Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Eminem and now Father Dave? Beginning on Monday December 4, Paulist Father Dave Dwyer will join Sirius satellite radio’s growing roster of on-air talent when he launches “The Busted Halo Show” on the satellite radio network’s new Catholic Channel. Dwyer, who produced and directed television for MTV and Comedy Central before entering the priesthood, has been the Publisher of BustedHalo.com for over two years and co-founded the BustedHalo podcast with Managing Editor Mike Hayes one year ago today.
The process that led to the creation of the Sirius show began back in May, when the Archdiocese of New York officially announced plans for a 24-hour Catholic channel on Sirius. Fr. Dwyer contacted the archdiocese and offered the use of the podcast. “I figured they would need to find program content for all those hours they had to fill” he says. “Almost immediately, their response was, ‘That’s great, but we’d really rather you do a live call-in show.'”
After Dwyer and Hayes, whose own professional background is in producing talk radio, began developing a two-hour show to air on Sunday nights the plans suddenly changed again. Instead of a weekly program, they asked Dwyer to do five shows a week as host of the weekday afternoon drive time on the West Coast, which is expected to draw a large audience. The offer took Dwyer by surprise and forced him to consider the implications of that kind of a commitment. “Honestly, it was not an easy decision because it would mean shifting around some of our ministry priorities in our outreach to young adult Catholics” he says. Ultimately Dwyer and his superiors believed it was too good of an opportunity for both him and the Paulists to pass up. “When God plops something like this in your lap, you gotta make something of it” he says.
Given the Paulists long history of involvement in various fields of communication the move to satellite radio is a natural progression of sorts. “I feel proud to stand on the shoulders of Paulists of years past who were pioneers in Catholic book publishing, radio, film and television” says Dwyer. “I will be particularly seeking the heavenly support of Fr. James Cronin who founded the Paulist radio station in the 1920’s.” Dwyer’s interest in continuing his order’s legacy in communication was evidenced by his decision to resurrect Fr. Cronin’s original radio studio in the basement of the Paulist’s residence on West 59th Street for the BustedHalo podcast, which will continue under the direction of Mike Hayes.
4.5 Million Subscribers
The Catholic Channel, a joint venture between Sirius and the New York Archdiocese, will feature a talk-radio format with an open dialogue focused on Catholicism as it is lived in today’s world. “The Busted Halo Show” will air live every weekday between 7-9 pm EST (4:00 – 6:00 p.m. pacific) on Sirius channel 159. Regular and previously unavailable content from The Vatican will also be a part of the channel, including programming from Vatican Radio. Sirius, for their part, is optimistic about adding to their subscriber base of 4.5 million the potential of the 60 million Catholics in the U.S.
Fr. Dwyer is confident the new show will build on the great success BustedHalo.com has found on the internet in terms of being able to reach an audience that the Church often misses. “Now these young adult spiritual seekers will be able to call and interact with us live on the air while they’re driving home from work” says Dwyer. “I really believe that if St. Paul were alive today, trying to get the message of the Gospel out, he’d have a website, a blog, a podcast, and a channel on satellite radio.”