From his first days as director of CatholicTV®, Father Robert Reed considered viewers of America’s Catholic Television Network™ like family. Staying in touch with that family amidst the everyday changes of the television industry, cable competition and evolving electronic media is one of the biggest challenges he still faces. The line drawn between old and new media is as clear as mud, but Father Reed still values both.In 2004, Father Reed attended the Catholic Communications Convention in Los Angeles. He happened upon a copy of FAITH Magazine at a display table. He remembers, “I knew instantly that this was a tool which could really help us at CatholicTV. Later that day, I was fortunate enough to meet Father Charlie Irvin, the founding editor of FAITH.” Within a year, the CatholicTV Monthly was part of the FAITH Catholic family of magazines. With the timing of the two media ministries expanding rapidly at roughly the same time, it was a marriage made in heaven.
During Father Reed’s tenure at CatholicTV, the station has moved from rented and antiquated studios to its own modern home. Its broadcast is available on more cable companies and in more parts of the United States than ever. The station can be viewed on Sky Angel nationwide. CatholicTV.com had two major upgrades and is proud to be called Your Catholic Broadband Network®, an on-demand library of all that is CatholicTV.
Amidst the growth, keeping the CatholicTV family informed remains one of the most important aspects of the mission of CatholicTV, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is lived and understood in the Catholic community. Self promotion via television and Internet has always been the primary mode of communication within the family for obvious reasons. Prior to discovering FAITH Catholic, the station connected with viewers by direct mail using a simple monthly mailing similar to the parish bulletin.
When Father Reed became director, he inherited a mailing list that needed some TLC and the old bulletin was losing its luster. He recalls, “I knew we needed something fresh, with pizzazz and colorful appeal that we could put into the hands of viewers and perspective viewers alike. I believed then that FAITH Catholic was the perfect solution and still do.” In fact, the circulation of the magazine has more than doubled in less than four years.
As CatholicTV continues its outreach, connecting with dioceses, religious orders, educational institutions, and other Catholic organizations often requires an introduction. Having the CatholicTV Monthly to offer these new connections is vital to the station’s efforts. Father Reed says, “The magazine, so beautifully produced, showcases the service that CatholicTV provides and our commitment to truly be America’s Catholic Television Network. It is an invitation to those who see it not only to investigate CatholicTV but also to recognize our 50-plus years of experience as a platform for telling the story of the Church.”
The magazine is the one way CatholicTV can guarantee reaching its audience every month. Sometimes it actually dictates what programming will air on CatholicTV in a given month. Other times, the monthly is the best way to give viewers notice that special papal programming or a special event, such as the installation of a new ordinary will, pre-empt their favorite show. Thus, it is critical for CatholicTV to have almost complete control over the content of the magazine. “FAITH Catholic offers us the kind of flexibility to meet these needs” says Father Reed.
Akin to the pontifical motto of John Paul II “Totus Tuus”, the slogan of CatholicTV is “It’s all for you!” Father Reed explains, “In order for us to be faithful to those words, we need consistent and vibrant contact with the CatholicTV family. We want people to know what is going on and what we have planned and it’s important for us to be able to offer something tangible, something that we can place into the hands of our viewers on a regular basis. The CatholicTV Monthly published by FAITH Catholic’s very helpful and talented staff provides a premium solution.”
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