Christian Broadcasting Network

Christian Broadcasting Network
Type Religious television network/production company
Country United States
Availability seen internationally; some shows carried by Trinity Broadcasting Network, FamilyNet, LeSEA, TCT and Sky Angel, as well as through syndication
Headquarters Virginia Beach, Virginia
Owner The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.
Key people
Pat Robertson (founder)
Gordon P. Robertson (CEO)
Rob Allman (news director[1])
Launch date
CBN Satellite Service (1977–1981)
Official website

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is an American Christian-oriented religious television network and production company. Founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, its headquarters and main studios are based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


CBN was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1961, using a religious variety program format that has been successfully used in religious broadcasting ever since. One of the company's mainstays is The 700 Club, the longest-running program in the variety format. The network's journalistic branch, CBN News, provides news updates to The 700 Club and produces religious news programs such as CBN NewsWatch and Christian World News; it also produces a special hour-long block of prime time election coverage hosted by Robertson during American presidential and mid-term elections, airing on Freeform, which also carries The 700 Club and the half-hour talk show 700 Club Interactive. CBN also operates online channels on its website, such as the CBN News Channel.[2]

CBN Asia manages Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation (OBI), an international relief and missionary effort, and has international programming, producing local programs including Solusi in Indonesia and From Heart to Heart in Thailand; CBN India produces three shows, a daily Hindi program Ek Nayee Zindagi, a bi-weekly Telugu program Nireekshana and an award-winning weekly Bengali program Samadhan.[3] The company also produces versions of The 700 Club aimed at Latin American (Club 700 Hoy) and British audiences (The 700 Club With Paul and Fiona).[4] CBN has broadcast programs in over 70 languages.

On April 29, 1977, CBN launched a religious cable network, the CBN Satellite Service. The channel was later revamped as the CBN Cable Network in 1981, and began incorporating secular programming alongside religious content. In August 1988, it rebranded as The CBN Family Channel (later dropping the "CBN" name outright in September 1990), before selling it to International Family Entertainment (owned by Robertson's son, Timothy) two years later as the network became too profitable for CBN to maintain its nonprofit status. In September 1990, it rebranded as The Family Channel. IFE later sold it to News Corporation in 1997 (rebranding it as the Fox Family Channel in August 1998), which later sold it to The Walt Disney Company in 2001 (and rebranding it as ABC Family, now known as Freeform). The terms of the sale to International Family Entertainment stipulated that the channel continue carrying two CBN programs, including The 700 Club. It is often thought the deal stipulated that the channel maintain the word "Family" in its name in perpetuity, however this was later dismissed by network executives as an urban legend.[5]

CBN now serves mainly as a production company for The 700 Club, and four other syndicated shows: CBN NewsWatch, Christian World News, 700 Club Interactive and The Brody File, a news-analysis program hosted by political journalist David Brody. CBN and Regent University jointly produced the film First Landing.[6]

Some of CBN's programs also air on Sky Angel, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Cornerstone Television, FamilyNet, LeSEA Broadcasting and Middle East Television (which was founded and owned by CBN, until it was sold to LeSEA in the early 2000s), all of which are Evangelical Christian networks. The secular commercial stations that continue to air The 700 Club in syndication (along with Freeform) air CBN's annual telethon during the last week of January.

Broadcast stations

CBN entered into the broadcasting industry in 1960, when Robertson founded WYAH-TV (channel 27) in Portsmouth, Virginia – the group's flagship station – which signed on in October 1961. The organization's broadcasting unit, the Continental Broadcasting Corporation, ran it as a family-oriented independent station – featuring a mix of religious programming (which took up most of its stations' Sunday schedules) and secular acquired programs, including westerns, sitcoms, drama series and children's programming – a format that would be later adopted by the LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation when it began launching its own television stations in the 1970s.

