NORMAN — A few weeks ago, the Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting Network’s dream of providing faith-based radio programming continued to grow.
Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting Network recently purchased KKNG, FM 97.3.
“This FM signal, once known as “King Country” is strong and clear here in Norman, and can now be referred to as ‘Christ the King,’” said OCBN co-founder Deacon Larry Sousa, of Norman.
Previous to the acquisition of KKNG, OCBN was broadcast in eastern Oklahoma on KOEG in Lawton, FM 88.3; KIOP in Prague, FM 88.3; KIOP in Bristow, FM 105.7; KIOP in Tulsa, FM 94.9; and KMAC in Antlers, FM 90.3.
Sousa, who hosts “Good News Sunday,” a preview of the upcoming weekend’s Sunday scriptures with Fred Pope at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday on all OCBN stations, is pleased with the expansion.
“Jeff Finnell and I established Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting as a nonprofit in 2006 with the blessing of Archbishop Eusebius Beltran and a few dollars in meager donations,” Sousa said. “Even though it’s only been a little more than six years, we feel that we are still in the beginning stages of development.
“Most of our programming now comes from EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network), which is worldwide.
“Because of our newly expanded broadcast hours and broadcast flexibility, we are now able to begin planning more locally produced programs. As far as expanding to new stations, our intent is to continue to look for opportunities in both western and eastern Oklahoma. Our goal is to cover the entire state of Oklahoma within the next five years.”
Sousa added that establishing broadcasting in the Oklahoma City metro area was the right thing to do.
“We had very little media presence here at the time. But, I must say that I have been quite surprised as to how much support we have received from listeners eager to learn more about the Catholic church and to see this ministry expand,” Sousa said. “I shouldn’t be, but I am tremendously surprised at how faithful and great God’s blessings have been.
“I am a person of faith, yet I am always happily surprised when God places his ‘stamp of approval’ on this effort by opening new doors and bringing forth financial support in order for us to expand.”
Currently, six locally produced programs broadcast on the network: Casting Nets (1 p.m. Monday); Living Catholic (3:30 p.m. Monday); The Divine Mercy Chaplet (3 p.m. daily); Around the Archdiocese (3:25 p.m. daily); Good News Sunday; and The Sunday Mass from St. Marks in Norman (11 a.m. Sunday).
“Plans are now going forward for music and interview type programs,” Sousa said. “Now that we have moved to 97.3 FM, more and more people are responding with very positive comments. I think that more people are able to listen now, given our stronger signal and 24/7 broadcasting.”