Broadcasting broadens on the Big Island
The Big Island may get a 50,000-watt AM radio station within the next three years.
A unit of Louisiana-based Jimmy Swaggart Ministries has applied with the Federal Communications Commission to build a station at 1010 AM that would be licensed to Honokaa, on the Hamakua coast.
The FCC lists the application by Family Worship Center Church Inc.
as accepted for filing, meaning its paperwork is in proper order for consideration.
The ministry has a network of some 80 radio stations and repeaters in 21 states, and this would be its initial entry into Hawaii.
The proposed station already has long-standing Hawaii ties, according to one executive.
David Whitelaw "lived in Hawaii for 25 years," he told TheBuzz.
"As a matter of fact, I'm on my way to be out there ... for the whole month of December," the time-share owner said.
He oversees and builds radio stations for the ministry and had been in charge of the construction of the old KFSH-FM 97.1 in Hilo for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1983. He was community relations director for BGEA until 1987.
The general manager of Swaggart's Family Worship Center is John Santiago, "born and raised in Pearl City, a local boy," Whitelaw said.
Santiago is related to members of the Makaha Sons, Whitelaw said -- and perhaps to lend to his street cred, added that Santiago once won a breakdancing contest in the 1980s.
The station's format will be a blend of Hawaiian music and ministry, Whitelaw said.
Before Whitelaw joined the Jimmy Swaggart organization in the mid- 1990s, he was the community relations director for KWHE-TV in Honolulu, owned by LeSea Broadcasting.
He has continued relationships with LeSEA officials and said, "we'll be able to do some promotions on TV for the station with them," building on the working relationship between the LeSEA and Swaggart ministries.
Speaking of K-fish
The call letters for K-FISH were changed in 1995 to KNWB, to represent new ownership by Hilo-based New West Broadcasting Corp.
Called "B97," its more than 10-years-running "next-gen classic rock" format is now being simulcast in Kona on KMWB-FM 93.1, in Kona, said Chris Leonard, vice president and general manager.
The simulcast is a deal with Louisiana-based Capt. Cook Broadcasting Inc., which purchased and built the Kona station after a previous FCC auction of FM station construction permits.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com