The Inspiration Networks
|Type||cable television network & media production company|
|Availability||United States, worldwide|
|The Inspiration Networks|
The Inspiration Networks, is a group of networks and related entities. The parent company is Inspiration Ministries, an international ministry and inspirational media company, based in Indian Land, South Carolina, south of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Inspiration Networks has two cable television networks: INSP and operates the international network Inspiration Network International (INI), which is seen throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The network began in 1990, when televangelist Morris Cerullo bought the PTL Satellite Network for $7 million. PTL was founded in 1974 by Jim Bakker, a televangelist notable for his daily Christian variety program, The PTL Club; it had gone into bankruptcy after Bakker had been embroiled in a scandal.
The major networks in the group are:
- INSP, the flagship channel
- Inspiration Network International (INI), which serves Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East
The family of networks are seen in more than 30 million homes in the U.S. and more than 55 million homes in the pan-European region.
Globalization and Expansion
In 1993, Ossie Mills began working at The Inspiration Network as The Vice President of Programming, Production and On Air Promotion. He was heavily involved in the production of original series and made for TV specials, many of which earn multiple awards. He also helped with the acquisition of off network series and the brand development of the on air packaging of the network.
In 2003, Mills returned to The Inspiration Network as its Executive Vice President. He led both the domestic and international network under Inspiration Networks to drastically grow in the area of Non-Profit mission advancement.
The original facilities for producing the networks were relocated in the 1990s from Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina to a newly constructed production studio and headquarters in a business park in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2003, the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. found the network some undeveloped property in the unincorporated area called Indian Land, in that county. The network applied for state relocation incentives, saying it would bring several hundred employees to a campus it called "City of Light", where it would combine its nonprofit enterprise with for-profit businesses. The state agreed to give the network tax credits worth at least $3.6 million over 15 years. In 2006, the state agreed to fund $1.2 million of improved road access to the campus. The network also got $560,000 through a program that allows state utility fees to be used for infrastructure improvements.
In the fall of 2008, the State of South Carolina rejected the network's request for tax-exempt status. The rejection means that the network's land, buildings and equipment will all be taxed.
As of mid-2009, about 200 of the company's 330 employees work at the site. Only two of nine promised projects have been completed or even started. Construction on condominiums, supposed to begin in July 2008, is now "long into the future" due to the effects of decreased giving and economic decline.
Inspiration Ministries also owns and operates:
- Media-Comm, a for-profit subsidiary that serves a wide variety of clients with services that include video graphics, editing, studio production, satellite uplinking, and fiber transmission. Its clients include CNN, Coca-Cola, the Speed Channel and ABC Sports, among others.
- A broadband-based website, Inspiration.net, launched in August 2006, a joint-venture with internet TV producer Brightcove. Inspiration.net features programs for teens, kids, and adults from INSP and i-Lifetv, plus archived series, program highlights, and special videos.
- "Inspiration Video On Demand," a platform for cable television video on demand (VOD) delivery.
- "Inspiration Global", which provides broadband video content to non-English speaking audiences.
Throughout most of the 1990s, the network did not ask for donations on the air, unlike many other religious TV stations. Instead, it generated revenue by selling advertising and airtime for programs produced by other ministries. In 1999, the network began soliciting donations from the public. That year, gifts were about $200,000. By 2008, they were about $40 million.
In 2007, the network's revenues were more than $69 million. Profits between 2002 and 2006 totaled $39 million.
In 2011, Cerullo was paid $1,677,399.
Cerullo and his wife Barbara are building a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) home, valued between 2 and 4 million dollars, near Salem, South Carolina. Critics say the construction is inappropriate given the financial resources of the network.
- Chris Kraul (June 1, 1990). "S.D. Evangelist Gets OK to Buy Bakker's PTL Cable Network - Deal: At $7 million, Morris Cerullo outbid Oral Roberts for the bankrupt holdings. He also plans to buy Heritage USA theme park for $45 million". Los Angeles Times.
- Ames Alexander (May 26, 2009). "Religious network promises, fails to deliver the goods; Experts say S.C. made costly mistakes when it gave millions in incentives; for-profit projects in doubt". Charlotte Observer.
- Dave Wagner (June 18, 2009). "Christian television network denied tax break". WCNC.com NewsChannel 36.
- "Press Release: Inspiration Ministries Announces 2009 Prophecy Forum". May 20, 2009. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Ames Alexander and Tim Funk (May 23, 2009). "Surging ministry, growing questions". Charlotte Observer.
- Donovan, Doug; et al. (2013-09-26). "CEOs won 3% Pay Raises in 2012, and Bigger Gains Unlikely Soon". The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
- "Chief of troubled television ministry building $2 million house in Oconee County : Local News : Anderson Independent-Mail". Retrieved 2009-06-30.