POMEROY — For more than 20 years, WJOS has served as a local, Christian television station in Meigs County.
WJOS television in Pomeroy went on the air in April 1997 with owner/operators William “Pete” and Brenda Barnhart. Since Pete’s passing in December 2017, Brenda has kept the station on the air.
More than three years later, Brenda is preparing to sell the channel to someone who will continue it as a Christian station. She did not want to disclose the name of the buyer as the sale is not finalized.
“It was his (Pete’s) dream,” said Brenda of her husband bringing the local Christian television station to the area, adding that he also knew it was something that she would not be able to carry on after his passing.
“He wanted something local for the community,” said Brenda. She explained that they aired programming from local churches, Pete’s own local newscast “Heartbeat of the Valley”, event coverage, and local high school sports on the station, with the focus on local and family programming.
“He wanted to share the gospel and wanted to get the word out,” said Brenda. “That’s what we did and we put our money and heart into it.”
She explained that the sale will be finalized in a few months to a person from Texas who the Barnharts have known for some time. The buyer is someone who has previously had programming on the station.
“It won’t be local programming, but will be a Christian station. He (the buyer) has stations which reach all around the world and WJOS will be part of that,” said Barnhart.
She added that the equipment and broadcast signal, to comply with regulations, cannot move more than 11 miles from where it currently is on Rock Street in Pomeroy. It is not yet known where the buyer will move the equipment.
“I am grateful for the community support over the years. It has been a privilege to be doing this in our community,” said Brenda.
She also expressed her appreciation to those who have provided programming for the station over the years, including Ripley Baptist Tabernacle Church, who has been on air for at least 18 years on the station, and many others.
Brenda added that although she is selling the station she will still be active in the community, including as a pastor and with the preschools she operates.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.