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‘The 700 Club’ pulls plug on Wilmington broadcast

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After tomorrow, “The 700 Club” will no longer air on WWAY. Many viewers have contacted us upset about the programming change, but it’s a decision we did not make.

Since September 28, 2009, viewers have tuned in to WWAY at 9 a.m. to watch “The 700 Club” with Pat Robertson, which is part of the Christian Broadcasting Network. The one-hour special is paid programming. In other words, CBN pays WWAY tens of thousands of dollars a year for that one hour time slot to broadcast “The 700 Club.”

Producers say CBN did not make enough money recently to continue to broadcast in small markets, like Wilmington. So to help cut costs, they are pulling out of several small markets.

We’ve been informed local donors to the program have received postcards from “The 700 Club,” telling them the show would no longer air in Wilmington, but didn’t explain why. We’ve been inundated with phone calls. That’s why we wanted to let viewers know what is going on.

Some shows pay us to broadcast. There are other syndicated shows we pay for, and there are shows that ABC provides, because we are an ABC affiliate. In this case, “The 700 Club” decided to stop broadcasting with us.

We left messages with CBN’s affiliate relations manager, who was supposed to call us back to comment on this story. We did not receive a call by our deadline.

If you would like to contact the Christian Broadcasting Network to voice an opinion about its decision to pull out of Wilmington, you can call (757) 226-7000.

If you would like to call the 700 Club and leave a comment on their decision, the number is (757) 226-7000 or go to www.CBN.com to leave an email.

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