A few years ago when Zoomermedia (Moses Ziemer) expressed an interest in buying Canada’s Vision TV assets, one of the downsides of the potential purchas was the red ink Christian Television Channel.
A few years ago, people with the ability to sell the none profitable Christian Television Channel showed up on a Canadian Word of Faith/Prosperity gospel evangelist’s doorstep and made a proposal he didn’t refuse. Now he is begging for a lot of money to keep his purchase on air.
Maranatha News: When did you first become aware of this opportunity to purchase The Christian Channel [from S-VOX]?
PY: December of 2007. A person, who was involved with S-VOX, though not directly employed by the company, came to my house sharing that there was a possibility of a change of ownership. I was immediately very excited about this opportunity.
Peter Youngren/World Impact Ministries re-branded his purchase Grace TV.
The purchase announcement occurred before news of his second marriage failing became public, rumours of a Finnish girlfriend, and news that Â Finnish group EKM had started legal proceedings and Finnish authorities were investigating Youngren.
Youngren, who was kicked out (loss of credentials) of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada after the failure of his first marriage, and lost his credentials with Open Bible Faith Fellowship in 2007 (that decision came to light in 2010) and the loss of his leadership role at his CelebrationÂ NiagaraÂ Church; was given what looks to me like a sweetheart deal from the CRTC with the purchase of this station and licence. In January 2009 S-Vox (Vision announced the agreement to sell to Youngren. May 2009 the CRTC approved the purchase. September 2009 the World Impact Ministries changed the name to Grace TV.
Youngren holds huge overseas crusades, even if attendees gave $1.00 I find it had to believe these overseas trips are not money making ventures for WIM which can support Grace TV.
Youngren’s son left Celebration Toronto church in December 2009, and recently announced he was running for his city municipal council. Numerous people have commented on the strained family relationship, and say attendence at the Toronto church is down since the son vacated the pulpit. There was also an acknowledged affair which occurred 8 years ago with a married church member.
Television eats money, and even good deals and solid business plans are no guarantee of success. Peter Youngren has plans to move the entire Grace TV operation to Toronto in the fall from it’s current location in St. Catharines.
He is begging Canadians for money, saying if he doesn’t get it, Grace TV is going off-air.
That’s a classic fund raising tool of other Canadian religious stations such as The Miracle Channel, Crossroads and Crossroads Television System. CTS which indicated to the CRTC they operated in a deficit position in 2009 and would be in 2010. The system ran a campaign called Our Cause which promised donors a tax receipt when they did not have a Revenue Canada Charity operating number. The campaign was pulled only after complaints by citizens to regulatory bodies. Â The Miracle Channel, which does not have some of the perks the CRTC granted has faced Young are dealing with a revenue loss of about 3 million.
GodTV (UK) is currently begging for 4 million needed by the end of May.
If you have not yet given in support, we are still appealing to the entire GOD TV family to stand with us to meet our $4 million target before the end of the month. The need is still urgent.
So what happens if Youngren doesn’t get people to cough up what he is asking for in his Red Alert?
Grace TV faces the biggest financial challenge this ministry has experienced. We must have $400,000 by June 10th and another $350,000 by June 30th. This means a total of $750,000 to be able to continue broadcasting.
Does anyone believe the station will go belly up?
The CRTC gave limited approval to the Zoomermedia application for S-Vox (VisionTV) in March 2010. This clause is interesting:
b) all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of Christian Channel Inc. (CCI) owned by VTV, with the primary assets owned by CCI being the CRTC licenses for the television programming undertakings CHNU-TV Fraser Valley and CIIT-TV Winnipeg, also known respectively as Joytv 10 and Joytv 11;
The CRTC granted Youngren a short lease licence as well as the opportunity to run money making programs some other Canadian religious broadcasters don’t receive, they have to hold fundraisers to stay on the air. The Grace TV licence is up for renewal August 2010. The bolding below is mine.
22. The Services Agreement sets out that VisionTV will provide management services to WIM in connection with the operation of The Christian Channel for up to five years. VisionTV would be responsible for, among other things, maintaining affiliate relations, acting as an agent for sales of airtime and advertising, and maintaining the broadcast schedule for the undertaking. The agreement states that VisionTV is subject to the direction and control of WIM in the provision of these services.
2. The licensee shall provide a national, English-language Category 2 specialty programming service devoted to balanced religious programs from a variety of Christian perspectives, as well as multi-faith programming that examines related spiritual, moral and ethical issues.
3. The programming shall be drawn exclusively from the following categories, as set out in item 6 of Schedule I to the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990, as amended from time to time:
13 Public service announcements
14 Infomercials, promotional and corporate videos
4. Not less than 75% of all programming broadcast during the broadcast week shall be drawn from category 4 Religion.
Youngren runs multi language Grace TV/World Impact Ministries sites, where he sells product and asks for donations. World Impact Ministries is a registered Canadian Charity. He recently did a 15 city Grace TV fundraiser tour across Canada, claiming record attendance and presumably record funds.
Peter Youngren – Running out of Grace?
Christian Week looks at the world of Peter Youngren
Peter Youngren under investigation by Finnish Police – falling further from grace
EKM continuing legal proceedings against Peter Youngren