New station to offer training for disabled
By: Robert Feder, Sun-Times Columnist

The first radio station in the country operated entirely as a training facility for the disabled soon will sign on in Chicago.

A Chicago-based investment group announced plans Monday to buy west suburban WAUR-AM (930) for $4.4 million from Catholic Radio Network for conversion to a sports/talk outlet operated by the Radio Center for People with Disabilities.

Brad Saul, a 26-year broadcast veteran and executive director of the nonprofit center, said the plan was an outgrowth of his own battle with multiple sclerosis.

"My hope is that I can help people learn a career where they can contribute, get off welfare and become productive, tax-paying citizens," he said. "We're the only minority group anyone can join at any time in a split second."

Pending approval of the sale by the Federal Communications Commission, the center plans to take over the station early next year with a lineup of syndicated and locally produced programs on disability-related issues as well as some Notre Dame basketball and Schaumburg Flyers baseball games.

In a time-brokered arrangement with the new owners of WAUR, Catholic Radio Network will continue to air its Catholic Family Radio programming during afternoons through March and during evenings through the end of 2000. Catholic Family Radio also airs on WYPA-AM (820).

Robert Feder's column appears Tuesday through Friday.

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