Now that the DeSales Media Group has been legally incorporated, I get to work both on The Tablet and The NET. So, not only do I have a vested interest in the contents of the diocesan newspaper, but I’m also more interested in the shows that are seen on the diocesan television channel.
The NET can be viewed on Ch. 97 on Time Warner Cable and Ch. 30 on cablevision. It’s a 24-hour-a-day operation that has the potential of reaching millions of viewers. It’s a vital tool of evangelization that is quite different from the printed word. We do not view the newspaper and the channel as being in competition with each other but rather as two different components of disseminating The Good News.
The NET, which is in its third full season, offers quality programming that has been recognized by the experts in the field. Last year, NET won its first Emmy for original religious programming with its popular City of Churches. This is a show that brings the viewer into a different diocesan church in Brooklyn or Queens each week. Host Nick Vavas conducts the tour, usually with the parish’s pastor, pointing out the many features of art, architecture and historical interest. Recently, I watched two programs dealing with Regina Pacis Shrine Church in Bensonhurst, and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Jamaica. Msgr. Ron Marino led the viewers around the Brooklyn church while Father Chris O’Connor did the honors in Queens. They were highly informative and interesting shows. And that comes from someone who is quite used to being in different churches all the time.
Not only does the show explore the church buildings, but it also moves around the neighborhoods and explains the unique characteristics of the places where we live. If you haven’t watched City of Churches, you’re missing some entertaining television.
Trying to gauge what our viewers are watching is sometimes difficult. There are no Neilsen ratings for cable television, so we’re pretty much left on our own to determine who is watching what. That’s why NET marketing people are conducting a survey of viewers’ choices. The survey ran last week in these pages and if you didn’t see it then, you can find it on Page 24 of this week’s edition. We ask to fill it out and return it to the given address.
Do you enjoy Currents, our daily news program? Perhaps, you’re fan of Ask the Doctor or Breaking Bread with Msgr. Jamie and Tati! Reel Faith, Too Blessed to Be Stressed and Mysteries of the Church are just some of the other offerings to which we would like reactions. These are all locally produced shows. In other words, we earmark money from our budget to create these shows. We want your opinions about where we should be putting our dollars.
Maybe you enjoy the old movies we feature on the weekends, or the Faith Film Festival. Or maybe you would like to see more religious movies. We don’t know unless you tell us.
So, please take a few minutes and fill out the ballot. We want and need your reactions. In return, we promise an even better package of programs from The NET, where we’re not afraid to go against the tide.