by Wilma Handu

Portage la Prairie, MB – Local TV station, CPLP, is trying to save itself by converting to religious broadcasting.  Plagued by shrinking revenues in recent years, the local broadcaster is putting it’s faith in religion.

“With the media industry going online, religion is the perfect product,” said Station Manager Dixie Normous.  “Religious people, especially Christian viewers, don’t care about low production values.  That really helps keep the costs reasonable.”

The new faith-based economics have an additional upside.  “If ad sales drop we just have to pass the virtual hat a little more often to make more money,” added Normous.  “If you have programming that tells people what they want to hear, they’ll cough over hands full of cash.”

The redeemed format will include today’s top evangelical TV stars as well as a growing stable of local shows.  “Our local shows will be a great money grab, “ said Program Manager Dwayne Pipe.  “We will have an onsite church and produce a lot of slow-paced talk shows.  Christian authors will love to come on and sell their latest books.”

With a non-profit status, the new station is banking on a big improvement in profitability with opportunity for multi-platform media products.

CPLP plans to leverage everything it can into revenue generating items, including the stations dark past and sinful reputation.  A stigma is of no concern to Normous. “We will fully embrace our past sins.  The adultery, wonton sex, drunkenness and unethical business practices will all be turned into viable and highly profitable ministries.”

“We will market previous inequities with programming, books and live events,” shared Pipe.

The move to market this way is a growing trend in Christian media to fully exploit transgressions rather than cover them up.

“Evangelicals used to think they would have to resign or shrink back if they got caught in sin, “ explained Pipe.  “Nowadays it’s better to say ‘sorry’ and then use the sin to build your business…I mean ministry.”

 

Wilma Handu is a first generation Canadian who’s family hails from India.  Armed with a degree in religious studies and a heart for religious unity, Wilma will handle The Hoop and Holler’s faith, culture and lifestyles beats.  Wilma Handu and her husband came to Portage la Prairie from Calgary.  They readily admit that if it had not been for the downturn in the oil industry they would have never left Alberta but are warming up to Portage despite its lack of Mexican cuisine.

 

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