|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
|City of license||Kankakee, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Kankakee, Illinois / South Suburban Chicago|
|Slogan||Positive Hit Music|
|First air date||January 1967|
|Format||Christian Contemporary Hit Music|
|Callsign meaning||"W Olivet Nazarene University"|
|Former callsigns||WKOC (W Kankakee Olivet College)|
|Owner||Olivet Nazarene University|
|Sister stations||WTMK, WHZN|
WONU is a FM Station broadcasting on 89.7 MHz in Kankakee, Illinois south of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is a non-profit, listener supported station owned and operated by Olivet Nazarene University from Bourbonnais, Illinois.
WONU first broadcast on the 89.7 frequency in January 1967. Before that time the station was on a closed loop and available only on campus. In 1988, the radio station saw an upgrade with the construction of the existing 421' tower structure on campus, and new transmitter with an upgrade to 35,000 watts (35 kW). This expanded the signal into south Chicago and northwest Indiana and during ideal weather conditions the signal can be heard well into Michigan. The WONU studio is located in an old Hardee's burger establishment.
In August 2010, station manager Justin Knight officially announced the expansion of WONU to a new station. WONU purchased the new station with though donations and listener support. It will be based out of Morris, IL and operate at 89.3 on FM. Through this purchase and the money raised for the expansion, WONU will be pursuing its expansion into HD Radio. HD Radio has been planned and explored for three years at the station, and over those years the equipment had been upgraded to support the new format. The HD Radio feed will carry the regular Shine.FM broadcast, Shine Worship on HD2 and Shine Rock on HD3. This new station as well as their new HD Radio feed is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2011.
On December 28, 2010, WONU began a simulcast broadcast in Lowell, IN at 88.5 FM on WTMK-FM and in Crown Point, IN at 95.9 FM on translator station W240BJ. They were purchased from the Calvary Radio Network. WONU plans to move the signal to Wanatah, IN later in 2010 in order to gain coverage in new areas for the station, especially Valparaiso, IN.
The expansion was planned in part because in 2008 many listeners reported static in the signal. It was found to be due to a new Chicago Public Radio station operating in Chesterton, Indiana on frequency 89.5 under the call sign WBEW. Due to the distance between Northwest Indiana and Bourbonnais as well as the close frequencies of 89.5 and 89.7, interference was degrading the already weakened WONU signal.
List of Station Managers
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- Bill DeWees (1991–2005)
- Justin Knight (2005–present)
Rise & Shine Morning Show
The longest running show on the station has been "The Rise and Shine Morning Show". Seth (Tower)Hurd hosts the show along with co-host and newsman Rob Rodewald and Bekah Harrison, the morning show producer. The Rise and Shine Morning Show airs weekdays from 6-to-9 a.m.
The Sunday morning Shine Worship program is hosted by Jeff DeRuiter from the Church of the Week, followed by a broadcast of the College Church of the Nazarene worship service in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
WONU promotes and hosts Contemporary Christian concerts in the Kankakee area and on the Olivet Nazarene University campus. In addition to Christian music, WONU hosts types of performances such as Christian comedians.
Church of the Week
Every Sunday, WONU broadcasts Church of the Week from a church in its broadcast range. Justin Knight and Jeff DeRuiter host the Worship Now program from the church's lobby area and the church is featured on the station throughout the following week.
Because WONU is owned by Olivet Nazarene University, it is sometimes used as a teaching station. The Bourbonnais studio contains a radio classroom with 20 computer stations configured specifically to teach radio. Olivet's communication department employs a full-time radio professor to teach the classes.
WONU streams ShineRock from ShineRock.fm and broadcasts on a closed-circuit basis to the Olivet Nazarene University campus. Primarily a student-run station, ShineRock is broadcast from a studio in WONU's Bourbonnais facility. ShineRock is a harder, Christian rock version of WONU.
- Ted Young "Olivet in the airwaves", Memory Lane, March 2007. Accessed March 7, 2008.
- Justin Knight "Olivet in the airwaves", MJustin Knight Announcement HD, August 2010. Accessed September 7, 2010.
- Official website
- Olivet Nazarene University
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WONU
- Radio-Locator information on WONU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WONU