FamilyNet to confront culture with 'worldview' programming
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP)--The FamilyNet television network will confront the secular culture head-on this fall with a nightly "worldview" programming lineup featuring some of the nation's top Christian commentators -- including Janet Parshall, Jay Sekulow and Hugh Hewitt.
The programming "will feature well-informed proponents of a Christian worldview who can interpret the events making news in our society and offer applications of these views for daily living," said Robert E. (Bob) Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board, during a Feb. 15 news conference at the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Charlotte, N.C. FamilyNet is a wholly owned subsidiary of the North American Mission Board with a potential audience of about 31 million households.
A related partnership with Focus on the Family will incorporate content from the popular "Plugged In" magazine and website into the programming -- as well as Saturday morning broadcasts of the popular "Adventures in Odyssey" video series for children. Additionally this fall, FamilyNet will broadcast "The Way of the Master," a 13-part "reality evangelism" series featuring actor Kirk Cameron.
Three days earlier FamilyNet announced an agreement with the Fox News Channel that will give FamilyNet access to Fox reports as part of its "NewsEdge" service -- a video feed normally used by Fox affiliates and corporate partners. The news segments will be incorporated as part of FamilyNet's original programming, as well as the new "worldview" lineup.
Reccord said he considers the worldview programming announcement the most exciting in the network's history. It is based on a concept NAMB leaders began discussing about five years ago, when television and the culture at large had become increasingly values-neutral and secular.
"Our first decision was we wanted to do a major prime-time block of Christian worldview programming, because how you perceive and view reality makes all the difference in how you respond to reality," Reccord said.
The concept calls for an hour-long program in early prime time each weeknight, with five top Christian leaders hosting each of the five nights. Sekulow, Parshall and Hewitt are the first three committed to the effort, and discussions are under way with others, Reccord said. The format of each program is still under development, said Randy Singer, FamilyNet's trustee chairman and chief counsel and special assistant for NAMB.
Parshall, who participated in the announcement, said she was "absolutely thrilled to be going into the marketplace of ideas" through FamilyNet.
"Every single day there are mutually exclusive ideas that are fighting for predominance in the culture," she said. "One is a Christ-centered idea and one is a self-centered idea, and the two cannot mutually cohabitate.
"Our biblical worldview can and does provide the answer to people who need to know the truth behind the headlines and how they can make a difference," she added. "... FamilyNet just might be one of the most important resources available today for transforming culture."
Parshall is the host of "Janet Parshall's America," a three-hour nationally syndicated program originating from Washington, D.C. Hewitt, a Los Angeles-based political commentator, is host of the syndicated "Hugh Hewitt Show" on talk radio and a former host of a local public affairs program on a CBS affiliate. Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, is also host of the national radio program, "Jay Sekulow Live."
For more information, FamilyNet is on the Web at www.familynet.com.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: FAMILYNET ANNOUNCEMENT and JANET PARSHALL LINKS WITH FAMILYNET.