Daystar Television Network
|Affiliates||List of Daystar affiliates|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Owner||Word of God Fellowship|
|Key people||Joni Lamb|
|Launched||December 31, 1997|
|Founder||Marcus and Joni Lamb|
|Digital terrestrial television||See List of Daystar affiliates|
The Daystar Television Network (commonly referred to as Daystar Television, often shortened to Daystar) is an American evangelical Christian-based religious television network owned by the Word of God Fellowship, founded by Marcus Lamb in 1993. Daystar is headquartered in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Bedford, Texas. The network is based around prosperity theology.
In 1984, Marcus and Joni Lamb (née Trammell) moved to Montgomery, Alabama to launch the state's first full-power Christian television station, WMCF-TV. The Lambs built the station for the next five years, and sold it in 1990 to the Trinity Broadcasting Network. They next moved to Dallas, Texas, where, in 1993, they purchased the formerly defunct KMPX. In 1996, with a large contribution from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, the Lambs purchased a station in Colorado, officially turning their television ministry into a network. In August 1997, the small staff moved into a 32,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) facility that included production studios; Daystar was officially launched on New Year's Eve 1997.
On March 21, 2011, Daystar announced that it would downsize its production studios in Ashland, Kentucky; Houston, Texas; and Denver, Colorado, effective the following month; the facilities would continue to be used as transmitters, but not broadcasting centers, leading to layoffs. Further studios were abandoned and centralized to the network's Bedford, Texas headquarters with the 2019 repeal of the FCC's Main Studio Rule.
In 2003, Daystar was investigated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), centering on allegations that Daystar sold air time on its non-commercial educational stations to for-profit groups. The investigation complicated Daystar's US$21.5 million bid for KOCE-TV, a PBS station in Huntington Beach, California which at the time mainly served the suburban area of Orange County, and other license renewals. After a lengthy process, Daystar and KOCE-TV eventually came to an agreement where Daystar leased a digital subchannel of KOCE, and broadcast network programming over KOCE-DT3 into Orange County and the Los Angeles area. This agreement has remained in place into the early 2020s, with KOCE since becoming the flagship Los Angeles area member station of PBS in January 2011, replacing KCET after that station defected from the network (the groups eventually merged, with KCET re-joining PBS secondarily).
On December 22, 2008, the FCC and Daystar entered into an agreement whereby Daystar would continue to utilize a multi-level review process to make sure its programming would not breach the underwriting spot guidelines applied by the FCC to non-commercial television stations, and would make additional good faith efforts to review all content received from external providers and remove direct calls for action before broadcasting the programming on Daystar's non-commercial educational stations. Daystar also agreed to pay a fine of $17,500 for past non-compliance.
On March 13, 2012, the FCC questioned whether Daystar, through associated nonprofit companies, was qualified to purchase former PBS outlets KWBU-TV in Waco, Texas (which was renamed KDYW) and WMFE-TV in Orlando, Florida. The WMFE deal was canceled two days later; the station was later resold and returned to PBS as WUCF-TV. On September 7, 2012, KDYW's licensee, the Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation, informed the FCC that it would request the dismissal of the license assignment application and the cancellation of the KDYW license, with the cancellation becoming final on September 27.
Daystar became the first foreign Christian network to be given a broadcast license by the Israeli government in 2006. The announcement was criticized by Jewish leaders in both Israel and the United States, who believed the network aimed at converting Israeli Jews through its numerous Messianic Jewish programs. In 2007, Israeli cable provider HOT announced it would drop Daystar from its lineup, stating that the decision was made after the company received complaints about Daystar's content. Daystar filed a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court to hear the case, accusing HOT of religious discrimination. Two years later, HOT reversed its decision and resumed carrying Daystar.
On November 30, 2010, Marcus Lamb appeared on Celebration and admitted to having had an extramarital affair several years before, telling viewers that unidentified individuals had attempted to extort money from him over the incident. He said that he had since reconciled with Joni over the matter; the Lambs subsequently appeared on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil to discuss their experiences with marriage counseling.
Lamb's confession sparked a series of legal actions against Daystar. Former Daystar executive Jeanette Hawkins filed a lawsuit against the network, claiming that her knowledge of the affair caused "great emotional pain". In February 2011, Jennifer Falcon, a former Daystar employee, filed a lawsuit claiming to have suffered sexual harassment, as well as demotion and defamation by the Lambs. The following month, Karen Thompson, a former producer for Joni, sued Daystar for wrongful termination, claiming to have been harassed and fired for dating a male co-worker.
An October 2011 decision, entered after a contested hearing by a Dallas court, dismissed the Hawkins fraud claim. All of the suits were withdrawn two months later when Falcon and Thompson withdrew their suit against the network, and no parties received compensation for the dispute.
