Catholic media empire acquires National Catholic Register

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) EWTN Global Catholic Network, the
Alabama-based international media enterprise founded by Mother Angelica
in 1981, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic
Register newspaper.

"I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part
of the EWTN family," said Michael P. Warsaw, the Network's president and
chief executive officer.

Warsaw said EWTN will provide "the stability that the Register needs
at this time" and "give it a platform for its growth in the years ahead"
after being run by the scandal-scarred Legionaries of Christ.

Under the terms of the transaction, no cash will be exchanged
between the parties. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational
expenses of the Register and will assume the paper's future subscription

EWTN will take full control of the newspaper on Feb. 1, according to
a story on the newspaper's website. The story quoted a newspaper
official saying that "Due in part to the fallout from revelations
regarding the congregation's founder, the Legion of Christ did not have
the resources to bring the previous turnaround efforts to fruition."

Last year, the Vatican denounced Legion founder Marcial Maciel
Degollado, who died in 2008, as "immoral" after allegations that he
molested as many as 20 teen recruits and was supporting a secret
mistress and children with ministry funds. The Legion of Christ took
over the newspaper in 1995.

The acquisition of the Register is the latest in EWTN's efforts to
expand its news presence in the global Catholic digital and multimedia
market. In 2010, EWTN entered into a partnership with the Catholic News
Agency, a Denver-based independent Catholic news media outlet with
bureaus in North and South America and Europe.

EWTN Global Catholic Network, which operates in 140 countries,
transmits nine separate television channels in several languages. It
also operates multiple radio services including a network of hundreds of
AM and FM stations, a Sirius satellite radio channel, and a global
shortwave radio service.
The National Catholic Register grew out of Denver's Catholic
Register, which began on Aug. 11, 1905, with the first national edition
appearing in 1927.

Greg Garrison

Greg Garrison writes for the Birmingham News in Birmingham, Ala.

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