Internet-based radio station brings music, messages to local African American community

Owner Ronald Gordon self-financed entire broadcasting operation

SAN ANTONIO – It’s not your traditional radio station. You won’t find the San Antonio-based WSAN on any dial on your radio.

Instead, it is strictly available online and through an app, accessible by any computer or cellphone.

The station, owned by San Antonio resident Ronald Gordon, also is housed in a non-traditional setting.

What used to be a church and is now the Williams Historical National Museum also serves as headquarters for WSAN radio. The building is located on Montana Street on the city's East side. (KSAT 12 News)

It currently is housed inside the Williams Historical National Museum, a former church on Montana Street on the city’s East Side.

“For me, being in here is history, inside a Black museum that’s dedicated to San Antonio,” Gordon said one day recently, marveling at his surroundings.

Like many of the people in photos that hang on the museum’s walls-- everyone from Civil Rights leaders to city councilmembers and actors to athletes -- Gordon dared to blaze his own trail.

In a field dominated by media conglomerates, he used a computer, mixer board and microphone to create the startup 10 years ago.

Radio, he said, was a natural fit, given his upbringing in Illinois decades ago.

“My dad would play music all the time and we called it ‘clean up music,’” Gordon said. “That was Motown. When you heard that Motown sound, you had to get up. And we cleaned up.”

Gordon shares his passion with the public seven days a week.

But the station is more than just a musical outlet. It also offers motivation and messages directed at the African American community.

Gordon said he often interviews local movers and shakers, business owners, and politicians.

However, there have been times when he also calls on everyday people to share their stories.

Talking didn’t always come easy for Gordon. He said he struggled with a stuttering problem as a child.

“I mean, I was ashamed to talk. I got beat up. I was bullied. I was all that,” he said, chuckling.

Gordon discovered magic when he turned on a microphone, though, and his stuttering disappeared.

He eventually began working as a DJ at parties in his spare time. He also has worked several stints on regular radio stations throughout Texas.

His station, he says, initially was a hobby that he did in his off time while overseeing a string of laundromats locally and in Corpus Christi.

Now retired, Gordon is able to invest his attention to it full-time.

One of several awards the station received is on display. (KSAT 12 News)

Gordon also has invested his own money. The station has been completely self-financed, although he said he plans to seek advertisers in the near future.

He also has begun giving others a chance to take part in the production.

Sharon Bell-Moses volunteers her time, hosting an entertainment segment on the station for the past two years.

“We have a bunch of fun,” she said. “(Gordon) is a big brother. I respect Ron very much. He’s putting a lot into the community.”

The radio station’s community has grown considerably, up from about 50 listeners initially to nearly 40,000 now, Gordon said.

“I feel blessed that I can wake up in the morning and do something that I like doing,” Gordon said.

To listen to WSAN, you can download the app, or visit the website by clicking here.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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