Many Americans grew up watching — or at least channel-surfing by — Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power,” from the memorable Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. The 84-year-old televangelist’s organization has fallen on hard times, declaring bankruptcy last week. Among its creditors: Fox9, which is owed $115,175.
Like many TV preachers, Schuller bought time on local stations; a Fox9 spokesperson confirms “Hour of Power” was paid programming. Fox9’s unpaid bill is a pittance in the $50 million Crystal Cathedral owes; the Orange County Register quotes Schuller’s daughter saying the mortgage alone is $36 million.
Even though Schuller spent Sunday tearfully asking tithers to become “double tithers,” Fox9’s Sunday lineup no longer includes the show.
By the way, there’s another local-media connection to the Schuller empire. Scott Fagerstrom, now the editor-in-chief at Minneapolis-based Dolan Media, tracked Schuller’s finances for the Register two decades ago. As you can see from this 1990 story, financial troubles there are nothing new.
[Hat tip: Tony Jones.]