Two of the most prominent Catholic radio properties, Immaculate Heart Radio and Relevant Radio, have announced their intention to merge, creating the largest Catholic Radio network in the U.S., with a total anticipated audience of 133 million. The newly formed network’s legal name will be Immaculate Heart Media, Inc., but it will operate under the name Relevant Radio. It will broadcast continually in 15 of the top 50 markets in the country, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In addition, all programming will be live streamed and available on podcast as well as being accessible on other platforms including websites, mobile apps and social media portals.
The merger announcement comes on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Immaculate Heart Radio and on the 100th anniversary of Fatima where Our Lady revealed the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
“The merger of Immaculate Heart Radio and Relevant Radio will bring blessings to Catholics here in Los Angeles and across the country,” said Archbishop José Gomez, of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. “I have known the leaders in both companies for many years and I know them to be people of faith with a strong commitment to the new evangelization. In a way, this merger feels like a historic moment in Catholic communications in this country. For the first time, there will be a single Catholic voice in our nation’s largest media markets…”
Together, the two entities have more than 30 years of broadcast history, providing a voice for Catholic radio in the markets they have served. Each brings financial stability that ensures a bright future as the two combine resources. It is expected that over the next three years the newly combined organization will raise more than $30 million to further strengthen the network and provide resources to invest in programming and technology.
Rev. Francis Hoffman will serve as executive director and Doug Sherman will serve as president of the new entity. Tom Vorpahl will be the chairman of the merged board of directors.
Most Reverend David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay said, “As a member of the Board of Relevant Radio and as the Bishop Of Green Bay, I am deeply grateful for the merger between the wonderful Immaculate Heart Radio and Relevant Radio, that will increase the capacity to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel from a very dynamic Catholic platform that intersects with so many more people’s lives. The treasury of the Catholic way of living our relationship with Jesus Christ and serving the mission of the Gospel will be enriched by this joining and reach so many more people.”