Rockford community radio station gains audience

WTPB 99.3 FM, Rockford’s newest local radio station, is fast becoming popular in the city. The station broadcasts a format of easy listening music and some religious programming. The 24-hour operation requires a good radio to hear its low-power signal.

Among its programs is John Russell’s Musical Memories show, which features local musicians and big band tunes. “We have been receiving some good mail and phone calls about our show,” Russell says. He has recorded nearly 40 programs for the station. “I think that we have really found a programming niche that has been absent from the local radio dial for some time. People seem to like what we do.”

The show often includes familiar tunes by the Bill Engberg Orchestra, Dorothy Paige-Turner, Rockford accordionist Mike Alongi, and even an “oldie” by the late Homer Carlson. The show is currently running a two-hour special on all winter tunes as well as a program of love songs for Valentine’s Day.

WTPB 99.3 FM is owned by Third Presbyterian Church in Rockford. The station also includes sermons by the church’s pastor, Dr. Murray Hanson, and the syndicated Lutheran Hour. There are future plans for other local programming. For information about the station, listeners may call the church at (815) 962-7889.

From the March 7-13, 2007, issue

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