|Thomas Vorpahl, Chairman of the Board; Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD, Executive Director|
|December 12, 2000|
Relevant Radio (corporate name Immaculate Heart Media, Inc.) is a radio network in the United States, mainly broadcasting talk radio and religious programming involving the Catholic Church. It is the largest Catholic radio network by owned station base. The network has 98 stations and 67 affiliate stations in 34 states. The network originates from studios in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with additional studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Madison, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas, and Newark, New Jersey.
The network airs a variety of programming aimed at practicing Catholics, mostly in a listener-interactive talk format. "Morning Air", which the network describes as "a classic drive-time format that combines inspiration & entertainment" was the first program developed by Relevant Radio in 2003. The network now airs almost exclusive programming developed internally, which also is available to stream live or by podcast on a free mobile app.
The network was founded by a group of Catholic businessmen, including Bob Atwell and John Cavil (who founded WJOK in 2000) and Mark Follett, who had been the owner of Anchor Foods, an Appleton-based distributor of frozen appetizers. Starboard Media Foundation, Inc. bought the license to a radio station in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, that had been carrying all-sports programming, and turned it into an all-Catholic station, saying the call letters stood for "Jesus Our King". The station received its license from the FCC on December 12, 2000, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is the patron saint of Relevant Radio along with John Paul II.
On October 13, 2016, Relevant Radio announced that it would merge with Loomis, California-based Immaculate Heart Radio, which owned and operated 36 stations in the western United States at the time of the merger. The merger was completed on July 31, 2017, with all stations being licensed to Immaculate Heart Media, Inc., while Relevant Radio continued as the on-air branding.
In October 2019, Immaculate Heart purchased the 6 radio stations owned by Northern Michigan-based Baraga Broadcasting, as well as assuming the LMA of affiliate station WMQU, which is currently owned by Blarney Stone Broadcasting.
- "Catholic network calls Green Bay home", Green Bay News-Chronicle, date uncertain, 2004. (Newspaper now defunct)
- "Stations - Relevant Radio". relevantradio.com. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- "Catholic Radio Organizations Plan to Unite. - Immaculate Heart Radio". Immaculate Heart Radio. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
- "Relevant Radio - Talk Radio for the Catholic Life". Relevant Radio. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Venta, Lance. "Immaculate Heart Media Acquires Four In Miami & Tampa From Salem", Radio Insight. July 29, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Jacobson, Adam. "Update: Salem Reveals Stations In Latest Sale As Stock Slides", Radio & Television Business Report. August 16, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Venta, Lance. "More On Immaculate Heart Media’s Purchase Of Nine Stations From Salem", Radio Insight. August 16, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- "Affiliates - Relevant Radio". relevantradio.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.