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“Fish FM” Won’t Fly With Salem

"Fish FM" Won't Fly With Salem

WFSJ(FM) doesn’t get to call itself “Fish FM” anymore.
The 100-watt station in Indiana, Pa., has changed its on-air identity after complaints from Salem Communications, which has a trademark on the phrase “The Fish.”
The fish symbol is associated with Jesus by many Christians.
According to the Indiana Gazette, the station, at 103.7 MHz and owned by Godstock Ministries, began airing contemporary Christian music in early 2003 and also promoted the Fish FM identity on its Web site, merchandise and marketing materials (its newsletter was called The Fish Wrapper).
Salem uses the name on 13 Christian stations and objected. The president of the station’s owner told the newspaper, “I can’t believe that the largest Christian broadcasting company in the nation has come after the smallest.”
Salem officials said they did want their trademark diluted.
“You’d look at his radio station and think it was one of the Salem radio stations that operate as The Fish,” the paper quoted Jonathan Block, a vice president and corporate counsel for Salem. “It was very misleading that way.”
The newspaper reported that, according to its annual report, Salem radio stations earned $156.2 million in 2002; the article compared that to WFSJ’s income from donations last year of $100,000.
“Fish FM” is now “The Switch.”