As part of an integrated media and communications strategy, the Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, and Rev. James Korda, President of CTNY (Catholic Telecommunications Network of Youngstown), announce the consolidation of diocesan audio and video media operations, to be located at the diocese’s central offices in Youngstown. This will include a new studio and offices for video and audio programming, replacing current studios at CTNY in Canfield. Resources and personnel from the current CTNY studios will be moved to Youngstown and utilized to support an emphasis on digital and social media delivery, in addition to continuing to produce programs and diocesan event coverage available in partnership with local media stations.
With this integration, ETC (Ecumenical Television Channel), produced by CTNY, will cease operations by June 30, 2022, in coordination with cable companies. This shift will enable the diocese to more effectively communicate in today’s media landscape, in light of changes within the cable industry and among viewers. ETC began in 1983, and became a full-time station in 1986, as a collaboration between CTNY and various ecumenical and interfaith partners, as well as the Society of St. Paul. It originates from CTNY’s current operations housed at the Society of St. Paul in Canfield. At its height, ETC was carried on 11 cable outlets, serving five of the diocese’s six counties. Because of developments in the cable industry, ETC’s footprint has shrunk to two cable companies serving only two of the diocese’s six counties. The shift in diocesan media strategy is also necessitated by how viewers now access media, especially via streaming services and social media.
CTNY was created in 1980, and has won 46 awards for programs related to adult faith formation, diocesan events, and critical social issues. These include the Gabriel Award and Proclaim Award and, most recently, four Communicator Awards and three Telly Awards in 2021. Building upon the rich legacy of CTNY, the award-winning Wineskins (a weekly radio show and audio program) and Mass for Shut Ins will continue to be produced, and additional programming developed.
Mass for Shut Ins will now be produced from St. Columba Cathedral. In addition to digital streaming at www.doy.org, it will continue to be available via local media. In Youngstown and Warren, it is currently available on WFMJ TV-21, and in Stark County on Spectrum and Massillon Cable and WIVM TV-39. It is also being currently sent to 12 nursing homes and four prisons. Wineskins is also available for digital streaming and currently available on WKBN-AM 570 and WILB-FM 89.5 (Youngstown), WILB-AM 1060 and WILB-FM 94.5 (Canton), and WRQX-AM 600 (Salem).
Bishop Bonnar remarks that, “The wonderful work of the Catholic Television Network of Youngstown has achieved many outstanding awards and its goals remain as relevant as ever – in adult faith formation, encouraging ecumenism, and reaching out to those who are homebound and in nursing homes. While cable television is no longer able to help us fulfill these goals, there are new possibilities for digital delivery of our multimedia efforts.”
Rev. James Korda, President of CTNY, has served CTNY as a producer and host for twenty-eight years, twenty as President or Pastoral Director. He remarks, “This new direction will help the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown to continue to use the gifts of radio, television, and digital media, long into the future, to tell the story of a loving God, revealed in Jesus, who nurtures, calls and unites us all. On behalf of the staff at CTNY, I want to thank those who have supported our work over these many years, especially the Society of St. Paul in Canfield, and all of our ecumenical partners representing the Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish Communities. I trust that all of our faithful listeners and viewers will continue to walk with us during this transition and join us in celebration of this new direction.”