Arkansas Baptist College Hosts Radiothon in Support of Scholarships

Organizers have set a goal of raising $100,000 in 12 hours.

Arkansas Baptist College’s Buffalo Radio has only been broadcasting for about two months, but general manager David Coleman is already setting big goals. In the short term, Buffalo Radio is hosting a radiothon tomorrow in hopes of raising $100,000, the majority of which will be used to support scholarships for students.

In the long run, Coleman hopes ABC develops a program where students can earn a degree that can help them obtain a job in the radio industry. 

“There are so many avenues that you can pursue a career in radio and my goal is to make sure when they walk out of this door with that degree that they will be well-versed in not just announcing, but the entire gamut of what radio is all about,” Coleman says. 

Coleman got his start in radio in 1987 at station in Memphis, Tenn., and his career included a 15-year stint in the Nashville, Tenn., market where he hosted a sports talk show. He brings his expertise in talk radio to his role as general manager and program director of Buffalo Radio. Eventually, the internet radio station will be student-led and Coleman will take on more of an advisory role. 

Buffalo Radio is the brainchild of ABC choir director Henry Parker who Coleman says approached another radio affiliate about creating something for Arkansas Baptist College. Buffalo Radio is now an affiliate of Thornton Broadcasting, Communications and Media Group.

Programming on the station consists of R&B, jazz, gospel and local shows focused on student affairs and college affairs. Coleman hosts Arkansas Baptist College Today, which focuses on discussions about what’s happening on the college campus from an administrative standpoint. He is also considering starting a sports show.

Additional programs include ABC Alumni Power Hour and Keeping It 100 with D.O.R.I., the latter of which Coleman calls “one of our most powerful” programs. 

“D.O.R.I. is an acronym for the Derek Olivier Research Institute where they are trying to come up with solutions to quell some of the gun violence that is taking place in our communities,” he says. 

Coleman is waiting to publish a programming schedule until all of the programs are solidified, but for now, listeners can click a link ABC’s homepage to access the station, which is being broadcast over the internet instead of a traditional FM or AM signal.

“This is where this business is going. The overhead for something like this is so much cheaper than it is to have a regular radio station,” he said.

Those costs can be passed on to consumers by offering lower advertising rates. Coleman says they’re working on an advertising package, which should be available in June. For now, people can support the station by tuning in and engaging with local programs.

A Day of Giving Radiothon is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 21. The event will include light refreshments and pop-up shops, and vendor booths may still available. Donors can make a pledge by calling 501-420-1370 or by texting BUFFALO to 501-300-7083. You can also drop your donation off at the station or donate online

More information is available on Buffalo Radio’s Facebook page.


Antoinette Grajeda
Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is an Arkansas-based journalist. She has covered race, culture, politics, health, education and the arts for NPR affiliates as well as print and digital publications since 2007.