On the same day that he announced his departure as president of the Christian Coalition, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) founder and board chair Pat Robertson, along with his 42-year-old son, Tim, struck a megadeal with media baron Rupert Murdoch for the sale of International Family Entertainment (IFE), parent company of the Family Channel.
The 67-year-old Virginia Beach broadcaster will remain active in both organizations in spite of the moves announced on June 11. The cash generated from the sale of IFE is a windfall for CBN, which started the Family Channel and another of Robertson's Virginia Beach offspring, Regent University. Both organizations owned substantial amounts of IFE stock.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: The Robertson family sold IFE to News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch for $1.9 billion. The deal enables Murdoch to take over the Family Channel's cable television audience for his subsidiary, Fox Kids Worldwide. Murdoch intends to transform the Family Channel, which is the ninth-largest cable television network in America, into a network of children's programming that will compete with Time Warner's Cartoon Network and Viacom's Nickelodeon.
CBN agreed to sell its more than 3.8 million shares of stock in IFE to Murdoch for $136.1 million. In addition, CBN remains the beneficiary of a trust formed by Robertson and now valued at $109.3 million, which will be transferred to the organization in 2010.
"This transaction will position CBN on firm financial ground for the future," says Robertson. "At the same time, this transaction will permit the ministry to move forward with our desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with billions of people around the globe—an enormously expensive undertaking."
Under the terms of the sale, ...1
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