Christian Media

Paul Crouch Jr. from TBN – The Last Word…

Do we need to “fix” Christian TV?
I promise that this will be my last diatribe on the subject, but obviously it “hit a nerve” so to speak!

What kind of “fruit” do we expect out of any individual or ministry? (Souls, healing, encouragement, good works, love, understanding, a helping hand, money? ) Obviously, all of those and more! Christian TV is bearing “fruit” and many are working to figure out ways to make it better, cooler and more culturally relevant.
It seemed to me that several of your readers took the scriptures literal…and felt we should be harvesting apples, bananas and pears! (Kidding…) 🙂

No television network will ever be “all thing to all people.” And TBN must continually work within the financial limitations that are provided by our donors. One question I would ask, “Is how many of those who don’t like Christian TV in its current state, have given or donated to make it better?” (And I’m not just talking about us, but any TV network.) Most would bristle and say, “Well, give me something decent to watch and I might!” Again, we get back into the “Chicken and Egg” scenario.

Fortunately, TBN is on one of the strongest financial foundations imaginable. We own 34 TV stations and all of the related studios, transmitters, offices and assets completely debt free! We owe no one a penny other than the day-to-day expenses of utilities, satellite leases and payroll. It seemed to me like several of your respondents were wanting the PAX network back, but despite some good family and faith based programs, (Touched by an Angel, Doc, Chicken Soup for the Soul, etc.) they could not survive in this market and are slowly fading away. What does that say? Is a commercial model the answer?

Many people are trying to make a difference, and I applaud every one of them. (Even Phil….sometimes.) But would I create a blog asking, “How Do We Fix The History Channel”, just because I don’t like all of the shows they do about Hitler? If I don’t like it, I click the remote…end of story.

Because we all hold our “Faith” close to our hearts, individuals tend to react with such strong emotion when talking about any form of Christian media. I would encourage everyone to simply calm down, take a breath, and pray! Christian TV is getting better and evolving. I really feel we are on the verge of a media explosion. If you don’t like what you see, then help make it better! The tools for production and distribution are now within everyone’s reach! Get a DVcam, a Final Cut Pro editing system and post it on the internet or make your show a Podcast! There is no excuse anymore to not be in the game. You may reach someone who would never turn on TBN, but remember….we may touch someone you couldn’t either. Thankfully we know of at least 30,000,000 who did respond, and for that I am grateful.

—————————————————–
Paul Crouch, Jr.
VP of Administration
Trinity Broadcasting Network

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17 Comments

  1. From Paul:

    Does Christian TV bear fruit?  I literally got this e-mailed to me today.  This is just one of thousands we receive every month…is the sacrifice worth it?  You decide…..

    Dear TBN,

    I was a very strong atheist for the first 24 years of my life. I had always snubbed my nose at religion, but at the same time there was always a tugging at my heart, a yearning that I could not explain. From time to time I would be flipping channels and would run across TBN. I would become absorbed by what ever was on but, felt uncomfortable as soon as I realized what I was doing. It has taken a long time but now I am finding confidence and am allowing my faith to grow. I am almost done reading the bible cover to cover, am in the process of finding a good bible based church, and watch you daily. I wanted to thank all those at TBN for having this programming available and spreading the word of God to all, but also for helping me introduce the idea of me being a Christian to my fiance. My fiance is also now learning to follow God's way with me. We feel so blessed and ready to serve the Lord. THANK YOU!!!

    Sincerely,
    Ty Donovan
     

  2. Paul,

    As you said TBN reaches those others can't reach. However, will TBN change with the times when the check book is full? Or will it wait till those old folks die off who send in the bucks? I would guess, NO, it will be like all the many, many churches across the nation with a handful of seniors who rule the board and will not allow change. I've taken your advise and have written a screenplay and am in development. Open that full check book and support something new, or will that old folks board say no way Paul. Try me. A new film that need extra funds, Christian Sex and Violence, love and grace abound. askmack@bigfoot.com

    Mack  

  3. Paul,

     Hope you continue to reply to appropriate comments. Quick question for you. Is it possible for an independant producer to make TV programming specifically for Christian TV and make the investment back? From the current model as donor supported, I don't see where the revenue lies..am I missing a revenue stream somewhere? My guess is that it would be very difficult for an indie producer to make any revenue back off of an investment.

