.5 FM from an antenna located near Ellsworth, using a 7,000-watt transmitter. It has a low-power translator operating at 92.5 FM from within Bloomington that provides additional coverage.
WPJC stands for Praise Jesus Christ, and this will be done using the signal from WSPI. The WPJC transmitter expands WSPI’s listening coverage from 175,000 in and around McLean County to an additional 35,000 potential listeners, most of whom reside in Livingston County. The main benefactors will be parishioners in Pontiac, Flanagan, Chenoa, Lexington, and Fairbury.
Negotiations are now underway to acquire a low-wattage translator in Lincoln.
Catholic Spirit Radio officials credit the generosity of donors for enabling WSPI to reach more listeners with “the goodness, truth, and beauty of Catholicism” throughout central Illinois.
Tax-deductible contributions to support operations and future expansion may be made online at catholicspiritradio.com, or by a check sent to Catholic Spirit Radio, 108 Boeykens Place, Normal, IL 61761.