The World Tomorrow (radio and television)
The World Tomorrow is a radio and television half-hour program which had been sponsored by the Radio Church of God (later renamed Worldwide Church of God (WCG), under the direction of Herbert W. Armstrong). It originally ran from 1934 to 1994. A 15-minute version of the radio program (but under varied translations of the The World Tomorrow name) was broadcast by various speakers in the French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish languages. The World Tomorrow television program is in current production after it resumed in 2004 and airs in numerous major US television markets. The rights to the name were obtained by the "Church of God, Worldwide Ministries" of Sevierville, Tennessee, through the United States Patent and Copyright office.
Herbert W. Armstrong secured a temporary 15-minute slot on KORE, Eugene, Oregon, on October 9, 1933. This became a permanent half-hour slot on January 7, 1934. This broadcast was originally called the Radio Church of God after the church that sponsored the program.
Herbert W. Armstrong created the program and founded the church. Following the 1939 World's Fair in New York City the broadcast was renamed The World Tomorrow following the theme of the fair, "the World of Tomorrow." In 1968 the Radio Church of God changed its name to the Worldwide Church of God.
There are three eras of The World Tomorrow on television.
The first era featured Herbert W. Armstrong speaking from a Hollywood sound stage in the 1950s before the advent of videotape when all syndicated programs had to be recorded on film. The original series was shown on a portion of the ABC Television Network for half an hour, once a week in black and white.
1967 to 1994
The second era began in 1967 beginning with black and white television broadcasts before changing to color in 1968. These continued well into the 1980s. The presenter was originally Garner Ted Armstrong and then following his departure from his father's church in mid 1978 and subsequent founding of his own church, the Church of God International, Herbert W. Armstrong resumed the presentation. The thrust of the broadcasts was largely to present how current events in the world tied into the church's views of Biblical prophecies. Both the radio and television broadcasts of The World Tomorrow invariably informed their audience how to receive the church's magazine, The Plain Truth, the content of which was largely similar to that of the broadcasts.
Following Armstrong's death in 1986, the television program was presented by David Hulme, David Albert, Richard Ames and Ronald Kelley on a rotating basis until 1994 when doctrinal shifts in the Worldwide Church of God and declining revenues led to the program's cancellation.
2004 to present
The third era began in 2004 with the acquisition of The World Tomorrow trademark by The World Tomorrow Evangelistic Association. This third installment of "The World Tomorrow" television program is presented by Leon Daniels and other guest hosts. In the spring of 2014, archived broadcasts hosted by Herbert W. Armstrong (copied from the U.S. Library of Congress national archives) began to air once again. The World Tomorrow regular presenter of recent years, Dr. Bruce Horne, died May 22, 2014.
The programs originated daily in a half-hour format, primarily from a studio located on the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, which was owned and operated by the church as a then-unaccredited liberal arts institution. Other studios were located at Ambassador College, Bricket Wood, Herts, England and Ambassador College (later accredited as Ambassador University) at Big Sandy, Texas, USA.
In 1958, Garner Ted Armstrong, youngest son of Herbert Armstrong and his wife Loma Armstrong, took over the narration of the half-hour all-talk presentation. The voice and style of Garner Ted Armstrong was often compared to that of news commentator Paul Harvey, whom Armstrong attempted to emulate.
The program was introduced and concluded by the voice of Hollywood radio and television announcer Art Gilmore. The World Tomorrow concluded with an early Hollywood-produced music jingle over which Art Gilmore gave the program address which varied according to the country that it was being aired in, or where its broadcast was intended to be received.
A 15-minute and usually once-a-week version of the same program (but under varied translations of The World Tomorrow name but which are also now-defunct), was broadcast by various speakers in the French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish languages.
- French: The French language edition was primarily aired in parts of Canada and Haiti over several local stations and in Europe over the super-power station Europe 1. The presenter was Dibar Apartian who recorded the programs in the same studio used by Herbert W. and later Garner Ted Armstrong on the Pasadena, California campus of Ambassador College. The program was also supported by a French-language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
- German: The German language edition was primarily aired in Europe over Europe 1. The presenter was a graduate of Ambassador College in Pasadena where the program was recorded. The program was supported by a German language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
- Italian: The Italian language edition was primarily aired in Montreal and Toronto, Canada over two local stations. The presenter was also a graduate of Ambassador College in Pasadena where the program was also recorded.
- Russian: The Russian language edition was primarily aired for a short period of time in the 1950s-1960s over the super-power station Radio Monte Carlo, which was beamed towards the USSR. The presenter was a Russian language Hollywood presenter who both translated English scripts and then recorded the programs.
- Spanish: The Spanish language edition was primarily aired in parts of South America, although it was also aired from Porto, Portugal. The original presenter was Dr. Benjamin Rea who was Vice-Chancellor of Ambassador College at Bricket Wood in Hertfordshire, England which is where he recorded the programs in the radio studio located on the campus. The program was also supported by a Spanish language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
Copies of The World Tomorrow broadcast episodes from 1978 to 1983 are held in the Film and Television archives of the United States Library of Congress. The copies were placed into the Library of Congress archival holdings at the request of United States Senator Bob Dole.
Rights to use title
The rights to the name of The World Tomorrow broadcast were obtained in 2004 by Earl and Shirley Timmons, who were longtime friends of Garner Ted Armstrong and his wife Shirley Hammer Armstrong, and founder Herbert W. Armstrong. The rights to the program name were granted by the United States Patent Office upon approval of the Timmons application.
The Timmons, members of WCG, and Garner Ted Armstrong's Church of God International and Intercontinental Church of God, split from the Armstrong organization after the death of Garner Ted Armstrong and formed a breakaway independent group named Church of God, Worldwide Ministries with its headquarters in Sevierville, Tennessee.
- Carlson, Warren. "No More World Tomorrow". Ambassador Report. The Painful Truth. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- "Church of God Worldwide Ministries Television and Computer Outlets". Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Retrieved 5 May 2012.[dead link]
- Ambassador Report, Issue 5, August, 1978
- "No More World Tomorrow", Ambassador Report, Issue 55, May, 1994
- Hoban, Paulette. "Ambassador University". ambassador.edu. Grace Communion International. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Taken For A Ride With Garner Ted Armstrong". The Painful Truth. The Painful Truth. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- McLellan, Dennis. "Art Gilmore dies at 98; announcer was a familiar voice on radio, TV, movie trailers". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Eric Gilder, Mervyn Hagger and (2007). Prophecies of Dystopic "Old World, New World" Transitions Told: The World Tomorrow radio broadcasts to the United Kingdom 1965–1967. Bucharest: Univers Enciclopedic. pp. 205–222. ISBN 978973637159-2.
- "Library of Congress".
- "U.S. Congress Preserving Herbert W. Armstrong Video Archive". The Trumpet. Aug 23, 2012.
- Timmons, Early. "A brief history of the Church of God Worldwide Ministries". Church of God Worldwide Ministries. Church of God Worldwide Ministries. Retrieved 5 May 2012.[dead link]