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Emmanuel Communications announces plans to acquire WESO

Posted By July 3, 2014 | 12:49 pm | Local

By William T. Clew

Emmanuel Communications Inc., owner of WNEB 1230AM Emmanuel Radio in Worcester, has announced plans to acquire WESO 970 AM in Southbridge by late summer, pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission.
WESO, owned by Money Matters Radio Inc., is a 1,000-watt station that reaches more than 60,000 listeners in south-central Worcester County and northeast Connecticut.
WNEB is a 1,000-watt non-commercial station, broadcasting from studios on Chatham Street. It is the preeminent Catholic news and information station that broadcasts to a market of 315,000 Catholic and non-Catholic listeners in Central Massachusetts each week, according to its press release.
“We believe that southern Massachusetts and northern Connecticut are important parts of the community we cover and serve,” said Cindy R. Dorsey, 1230AM Emmanuel Radio general manager.
She said the mission of Emmanuel Communications,  “in the next 60 days will be to raise enough donations and pledges from listeners, fans and local business underwriting sponsors to sustain programming and expand broadcasting operations to Catholics and non-Catholics alike in Southbridge and the surrounding towns.
“Our goal is two-fold: to have WESO evolve into a fully listener-supported channel and to broadcast our programming on a new AM commercial-free signal. It’s an ideal scenario which will require significant fundraising, but we’re committed to making it happen,” she said.
She said she would welcome volunteers from the area who are willing to help as parish liaisons and with prayer, donations and fund raising. She said WESO will be called 970AM Emmanuel Radio and will carry WNEB 1230AM programming with community announcements and interviews from the WESO area.
Both stations were founded in 1955. WNEB 1230AM Emmanuel Radio began broadcasting Catholic radio programs on May 1, 2011. It is an affiliate of the EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) Catholic Radio Network and carries the Sonrise Morning Show, Catholic Connection and Catholic Answers Live, along with daily Mass, daily rosary and local area programming from the Worcester Diocese, the College of the Holy Cross and other content providers.
WESO now carries local and syndicated programming. Ms. Dorsey said she hopes the changeover to all Catholic programming will occur by Labor Day.