Fortress Radio Pushes Forward Despite Pandemic Challenges and Discovers a Way to Diversify

The challenges that the unexpected pandemic brought upon the world and the business industry is no joking matter. The whole world witnessed as businesses were brought to their knees and were forced to close down either temporarily or permanently. Those who took heart and were brave enough to give their business another shot knew the risks involved but pressed on if only to survive. WMFR Fortress Radio founder Christina “Lady Rose” Palmer knew she did not want to give up on her station easily without a fight. So she pulled great minds together to come up with an awe-inspiring idea—diversifying into a rock and roll themed physical boutique store at the height of the pandemic. 

Palmer wanted to be able to offer their loyal followers and music fans something to look forward to despite the dreary condition of the times. Together with her son Christopher, she reinvested money into creating the physical store and kept her hopes up that Fortress Radio will once again see its glory days despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Things looked pretty exciting when Palmer finally opened the boutique last 2020 and did not expect a shocking turn of events immediately the day after. Unfortunately, a car running 130 mph slammed into their building, forcing the store and radio station to close down again for another six months. 

The mishap would have understandably discouraged any entrepreneur to just drop the project. Some would have even taken it as a sign to finally put the businesses to rest. Palmer, being the driven and go-getter individual that she is, started rethinking another way to maximize her current dilemma. Instead of giving in to what seemed to be a failed relaunch of Fortress Radio, Palmer came up with a brilliant idea to live up to what its name stands for. Without hesitation, she once again started rebuilding and developed a castle within the building—a fortress that clients can visit excitedly.

Fortress Radio, originally called Metal Fortress, was founded in 2004, and it aired over WHUS 91.7 FM with Palmer, also known as Lady Rose on air, and Thomas “The Beast” Blardo being two of its most sought after on-air hosts. Blardo is a seasoned musician of 30 years and has a fanbase unlike any other. The on-air tandem eventually blossomed into a real-life romance, and Rose and the Beast became an unstoppable partnership that would take the business to the next level. 

Over the next few years, the radio company went through several reformatting and evolved from Metal Fortress to WMFR Fortress Radio without losing its genuine character—a radio station that became a haven for rock and metal music. Since 2014, Palmer and her husband have been faced with the challenge of finding a bigger space where they can operate comfortably. If anything, business growth was something that constantly followed them. 

With Fortress Clothing and More LLC complementing Fortress Radio perfectly, Rose and the Beast are looking forward to creating new ventures in the future that will continue to promote rock and metal music genres while giving music fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The pandemic may have caused uncertainty and fear among people, but one thing is for sure, Palmer and her husband will continue to brave the storms. 

Find out more about Metal Fortress by visiting its website. Follow its Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on its latest projects. 

Glenda Drewery
Glenda Drewery is a Media Publisher Lead at Music Observer. She works with publishers, broadcasters, news outlets, sports and music organizations, education, and lifestyle brands (among others) to create a healthy ecosystem of diverse content. She ensures clients from the entertainment industry are positioned for success.

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