Who is WAJC-FM?
We are The Remnant…the first full power FM radio station awarded to the Twin Cities by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in more than 35 years! WAJC is a Christian station focused on the truth of the Bible, the best local music and talent, top Christian songs, and highlighting community issues. WAJC is independently owned and operated by Religious Information Network and utilizes the creativity, programming, and efforts of the students of University of Northwestern, St. Paul to create community-centered Christian radio. The Remnant’s Executive staff is Kevin Rische – Founder and General Manager, Jill Martin Rische – Founder and Director of Operations and Programming, Cody Lomonaco – Producer, Sherri Wargin – Community Relations
Real music. Absolute truth.
The Story Behind 88.1 WAJC-FM
On April 19, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded Religious Information Network (RIN), an umbrella non-profit that includes Walter Martin Ministries, a full power FM frequency licensed to Newport, Minnesota, about two miles outside St. Paul, Minnesota. This is the first non-commercial radio frequency awarded to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in more than 35 years with the potential to reach a large segment of the Twin Cities’ 2.9 million population.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is the #16 Radio Market in America, and the new 88.1 WAJC-FM is uniquely placed to bring a fresh perspective and voice to the community. The call letters were chosen to honor Jesus Christ, and to highlight the legacy of Walter Martin, the Original Bible Answer Man. Dr. Walter Martin is known as a world authority on the Cults and the Occult, founder of Christian Research Institute, and author of numerous books, including his 45 year bestseller, The Kingdom of the Cults. Hundreds of new Walter Martin teachings will be featured on WAJC.
Jill Martin Rische, Walter Martin’s eldest daughter, and her husband, Kevin Rische, also hope to bring new voices and new artists to the airwaves with an emphasis on the local community. “We believe this FM station should be an integral part of the community and our goal is to develop new programming that features local personalities and talents. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a powerful community voice.”
The competition for a full power FM station license is always tough but in the end, RIN won the coveted license, earning 7 points to their competitors 0 points in the FCC Point System. After a two and a half year wait for the FCC’s decision, Religious Information Network built the station literally from the ground up, and WAJC went on the air April 15, 2013.
The Media Said It was Impossible
“Unfortunately, there is no chance that you are eligible for a full power NCE radio license if you are within 20 miles of the 50 largest cities in the United States, and very little chance if you are within 30 miles of the largest 100 cities. So, if you call us from New York City, LA, or Chicago about this opportunity, all we will be able to tell you is that you are wasting our time and yours. We know many, many people in these areas who want a full power radio station. Sorry, any big city slickers looking to obtain a full power license in this window- you are barking
up the wrong tree. You should have applied thirty years ago. Sadly, most full power frequencies in major cities are long gone. Today, with very few exceptions, open frequencies only remain in smaller towns and rural areas. The largest city we have found so far with a frequency possibility has a population of 500,000, though many cities that size do not have any channels available.” http://mediaactioncenter.org/node/875/
“Non-Commercial FM licenses — The bottom portion of the FM band – from 88.1 – 91.9 FM – is set aside exclusively for noncommercial educational (NCE) use, which means the stations cannot be used for any profit making activity (no commercials) and they must be run by not-for-profit groups. This is why most public radio stations in the US are located at this end of the radio dial.
Just as in the commercial band, though, the NCE band is nearly filled up, and new frequencies are hard to find. But, again, based on your location and the number of other NCE stations in your area, there might be an available space on the dial. The engineering requirements are similar to commercial requirements, but the license applications themselves are much easier to fill out than for a commercial station, and there are no filing fees.
For the past twenty years, it has been very difficult to start non-commercial FM stations. If someone proposed a station on a given
frequency in a given location, they had to issue a thirty day public notice. Often, when someone notified the public of their intention to build a station, other groups would put applications in nearby that competed for the same frequency. In order to decide who would get the license, there would be very complex “comparative hearings” where you would have to present all sorts of evidence about why your organization was better to hold the broadcast license, and why your opponents are moral abominations who are not fit to operate a station in the public interest, etc. etc. Then there were appeals, and appeals of appeals.
While the process was set up to evaluate the best candidate, it was eventually acknowledged (even by the FCC) that what was really being discovered was who could afford more, fancier lawyers. Sometimes the opponents would buy each other out, and in fact some groups would start competing precisely so that they could be bought out- having no intention of actually starting a station.
Finally, the FCC decided that this set of rules was for the birds. They put a freeze on resolving mutually exclusive applications. This freeze has been in effect for many years now, as they try to figure out a better way.” http://oldsite.prometheusradio.org/alt_startfm.shtml
2010…God Did It