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WNZR 90.9 FM, a broadcast ministry of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, received the first-ever Christian Music Broadcasters (CMB) University Station of the Year award on Friday, June 2, at the CMB Momentum 2023 conference in Orlando, Florida. 

WNZR was one of five college or university-affiliated radio stations nominated. Each was required to submit written summaries of their 2022-23 Kingdom impact and community service, 10 minutes of audio of on-air performance, 10 minutes of imaging and production, and a two-minute video summarizing the station’s use of digital media. Stations were evaluated by industry professionals based on a rubric assessing the submitted materials. 


MVNU Communication and Media majors Jonathan Langdon, a senior from Ashland, Ohio, and Allison Prouty, a senior from Warsaw, Ohio, led the process of WNZR’s award submission with Department of Communication Chair and Assistant Professor, Joe Rinehart, in March.  


“There were two things that really stuck out to me the most about WNZR,” said Judge Charles Van Dyke of Provident Label Group in Nashville, Tennessee. “First, community impact — seeing the way that these students and faculty advisers are leading them and getting out and being part of the community was very inspiring. It helps those students learn what to do when they get to a station outside the university environment. Second, they are active in digital and social media. Giving these students to a chance to just run with what they know and what they’ve grown up with, makes them great experts and gives them such a great training ground, so they can be a massive asset to a radio station once they graduate.” 


“WNZR — your audio was excellent,” said Judge Beth Bacall, afternoon host at Salem Media Group’s 104.7 The Fish in Atlanta, Georgia. “You had the same cohesive message throughout all of your sound. You’ve got a lot of voices and a lot of talent! It was good to hear how all of you were speaking one-on-one to the listener and you were all speaking to the same listener.” 


“Solid on-air sound,” said Judge Johnny Stone from 91.9 WGTS in Washington, D.C. “I love your face-to-face interaction with your community. Your Kingdom work — absolutely stunning and your digital platform, too. You guys knocked it out of the park — well deserved.” 


Langdon; Mike Basko, a senior from Forest, Virginia; and Mackenzie Holder, a 2023 graduate from Johnstown, Ohio; attended Momentum 23 and accepted the award when it was announced by CMB’s Brittany Champion, Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Education. 


“This is huge for me because it’s my second Momentum conference and I’ve made so many fantastic connections for my future,” said Langdon. “Thank you to everyone at CMB who supported our nomination. I’m so grateful for our listeners because their support allowed us to receive a scholarship to attend the conference. What an honor to join my friends Mackenzie and Mike in receiving this award and be very motivated for my senior year.” 


“Our Lifeline theme this year was ‘God is in This Story,’ and that message kept running through my mind as we accepted this award,” said Marcy Rinehart (’91), WNZR Station Manager. “I’m thankful for the many sacrifices from listeners over the years to keep our station strong. I’m especially thankful for their prayers, and for the hard work from each student who has come through the doors of WNZR over the past three decades. As a student and as a station manager, I’m grateful to be a part of the legacy of WNZR and this story.”  


“We are so full of gratitude and humbled to receive this honor,” said Joe Rinehart. “There is absolutely no way that any of this is possible without God, his blessing, and putting a dream in the hearts of faculty and students who got that FCC license approval and went on the air in 1986. I joined this team in 2005 and so I’m grateful. It’s all about partnership: Our university, our listeners, financial supporters and of course, our faculty, staff and student team, past and present.” 


WNZR 90.9 FM is celebrating 36 years as Knox County’s hometown Christian radio station. WNZR broadcasts contemporary Christian music, family-oriented programs, sports, news, and weather 24 hours a day. WNZR is in Founders Hall and is part of MVNU’s Department of Communication. The video summary submitted by WNZR for CMB can be seen at


To learn more about MVNU’s Communication and Media major, visit


Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both
in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.

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