EWTN opening studio in California

This moved late yesterday, but with the various technical issues involving the Patheos reboot, I’m only getting to it now.

But this is huge: 

Christ Cathedral will be the site of the first West Coast broadcast studio for the largest religious media network in the world, with construction underway in the iconic Tower of Hope for the Eternal World Television Network.

EWTN, which transmits Catholic programming 24 hours a day available to 230 million-plus homes in 140 countries, has long sought a West Coast presence, and after about a year of discussions, has formed a partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

The initial lease will last 10 years, said Michael P. Warsaw, the chairman of the board and CEO for the television network. The parties, though, have not yet settled on a price, though it should be “nominal,” said diocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.

“This is a great opportunity for us to have access to people and organizations on the West Coast,” Warsaw said. “As we learned about the diocese’s vision, it became evident that (Christ Cathedral) would be a great location.”

The eighth floor of the Tower of Hope, where EWTN will land – as well as most of the other floors inside the 13-story, architecturally innovative behemoth that has stood since 1968 – has been deconstructed and is, essentially, an empty shell.

Architectural work on the floor would begin within a couple of weeks, Warsaw said, pending the city of Garden Grove’s approval. Construction should be completed by November, with production of shows starting before New Year’s Day.

The religious broadcaster, now in its 33rd year, has 11 distinct television networks and airs an array of programming: talk shows, cartoons, teaching series, live coverage of church events and documentaries.

EWTN, headquartered in Alabama, has three other studios: Washington, D.C.; Rome; and Cologne, Germany.

“The ability to broadcast is going to be a huge benefit to the church,” Lilyengren said. “The tower and the campus will become a center of Catholic thought.”

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