One of Cleveland's most historic radio stations has been broadcasting an entirely new message for the last six months. AM 1260, which in its heyday in the 1960's and 70's was known as the Rock and Roll station WIXY 1260, has become "The Rock," Cleveland's Catholic Radio station.
AM 1260 The Rock went on the air in early May, when a group of local Catholics arranged a $1 million purchase from Radio Disney, the most recent owner of the station. Since then, AM 1260 has been broadcasting 24 hours a day with Catholic talk shows, inspirational and instructional programs, along with daily Mass, the Rosary, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
"Cleveland was one of the most populated areas in the country without Catholic Radio," says Dick Russ, one of The Rock's founding board members. "Now the truths of our Catholic faith and how they can be applied to everyday life can be heard by nearly 2 and a half million people who were not being reached before."
Russ, who spent over 40 years as a local TV anchorman and reporter, worked for several years with a number of other Catholic lay people to identify and buy a local station and get it on the air. The Rock became the 300th affiliate of EWTN, the Global Catholic Radio Network, and broadcasts the network's high quality Catholic programming, which is both relevant and challenging.
AM 1260's board chair, local attorney Jerry Monroe, says the purchase and station operation are funded entirely by donations. "We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit company and, as such, donations are tax-deductible," Monroe explains. "More importantly, those contributions help to bring the Good News to so many people who have not had Catholic Radio before."
The station encourages listeners to become "sustaining members" at $20 per month for individuals, and beginning at $50 per month for businesses, which also receive a substantial number of on-air announcements in consideration of their support.
"Our listeners are very loyal," says Monroe, "and patronize those businesses which support Catholic Radio." Information about how to become a member and to contribute to AM 1260's capital campaign can be found on the station's website, www.AM1260TheRock.com or by calling 216-227-1260.
Cleveland Catholic Radio has the full support of the Diocese of Cleveland and Bishop Richard Lennon, who can be heard each day on the station leading prayers and devotions. A number of local Catholics have also stepped up with generous financial support, but the campaign to fully fund the lay apostolate is still underway.
"Bringing Catholic Radio to Cleveland was a necessity," says Russ, who can be heard on the air during The Rock's membership drives and voicing daily announcements about events happening in the Cleveland Catholic community. "There had to be an alternative for listeners, especially people driving to and from work, who are searching for something other than the usual."
"The challenges of life today require a daily dose of the Truth, and with the support of the local community we hope to be able to provide that for many years to come."