by Cesca Janece Waterfield
In one brick building in the Fan, something big is happening. This neighborhood is made up mostly of galleries, restaurants and schools. But the glassed-in front at 1719 W. Main Street houses a gleaming broadcasting console for Love Broadcasting Studios. Owner and Executive Producer DeWayne Loving says, “Since we’ve been broadcasting, we’ve been picked up in 37 states and ten countries.”
Love Broadcasting is an Internet radio station with eclectic programming and local hosts. In November, they added a second studio upstairs; Heaven’s Gateway, focusing on gospel, Christian, and inspirational programming, managed by Ed Stephens Jr. They just launched a television station and the future looks promising. It’s been a swift rise for a company that a few years ago was just an idea of DeWayne’s.
He had spent years as an Operations Manager for a radio station. A graduate of the Broadcasting Academy of Richmond, he had 25 years experience in the industry. Even his hobbies involved radio.
So for fun, he began hosting a weekly hour long radio talk show. Its success made him consider whether his hobby might be a career step. A look at his audience revealed that most of them found him via the Internet as opposed to the airwaves. Not long after, he met Clyde Farris at another station. They discovered a mutual passion for broadcasting. Months later, after more research, DeWayne quit his job to pursue Internet broadcasting full time.
“Since then, the show has grown by leaps and bounds,” DeWayne says. “In the spring of 2008, I decided it was time for us to get our own studio.”
Love Broadcasting Studios launched last June. Clyde was the first Program Host with his show, “Things I Have to Talk About,” which airs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 pm. DeWayne credits luck and God for the company’s strong start. While satellite radio shows declining subscriptions and traditional radio faces continuing challenges, Internet radio appears to be growing.
Today, Love Broadcasting features around 25 regular broadcasts, including on one day we photographed, “What’s On Your Mind,” which highlights local community organizations, hosted by husband and wife team, Paul and Kim Jones on Fridays at noon. Also airing on Fridays is “The Talking Book Show,” hosted by Linda Pate on Fridays at 7 pm.
Here’s how it works: Clients pay Love Broadcasting for airtime, and in return, get a professionally-produced commercial and a banner on the site where listeners tune in. It’s priced to be accessible to small business owners.
“We look for quality programming,” DeWayne says. “We are a network of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Everybody helps promote their individual shows, which in turn helps promote the entire network.”
An in-house business development office organizes workshops in marketing and promotions. A recent open house filled the second floor.
“That individual who has never been in broadcasting but who just wants to try it, or who wants to publicize their business, this is where you need to come,” DeWayne says. “We give you Richmond and the rest of the world.”
He invites people to call or drop in for a tour. “We take a whole lot of pride in our facility. It’s state of the art equipment and a one-of-a-kind studio.”
It’s easy to be intimidated by the sleek technology. DeWayne insists, “Everything here is hands-on. If you’re interested in a show, you’re going to work the board. This is your bus; you’re going to drive it. It’s a great learning experience. I take what I’ve accomplished with my talk show, and I train people how to do it.”
To illustrate the human connections created by this kind of programming, DeWayne talks about their commercial-free music segment: “We play classic soul, R&B, rock, pop, and a touch of country, all on one segment. It’s a beautiful mix,” he says. “We’re connecting people, connecting cultures. I just want to reach people.”
“All of this is a blessing,” DeWayne says. “I truly mean that. It was a vision that I had and God saw fit to see what I could do with it.”