About (Updated Draft)
We get it.
It can be hard to find the hope in the world. Sometimes we need to laugh during the hard times, to celebrate what’s good, and ultimately, be reminded of truth as we go about our everyday lives.
If you’ve ever needed hope, you’ve come to the right place. WAY-FM will point it out to you!
We hope that one song will come at just the right moment and change the outlook of your day. We hope you feel us celebrating your victories and blessings with you. We hope the laughter you hear on the air and read online will will meet you at just the right place. And we hope that, in the end, you’ll join us in passing on that hope to the next person as we learn to live out our faith everyday.
Thanks for visiting us today. We’d love to have you as part of the family.
Influencing this generation to love and follow Jesus through culturally relevant media.
Our Seven Core Values
We believe prayer is essential to the wisdom we need and the decisions we make.
We strive to live out our faith by being real and transparent and by living with integrity in everything we do.
We are passionate about excellence and welcome vigorous discussion and exchange of ideas united around the common goal of impacting more lives.
We mobilize believers and partner with churches and ministries to demonstrate Jesus’ love in tangible ways, living out our faith to make a difference in the communities we serve.
“We look to God’s Word to guide us in all areas of our personal and professional lives.”
We are committed to ongoing audience research, believing that it’s not about us and our preferences, but about reaching as many people as possible.
“We are committed to working together with humility, mutual respect flexibility and cooperation”.
A Letter From Our Founder
WAY-FM recently celebrated our 25th year. I was just in my early 30’s when this dream of starting a radio station to minister to youth and young adults started to take root first in my wife’s heart and soon to follow in mine.
I was the morning DJ at a Christian station in my hometown (Ft. Myers, Florida) but the station was more focused on seniors. After God continued to burden us with this idea to venture out by faith and begin a new kind of Christian radio station, we stepped out of our comfort zone and began the long process of applying with the government for a new FM radio station. God answered those prayers and on October 9, 1987 WAY-FM was born in Fort Myers.
WAY-FM was only one of 3 or 4 Top 40 Christian music stations in the U.S at the time. We had very few funds. In fact there was only 2 weeks of reserves in the WAY-FM account to keep the station on the air. But our excitement and vision for this new ministry was so strong, we didn’t stop to think about how we would pay the bills in the weeks and months to follow. Here we are 28 years later. Obviously God came through
Over the years the faithful gifts from listeners who also cared deeply about reaching people for Christ has allowed WAY-FM to expand into numerous cities throughout the country. WAY also has a growing following abroad as more and more people find us on the web and through online platforms like iHeart Radio. It would not be possible without the generous gifts from individuals as well as businesses who believe in our mission.
Bob Augsburg President / Founder
by Amy Bartlett
In the early 1980’s Christian music radio networks as they exist today were yet to be created. Contemporary Christian music itself was barely a trickle compared to its cultural presence in 2007. But the 1980’s would prove to be a pioneering decade for the Christian pop and rock airwaves. One of those waves started on the shores of Southwest Florida and in the twenty years that followed, crossed the country and changed the way Christian radio was done.
Bob and his wife Felice had moved back to Fort Myers, Florida mainly to raise their children near family. Bob took on the position of Program Director at WSOR in Fort Myers. WSOR catered mostly to the senior citizen community which was the majority of the population. On-air, Bob handled the morning show, targeted at a 45+ audience but he sensed something was missing. Something was missing, but not just at that station — it was missing culturally, nationwide. So Bob approached his superiors with the idea of committing at least a segment of air time to the area’s college and high school community. There was concern about confusing or losing a handful of their target listeners, but still there was clearly a need that wasn’t being met and the station stepped up to bat. At the time, Bob recounts, “there was perhaps one album coming out every six months,” which would make programming a weekly segment hard enough. New music to program a station’s daily playlist was out of the question.
Bob’s proposal was approved. They called the program “Lifeline.” It was to be a 5 hour stretch of Christian pop and rock on Saturday nights hosted by Jeff Taylor and its impact was immediately detectable. A group of local youth pastors, inspired by the “buzz” they were hearing from youth and their families started putting on local concerts. Bob and Felice attended one of these events and watched as 150 or so teenagers went forward to accept Christ. It was a powerful image of the impact this one small programming step was making on real lives, but it stirred deeper questions.
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