     Do Christian TV producers have to rely strictly on non profit donors? Just curious, I think more people would make programming if there was a more solid way to generate revenue thru tv..the only thing I can think of is the indie producer secures an advertiser for the show, but would that even be allowed by a non profit tv station…just curious about your thoughts on that and if I'm accurate or off base.

     In Christ

    Reece

    http://www.squad77movie.com

  4. I think you make a very good point, Reece. I have a friend who has a show on a couple Christian networks. And, none of them pay for his programming. They let him air it for free. While that’s appreciated, it provides no revenue for his ministry. So, shows are produced with volunteers on an ad hoc basis depending on how much money is raised. How can you have well-produced, engaging shows when you can’t fund the productions?

    I’m a producer. I have mouths to feed. But, I have no desire to produce Christian programming for Christian networks, because it provides no revenue stream. So, I produced traditional content for mainstream networks in hopes of shifting the worldview to something more redeeming.

    I would really like to produce content for Christian television. And maybe this show from my friend was a special case, but it’s not clear to me how shows are funded on Christian networks.

    Do we setup 501c3’s for each production and raise our own funds hoping it’ll get picked up by a Christian network? Or, do we go to the network with ideas on shows hoping to get them funded? How does all that work?

    It’s not really clear.

    Russ

  5. Paul and Phil,

    Have you looked into Fox and their attempt at Christian TV?  I understand they plan on a network called FOXFAITH.  Do you think they can pull it off?  While I have seen secular networks produce some good thought provoking material, I wonder if they call make it pay. 

    Thanks for communicating with us Paul, taking time out to discuss and explain.  You are now a real person to me. 

    Don

  6. OK before anyone else comments..the article I read kept saying channel – not distribution Channel…and I being overwelmed by so many channels to watch missed Phil's previous comments on this…Just erase…and Paul your still real.\

    Don

  7. Paul, Phil and others,

    Organize a round table, put your swords on it and let us all strategise about making up for lost ground. There are key people in key areas already with more on the way.

    We are here…who will light the first torch?

    R

  8. "Fox Faith" is a movie distribution arm of Fox, designed to reach Christian audiences.  To my knowledge there's nothing in their plans about a TV network.  You can see my coverage of it on this blog.

    Phil 

  9. paul jr., you must be busy at your second/third jobs to since you only make $75,000 in salary from TBN.  let's not be misguided here, i really don't care what you make.  but since TBN operates under the protection of a church, TBN does not have to disclose what they take in and what they spend, on anything.

    but the really story here is that we have a generation of kids who DON'T watch TBN.  they WON'T watch TBN.  so while you may have touched the lives of over 30,000,000 people, how many of those people are under 16 years old?  that's what really matters here. 
  10. It amazes me how many people criticize TBN, but don’t watch it. If you want to see some of the changes happening at TBN, check out tonight’s broadcast at 7:00 pt. Paul Jr. is hosting Greg Laurie, Olivia Hussey, John Schneider and others. I started working at TBN a few months ago. Before working here I probable felt the same about Christian TV as the others. I meet Paul Jr. the end of last year, and have spent quite a bit of time with him, and I am excited about the changes that are happening and coming.
    Interesting side note Matt just held up the Charisma magazine on live TV showing the “One Night with a King” ad. right next to Phil’s article on Christian TV. Phil you’re famous again!
    If you missed these shows can also watch past shows on the web.

    Paul B.

