Here’s an interesting development I missed earlier this month: Televangelist Kenneth Copeland is getting the boot from Trinity Broadcasting Network, one of the (if not the) largest Christian television stations in the world.
While the announcement on the website is dated August 3, Copeland didn’t announce it on Facebook until yesterday:
It’s not the first skirmish he’s had with TBN. Last summer, the ministry announced that because of a changed time slot, “viewer response has been much lower,” so Copeland discontinued Sunday broadcasts of their show. The more recent announcement may be the end result of a long-simmering conflict.
In that post on his website, Copeland explained that his show “Believer’s Voice of Victory” had aired on TBN for four decades. But after founder Paul Crouch died in 2013, it was taken over by his son Matt and his wife Laurie, and Matt recently told Copeland (below) the show was no longer a good “fit” for the network.
Recently, Matt let me know they believe The LORD is taking TBN in a new direction, and our daily program, Believer’s Voice of Victory (BVOV), isn’t really a fit for their future programming. Therefore, as of Oct. 2, 2020, the BVOV broadcast will no longer air on TBN.
That… would be a very weird thing for Matt Crouch to say, given that TBN’s current lineup includes no shortage of similar televangelists. As far as I can tell, none of those other shows are leaving the network.
So why Copeland’s?
TBN hasn’t said anything publicly about the decision.
But I don’t know if any of those things were the tipping point.
The question remains: How much of an embarrassment do you have to be for the owner of a Christian TV station to say he wants nothing to do with you anymore?
That said, it shouldn’t really affect Copeland, anyway, given how many other venues he has to
raise money spread the Gospel. If you’ve watched him at all over the past several years, it’s likely through YouTube, Facebook, or any number of watchdog websites documenting his faith-based WTF-isms — not via the television in real time.
Given TBN’s silence about the matter, it seems like a safe prediction that there’s no real change in direction there. They’re just tossing one of the heavier deck chairs off the Titanic. It’s not like this is the only change they’re going through, either. Earlier this year, before the pandemic halted everything else, the TBN-owned “Holy Land Experience” theme park in Florida laid off nearly all its employees in order to move “away from entertainment.” So that excuse of a new direction has been used before with no indication of what it might be.
Still: No Christian theme park. No Kenneth Copeland. Those would be smart moves… if there was anything redeeming left over at TBN. There isn’t. So who knows what the Crouches 2.0 are up to.