A Fort Wayne-based online radio station empowering people with disabilities is growing in 2021

When we wrote our last article for Input Fort Wayne in June 2020, we talked about how we started an online radio station based in Fort Wayne that is by and for people with autism around the world. It's called Radio for a Cause, and six months later, our station has grown in many new and exciting ways.

Here are a few updates from our team.

Radio Training Program

Last summer, we spoke about our Under Age Radio Training Program, which helps people under the age of 18 learn how to become radio DJs. Since then, we met a family based in Parkland, Fla., whose son has had some communication issues, so the mother, Lisa Kramer, encouraged her son, Robert Kramer, to participate in our program. Robert Kramer is the first graduate of Radio for a Cause's training program.

Last summer, our online training program had about 10 participants off and on, but Robert was the only graduate in December 2020, and he is now playing a larger role with our team.

After hosting our online training program, we were given the opportunity to teach the curriculum to students in the Jesters program at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne last summer, and it went well. We look forward to hopefully working with them again in the mid-summer of 2021.

Station shakeup

We took a break from teaching in the fall of 2020, and we decided to hop on new projects to develop the station. Listeners were loving the Spectrum 23.9 format change, which began in the winter of 2020, with a mix of country from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and oldies from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Kayden was promoted to the Morning Show Host spot, beginning the day with “The Kayden Gordon Show,” followed by mid-days with DJ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then Kayden finishes out the broadcast day from 2 p.m.-7p.m. “Country Afternoons,” as it was soon called, became a huge hit to the Spectrum audience and saw an increase in traffic to double digit listeners on average.

The best programming in the ratings we have right now is when every DJ who works with Spectrum 23.9 comes together and does a live show together called “Sunday Remix” on Sundays at 1 p.m. The show features our Sports Director, Jacob Bradmuller, and our Radio Training Program graduate, Robert Kramer, who tells some jokes (comedy is definitely needed right now when the world is hurting). Robert’s famous final phrase on the show is “Remember friends, we’re in this world together. So please be kind to one another.”

The Sunday Remix crew for Spectrum 23.9.

A new mental health show

We recently started our own mental health talk show hosted by Robert’s mother, Lisa, who joined us on the Training Program with her son. Lisa is certified with Florida’s Department of Education as a School Social Worker and as a Special Education Teacher. She has also spoken to large religious and social groups about her experiences as a social worker, teacher, and parent.

So far, we have had two special guests on her talk show. One was Marissa, a licensed Life Coach who created Feel This Happy and lives in Albany, New York. She shared with everyone what a life coach is and how she has been helping people during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also featured Diana Romeo, a children’s author who wrote From an Autism Mom with Love, which can be purchased on Amazon. Diana has a son with autism, and she shares about her family's experience on the show.

Some exciting national interviews on the horizon Kayden Gordon

Kayden took some time to reach out to all different kinds of artists and podcasters for interviews for his morning show. He has gotten people from all over the U.S. wanting to be featured. For example, Michael Stover, owner of MTS Management Group who is based in Penn., has been a huge help booking some country artists, including Jeremy Parsons and Richard Lynch, Jennifer Saxell from Canada, Randy C. Moore, and so many more! Kayden even secured interviews with a few Nickelodeon stars, including actress Havan Flores who plays Chapa/Volt from Nickelodeon’s Danger Force TV show, and The Rees Family, a band of eight siblings that was in the top 5 of Nickelodeon’s America’s Most Musical Family contest. He's also interviewing Roselynn Tennent, who is a YouTube vlogger for Family at Heart, and we hope to have Jessica Skube from Jessfam and Tracy on Family 5 Vlogs join us, as well as big country artists, like Luke Bryan or Lady A.

Radio for a Cause has also reached out to some pop stars, such as David Archuleta. We are always looking for new people to interview, and we’ve been emailing people, and they appreciate our interest. They all have been so supportive of our mission.

Sponsorship support

Along with interviews, another huge blessing has been donations from Omnisource Corporation based in Fort Wayne, Lady TLC Travel Agency, Shoemaker Custom Clothing in Fort Wayne, Simone Accessories and Apparel, and Sweetwater. They all partnered up and decided to donate money to our cause that went toward commercials for us on WANE-TV in Fort Wayne and WEVV in Evansville. Our commercials will also run throughout New England and Boston.

Looking to the future John Graham

That said, the future is looking very upbeat. Radio for a Cause will be developing two new radio stations in 2021. First will be the Kayden Gordon Radio Network station, which will play mostly Kayden’s syndicated morning shows 24/7 and a few other syndicated shows. It is slated to launch sometime in February.

We are also preparing to launch in May a larger budget station programmed much like Spectrum 23.9, but it will be a commercial online radio station called River Country 47.5. This station will play country music 24/7, and starting in the summer, we are looking to launch a live morning show called “The Kayden Gordon & John Graham Show," and then have our current midday host DJ on Spectrum 23.9 merge over to River Country 47.5 and Kayden Gordon in the afternoons. On weekends, we're looking to add Kayden’s syndicated country show and maybe a few new DJ’s who will start out on the weekends, too.

Contact us for more information

For inquiries about interviewing, listening, or Kayden’s show, “The Kayden Gordon Show,” or any questions you may have, visit thekaydengordonshow.com, and you can contact him at [email protected] or call 978-958-0551.

To request a song, call 978-652-9166.

To reach out about our mental health talk show or to listen online, visit thespectrum239.com/listen or email [email protected].
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