  11. Has it been noted that TBN has actually started 4 other networks (for U.S. consumption-many more world wide) that are on the air right now. Each with the purpose of reaching a certain segment of society. (Smile of a Child Network (SOAC) for children birth-12 years, JCTV 13-29 age group, ENLACE Spanish speaking audience, Church Channel 70 years plus… lol.)   Both SOAC and JCTV have very different programming than what you see on TBN. They are not pulpit driven like much of the TBN programming, but are seeking programs that relate to the age group they are targeting, which means they are often entertainment driven, but with a message consistent with a Christian world view. (More info on SOAC at http://www.soac.org  and JCTV at http://www.jctv.org) Though both SOAC and JCTV are much smaller than TBN, they still have a sizable and growing audience. JCTV is in 500 cities through cable, broadcast affiliates and TBN owned digital multi cast stations across North America – in addition to North American converge on free to air satellite TV. (JCTV also penetrates millions of homes abroad and we have received letters from every continent and reports of JCTV even being played in malls, banks and restaurants in some countries)  These two networks are not a cure all, but they are moves in the right direction. Although JCTV's target audience is 13-24, we have a large spill over on both ends of the age spectrum. A good example of this is a letter received by JCTV from a 40 something year old father who stated he likes to watch JCTV with his 10 year old daughter. We are aware of some of our production short comings – it’s the reality of the economy of doing television right – on both SOAC and JCTV. However, I think we offer a product that is credible to the marketplace and is improving. TBN helps produce over a dozen of the shows on JCTV right now. The rest come from outside sources.  If SOAC or JCTV prove to be successful it will enable more progressive programming to be developed on the mothership (TBN). As a concerned Christian citizen, you are welcome to help further the relevance of these endeavors by offering programming to SOAC or JCTV, helping us grow through cable distribution (tell your cable providers you want this service), watching and critiquing (we are open to your thoughts and realistic ways for improvement – a 500K per episode sitcom is not realistic), telling those you know about us, asking them to push their cable/satellite provider to carry SOAC/JCTV, and of course, by financially supporting these efforts  to show that people are willing to support such programming. 

  12. People, People… Cut Paul Jr. some slack. I believe he is doing his very best to make TBN the very best outlet for faith based television, given the current state of affairs. Paul is not totally in charge there. He has a board, he has parents, he has a brother… so ease up a bit. I cannot imagine the terrific burden and attack that must come at him every day as a result of his position. Let’s pray for Paul. I believe in the years ahead he will emerge as one of the most significant people to create a new model of communicating to our world. And the current TBN? I know teens and young adults who were totally messed up and “happened” to watch TBN and their lives were redeemed and they were totally changed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the programming at times is too wacky for me, but who knows who God will chose to use to reach someone. I pray he uses me, too. Joe – Director of Media & Marketing – Grand Rapids First

  13. ive tried to get amessage to tbn HELP PLEASE..ive moved to take care of my mom  iKNOW & BELIEVE THAT GODS WILL & IS GOING TO HEAL HER BUT I NEED SOME HELP PLEASE  i want to get a bottle of the "oil" offered as oct. gift but at this point i cant afford any pledge  im despertally TRYING to find employment …i also need tyo help her financcially as well as physcally,mentally,spirtally,and LOTS more  i myself have a amazing testimony which someday i HOPE to share with tbn  i watch tbn every day its my learning,my inspiration spirtally mentally and _—EVERYTHING else imaginable i want to annoit my mom as WE PRAY TOGETHER she to is a born again christian for more than 20 yrs  PLEASE CAN YOU HELP??????????????as soon as i get on my feet and find a job I WILL PLEDGE i just feel SOOOOO deeply in my heart this "OIL" WILL help…ive sent comments to tbn i get an ans. back they cant open the site for some reason..i dont understand it so i thought YOU COULD HELP ME PLEASE!!!i have moved from my home and life in new york to be&help her  our adress is KIM GAUTHIER C/O BARB POSTEN 11066 CHERRYWOOD CT> SPRING HILL FLA 34609 phone # 352-684-4381 can you help  thank you sooo very very much god bless  kim    kimg629@hotmail.com 

  14. Try their website information:

    Mailing Address:
    Trinity Broadcasting Network
    P. O. Box A
    Santa Ana, CA 92711

    Phone:
    24-Hour Prayer Line: (714) 731-1000 or toll free 1-888-731-1000
    Business Office: (714) 832-2950

    In Canada:
    P. O. Box 768, Station B
    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5P8

     

     

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