Paycheck Protection Program
Word of God Fellowship applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and received $3.9 million, under the reasoning of meeting employee payroll. Two weeks later, WoGF purchased a luxury 1997 Gulfstream V jet. Inside Edition questioned in an investigation if the organization had used the PPP loan funds to purchase the aircraft rather than for payroll purposes. Shortly after the report aired, the loan was paid back with interest.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Daystar was criticized for airing several programs which featured prominent anti-vaccine personalities such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Del Bigtree, and Simone Gold, who along with Daystar hosts promoted misinformation about the pandemic. In their broadcasts, Marcus and Joni Lamb repeatedly touted discredited COVID-19 treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin; both contracted COVID-19 despite these treatments, with Marcus Lamb dying from COVID-related complications in November 2021. Daystar had also filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate, calling it a "sin against God's Holy Word".
In October 2021, Australian pay television company Foxtel, which offers Daystar as part of its channel package, announced that it was conducting a review after receiving complaints about Daystar programs featuring interviews promoting conspiracy theories about, and unproven treatments for, COVID-19. The review subsequently found that Daystar did not breach any industry codes of practice for news and current affairs programs, or any federal or state law. Although the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation for online platforms, this does not include television broadcasters.
Daystar is available on broadcast and cable television in the United States and worldwide on direct broadcast satellite systems such as DirecTV and Dish Network, and unencrypted satellite. The network is composed of two VHF and 37 UHF television stations, which each broadcast all or part of Daystar's program lineup. Daystar owns a number of television stations in the U.S., either directly or through its parent company, Word of God Fellowship, Inc. The network also offers Spanish language translation of most programming via the second audio program, which is sometimes offered by some pay television providers as its own network.
On June 13, 2013, Daystar entered into a strategic partnership with Canadian-based religious network Grace TV, in which the network's non-Canadian content (constituting 65% of programming) would be supplied by Daystar. Additionally, Daystar picked up You Are Loved, a program hosted by Grace TV's CEO, Peter Youngren. The network ultimately re-branded as Daystar Canada.
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- Marfin, Catherine (November 30, 2021). "Marcus Lamb, founder of Dallas-area Christian TV network Daystar, dies at 64". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
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- Castillo, Andrew (October 23, 2006). "Governor stops sale of KOCE-TV station". Mt. San Antonio College Mountaineer. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
- Consent Decree between FCC and Daystar. Retrieved on December 23, 2008.
- "Re: Form 314 Application for Consent to Assignment of License of…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- Boedecker, Hal (August 15, 2012). "FCC grants UCF the license for Channel 24". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012.
- Harding, Kevin R. (September 27, 2012). "In Re: BLCDT-20060622AAS…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- "Ousted Christian TV Network Takes Case to Israeli High Court".
- "Daystar creeps back into Israel". Jewish Israel. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- "Woman Sues TV Preacher for Failing to Disclose Affair | Employment". Archived from the original on June 8, 2017. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Televangelist says he cheated on wife, CNN.com, December 1, 2010.
- Jabali-Nash, Naimah (December 3, 2010). "Rev. Marcus Lamb of DayStar TV Faces Unusual Lawsuit After Admitting Affair". CBS News.
- Katherine T. Phan (February 20, 2011). "New Daystar Lawsuit Accuses Joni Lamb's Father of Sexual Harassment". The Christian Post. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Third Former Employee Sues Daystar".
- Jeffrey Weiss (March 21, 2012). "High-profile sexual harassment lawsuits against Christian broadcaster Daystar quietly withdrawn". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Crowley, James. "Televangelist Network Returns Millions in PPP Loan After Buying Private Jet". Newsweek. Newsweek Digital LLC. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
- "Marcus Lamb's Daystar TV Pays Back $3.9M PPP Loan After Inside Edition Investigates Church's Jet Purchase". Inside Edition. Inside Edition Inc. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
- Johnson, Timothy (March 18, 2021). "Anti-vaccine ministry uses Facebook to promote dangerous COVID-19 and vaccine falsehoods to millions of followers". Media Matters for America. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
- Derysh, Igor. "Anti-vax televangelist dies after using "protocols" his TV network promoted to treat COVID". Salon. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
- Foxtel Australia launches review into Christian TV channel with anti-vax message ABC News, October 7, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
- Drinkwater, Dale Founder of anti-vaccination Christian TV network dies after contracting COVID-19, as review finds no breach of TV codes ABC News, December 2, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
- "PRESS RELEASE: Grace TV has entered into a strategic partnership with Daystar Television - News | Grace TV". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- "ANNOUNCEMENT FOR GRACE TV AND DAYSTAR". Grace Media. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Astra 2G at 28.2°E LyngSat. Accessed October 16, 2018
- Daystar Television launches full-time on Freeview Digital TV Europe January 7, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2018