Rev. Robert A. Schuller, former co-host of weekly religious program The Hour of Power, and Godtube.com founder Chris Wyatt said today their ComStar Media Fund has purchased AmericanLife TV Network with plans to make it "the destination for family values."
Financial terms weren't disclosed. The baby boomer centric program outlet - founded as Nostalgia Network in 1985 and later called GoodLife TV - claims 12.7 million subscribers and the new owners say they plan to elevate that to 40 million homes over time. The network will have a new management team, not yet named, based in Dallas, the new owners said. Earlier this month, network president Larry Meli moved over to a video content management firm called Vobile.
Schuller (pictured left) - who left Hour of Power last October in a falling out with the Crystal Cathedral Ministries founder, his father, famed televangelist Robert H. Schuller - says he will bring a new show to the network this autumn.
In an interview, he said the new show wouldn't be preachy. "People don’t want to be told what to do, they want to be shown what to do. So the purpose of my show is to take preaching and make it more practical. Instead of telling people how to be more Christlike, show them how to be more Christlike."
Hour of Power, which Schuller's father launched in Los Angeles in 1970, claims a worldwide audience of 20 million viewers.
Wyatt founded and is former CEO of Godtube.com, a Christian version of video upload site Youtube.com, and Wyatt said the rapid growth of that site was evidence he has the expertise to help ALN reach its cable and satellite distribution goals.
He said in the same phone interview he had in mind something like Pat Robertson's Family Channel was before it was sold and eventually became what is now ABC Family.
The first new show on ALN (which will be renamed) will be Schuller's show, followed by new originals this fall that will round out a lineup currently heavy on retro TV staples such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Batman and Hill Street Blues. The network owns a 700-hour library.
New shows might include reality genre entries, a live morning show and a game show, Wyatt (pictured at right) said. "You’re going to see celebrities get involved directly with the network," he said. "You’re going to see it really taken to the next level, where all of us thought it could be."
Wyatt said the ComStar fund completed the purchase about 90 days ago.
RBC Daniels said it represented AmericanLife in the transaction.