Star 88.3, Huntington University form alliance

FOR RELEASE
2009-06-05
Huntington, Ind.—
Award-winning Christian radio station Star 88.3 WLAB-FM and Huntington University have formed a strategic alliance.

Melissa Montana will interview Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University, at 12:20 p.m. today on Star 88.3’s “Conversations.” Dowden and Montana will outline the details of the alliance on that program.

The university will extend financial support to the newly-established Star Educational Media Network in the form of a loan, a cash investment structured as a loan, and a possible bank loan guarantee. In return, the university will receive a significant stake in the new non-profit enterprise, several positions on its board of directors, on-air and off-air promotion, and expanded educational opportunities for students.

Star Educational Media Network, a non-profit organization, was formed by the management of Star 88.3 to purchase the radio station from the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (IN-LCMS). In April, IN-LCMS announced that Star 88.3 was for sale. On May 15, IN-LCMS accepted the bid from Star Educational Media Network.

“We are very excited about our new strategic alliance with Star 88.3,” Dowden said. “God’s providence was very evident throughout this process. While there are many details to be worked out, I firmly believe that God has guided and directed throughout this process and will continue to do so.”

Dowden added that benefits for Huntington University include the following:

Key synergies will be created between HU’s broadcasting program and the radio ministry of Star 88.3, creating
experiential learning opportunities for HU student interns.

Star 88.3 is involved in many kinds of community outreach. This new relationship will provide numerous opportunities for collaborative volunteer service in the greater Fort Wayne area.

HU’s campus radio station (The FUSE 105.5 FM) will benefit from the
Christian broadcasting expertise of Star 88.3 staff and national consultants.

Star 88.3 receives many benefits from record labels and recording artists nationwide. These relationships will create opportunities for on-campus and
off-campus performances.

Star 88.3 WLAB-FM is a Christian media powerhouse with an audience of nearly 70,000 weekly listeners. The station was honored as the Gospel Music Association’s 2009 Radio Station of the Year at the Dove Awards ceremony this spring. Its general manager, Melissa Montana, also received the Rob Gregory Award for community impact and is a top-rated local radio personality in the Fort Wayne market. Star 88.3 is well-known throughout northeast Indiana for its family-friendly, “uplifting and encouraging” contemporary Christian music format.

“The staff of Star Educational Media Network feels very blessed to be working in partnership with Huntington University,” said Montana, president of Star Educational Media Network. “We believe the relationship to be nothing short of God’s direct hand guiding the two organizations to accomplish a greater mission by way of a combined vision and resources. The alliance with Huntington University will benefit our organization in a multitude of ways beyond the financial support. We could imagine no better organization to be allied with.”

Montana outlined specific opportunities for Huntington’s University support to include

Solid board vision and representation by key HU representatives

Opportunity to mentor students and recruit future employees

Providing a quality venue and support for outreach opportunities to include concerts

Aligning Star 88.3 with the name, values and credibility of such an effective Christian institution as HU

Growing Star 88.3’s outreach and listening audience in our community and beyond.
 
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. In 2008, Forbes.com listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” 2009 list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
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Heather Barkley
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Joanne Green
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