CBN later signed on WHAE-TV (channel 46) in Atlanta, Georgia in June 1971. In January 1973, CBN purchased KBFI-TV (channel 33) in Dallas, Texas and changed its callsign to KXTX-TV; that April, CBN and Doubleday Broadcasting became involved in a license swap in which Doubleday swapped KDTV (channel 39) to CBN in exchange for the channel 33 license, shutting down that station; while the KXTX-TV calls, existing programs and programming donated to CBN by Doubleday moved to channel 39. Finally, it signed on WXNE-TV (channel 25) in Boston in October 1977.

CBN gradually sold its stations during the late 1980s and 1990s. Continental Broadcasting sold what at the time became WANX-TV in 1984 to the Tribune Company, which converted it into general entertainment independent station WGNX; WXNE was sold to the News Corporation in January 1987, becoming a Fox owned-and-operated station; and WYAH was sold to the TVX Broadcast Group five years later in 1989. It retained ownership of KXTX until 2000, when it sold the station to NBC, which converted it into a Telemundo owned-and-operated station.

From 1969 to 1982, CBN also owned a simulcast network of five FM radio stations in upstate New York (WBIV in Wethersfield, WEIV in Ithaca, WJIV in Cherry Valley, WMIV in South Bristol and WOIV in DeRuyter), known as CBN Northeast; the stations originally signed on in 1948 by a farming cooperative as the Rural Radio Network. This station group was split up after CBN sold the licenses to separate owners.

Former television stations

City of license/market Station Years of ownership Status
Atlanta, Georgia WHAE-TV 46 1971–1983 Now WGCL-TV, a CBS affiliate owned by the Meredith Corporation
Boston, Massachusetts WXNE-TV 25 1977–1987 Now WFXT, a Fox affiliate owned by Cox Media Group
DallasFort Worth, Texas KXTX-TV 33 1973 Now KDAF, a CW affiliate owned by Tribune Broadcasting
KXTX-TV 39 1973–2000 Now a Telemundo owned-and-operated station owned by NBCUniversal
Virginia Beach, Virginia
WYAH-TV 27 1961–1989 Now WGNT, a CW affiliate owned by Dreamcatcher Broadcasting
(operated through shared services agreement by Tribune Broadcasting)

In addition, CBN planned to build a television station in Richmond, Virginia, WRNX on UHF channel 63. However, CBN sold the construction permit for that station to Capitol Christian Television in 1983, which signed on the station as WTLL that year. That station was eventually sold and in 1986, converted into secular independent station WVRN, which shut down in 1988.

Former radio stations

City of license/market Station Years of ownership Status
Cherry Valley/Albany, New York WJIV 101.9 FM 1969–1982 Now a Christian radio station owned by Christian Broadcasting System
DeRuyter/Syracuse, New York WOIV 105.1 FM 1969–1982 Now WCIS-FM, a country music station owned by Craig Fox and Samuel J. Furco
Ithaca, New York WEIV 103.7 FM 1969–1982 Now WQNY, a country music station owned by Saga Communications
Norfolk, Virginia WXRI105.3FM 1962–1989 Now WNOH, a CHR station owned by iHeartMedia
South Bristol/Rochester, New York WMIV 95.1 FM 1969–1982 Now WAIO, a classic rock station owned by iHeartMedia
Wethersfield/Buffalo, New York WBIV 107.7 FM 1969–1982 Now WLKK, an alternative rock station owned by Entercom Communications



Notable personalities




  1. "Rob Allman's LinkedIn profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  2. David John Marley. Pat Robertson: An American Life. ISBN 978-0-7425-5295-1.
  3. "NRB :: Recipients of the 2014 NRB Media Awards Announced!". NRB. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  4. "TV Shows | CBN Europe - The 700 Club, Operation Blessing, Orphans Promise, Superbook and more!". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. Nellie Andreeva (October 6, 2015). "ABC Family To Be Renamed As Freeform". Penske Media Corporation.
  6. First Landing the Movie - 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia. Retrieved February 2, 2013.

External links

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