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The KWBX Story

The KWBX Story




Key radio staff members meet at after Chapel on KWBX's special kickoff day in 2002, ( R.): Tina Haws, Communications Office Production Assistant; Steve Hunt, Vice President for Marketing; Mike Shaeffer, Air1 morning announcer; Mike Allegre, KWBX Station Manager; Dr. Reno Hoff, President, Corban University.

After five years of planning, applying, praying and waiting, Corban University implemented its campus radio station. On April 1, 2002, the new station, KWBX (90.3 FM), began broadcasting and retransmitting Air1, a Christian Hit Radio network 24/7. The planning began years before.

When Mike Allegre was hired as a part of the Communications Office team in May 1997 he brought a vision for a campus station. Though running a radio station was not in his job description, Mike wanted to see it happen. As time passed, he promoted the idea and kept people on campus thinking about the possibility of having some kind of radio outreach for Corban.

Following a technical search for an available FM frequency in 1998 by radio engineer Michael Brown, it was determined that 90.3 FM was available for low-power (135 watts), educational, non-commercial use. Mike then pursued the approval of Corban's leadership group by developing interest, preparing a proposal and meeting with Corban personnel. The next step was to submit a formal application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the frequency. With no funds budgeted for the project, Mike raised $2,500 in private donations for legal expenses and hired an FCC attorney, Matt McCormick, to secure the license.

After three years of legal work, it became clear that the project might be too big to undertake as a college. Start-up costs and personnel requirements was a concern, and FCC legal delays were ongoing. After prayer and a discussion with a radio peer, Mike learned that Air1 Radio was interested in obtaining a frequency in the mid-Willamette valley to help complete their West Coast network of stations. The negotiations continued from January to July 2001.

Left: KWBX mini-tower and antennae being placed on the Academic Center roof. Right: Air1's Tim Bronleewe and a tech specialist install the satellite dish and antennae in March 2002.

In January 2002, the FCC approved the lease agreement between Air1 and Corban. Air1 co-founder, and the project's liaison, Tim Bronleewe and two broadcast technicians set-up the broadcast and satellite equipment on campus in mid-March.

Improved technology allows KWBX to insert local on-air breaks to promote community events with Whassup. These messages can be heard at about 20 minutes and 50 minutes past each hour Monday through Saturday.

Air1's "Christian Hit Music" format is aimed primarily at adults and students under age 40. KWBX is the first college station to both broadcast in the mid-Willamette Valley and to partner with Air1. The network broadcasts on approximately 200 stations in 40 states and on the Internet.

Located in southeast Salem, Corban is a four-year comprehensive Christian universitywhose purpose is to educate Christian students who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.