NAZARETH, Pa. (WLVT) - Nazareth, Pennsylvania might not be as well known as Bethlehem or Allentown, but residents say there's a lot happening in their town — and some of them have started to spread the word.
"What's up, Lehigh Valley?"
Austin James welcomes listeners to "Times Live Radio," a weekly program on Sunny 1100 WGPA that airs Mondays at 10 a.m. He and co-host Erin Ferguson delve into a mix of local news and entertainment.
The show is an extension of "The Nazareth Times," a digital outlet started by James last year. A Nazareth resident for 14 years, he said there wasn't any source of community news.
"We have so much history and all these beautiful buildings and great community organizations and awesome people in this town, and no one's covering this stuff," he said.
The Times hires about 20 freelancers (reporters, photographers and others), capturing moments from football games, special events and more.
"We cover sports. We cover celebrities, entertainment events, food," James explained. "Food is a big component of our brand."
Reporters also tackle community issues like budget cuts to Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.
"They also cater to our veterans and do a lot for our veterans," Ferguson explained during the latest taping of the show, "so, that type of a funding decrease is a really big negative impact on all of our communities."
The Times launched its radio program last week from the Sunny 1100 studio in Bethlehem as a way to expand its audience and cover more than news.
"When you start getting into a radio show, it kind of opens you up to the events and being able to interview people, which is totally my niche," said Ferguson, who serves as creative director for The Nazareth Times and Times Live Radio.
Both co-hosts say the radio program gives Nazareth another voice to highlight what’s going on.
"I kind of consider us like the cheerleader for Nazareth and the Lehigh Valley," James said.
"It's a cultural destination, and that's really what we want to showcase throughout," Ferguson added.
They said they're hoping The Nazareth Times will keep growing, while keeping the community informed and entertained.
"We really need more laughter in this world," Ferguson said, "and if we can do that through our radio show, we're winning."
James said the Times will roll out a digital magazine in a few weeks, and the goal is to keep expanding the outlet in as many ways as possible.