M. G. "Pat" Robertson has achieved national and international recognition as a religious broadcaster. He is the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., founder of International Family Entertainment, Inc., and several other organizations and broadcast entities.
Founded in 1960, CBN was the first Christian television network established in the United States. Today CBN is one of the world's largest television ministries and produces programming seen in 90 nations and heard in 50 languages, including Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, and Chinese. CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club, which Robertson hosts, is one of the longest running religious television shows.
Robertson was the founder and co-chairman of International Family Entertainment, Inc. (IFE). Formed in 1990, IFE produced and distributed family entertainment and information programming worldwide. IFE's principal business was The Family Channel, a satellite delivered cable-television network with 63 million U.S. subscribers. IFE, a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was sold in 1997 to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. for $1.9 billion.
A chronology of the highlights of Robertson's broadcasting career follows:
1960, January 11: Pat Robertson forms The Christian Broadcast Network.
1961, October 1: CBN goes on the air as WYAH-TV, taken from the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh, which means "The One who causes (everything) to be."
1962, August: WXRI-FM Radio goes on the air. It opens in an abandoned garage in Chesapeake, VA.
1963, Fall: CBN holds its first telethon asking 700 viewers to join the "700 Club" by pledging $10 per month. The ministry needed $7,000 per month to meet expenses.
1966: After a successful "700 Club" telethon, Robertson added a broadcast daily with a format of prayer and ministry with telephone response, the beginnings of the program now known as The 700 Club.
1967, July 31: WYAH-TV (Channel 27) breaks ground for a new TV facility in Portsmouth.
1967, June 6: A power boost to 175,000 watts expands WYAH-TV reception to Williamsburg, VA, in the north, and to Elizabeth City, NC, in the south.
1967, November: Full color TV productions begin.
1968, May 20: The FCC approves the application of CBN, Inc. for TV channel 46 in Atlanta, GA.
1968, July 7: CBN acquires radio station, "Neuvo Continente," in Bogota, Columbia. "Neuvo Continente" is the first evangelical radio station in Columbia, South America.
1968, December 19: CBN is given five radio stations in the Northeast and Upstate New York.
1970-1971: A new tower strengthens the WYAH-TV signal to a powerful 2-1/4 million watts.
1971: CBN starts its second owned-and-operated TV station, WANX-TV in Atlanta.
1973: CBN is given its third owned-and-operated station in Dallas KXTX-TV.
1975, July 2: The 700 Club enters Europe, via Manx radio.
1976, Fall: CBN installs a satellite transmit/receive earth station.
1976, November: CBN files an application with the FCC for CBN's transmit/receive earth station and signs an agreement with Scientific-Atlanta to purchase CBN's satellite earth station.
1976, November 7: The 700 Club is broadcast in the Philippines.
1977, April 29: The satellite earth station is dedicated. The first programming is broadcast from Jerusalem (plus Taiwan) via satellite. CBN begins transmitting Christian and family programming 24-hours-a-day via domestic satellite (the beginnings of the Family Channel).
1977, May: The 700 Club goes on the air in Canada
1977: The 700 Club is aired in Japan and Taiwan.
1977, July 14: CBN's Continental Satellite Corporation is formed to establish a network of satellite earth stations linking CBN's Virginia studios to stations across the country.
1977, August 22: CBN begins broadcasting Christian programming 24-hours-a-day by CBN satellite.
1977, September 27: The 700 Club premiers in Puerto Rico.
1977, October 10: CBN's Boston station, WXNE-TV, goes on the air. The station is owned and operated by CBN.
1977, December: CBN Satellite Network becomes the largest syndicater of satellite programs in US.
1978, February: CBN is the first Christian organization to broadcast daily into Hong Kong.
1978, July 2: CBN begins to broadcast to the Holy Land during Israel's 30th anniversary:
1978, Fall: CBN launches update news - a
continuous 24-hour news service.
1979, June 14: CBN joins George Otis Ministries to build a radio/TV station in Southern Lebanon for Christian outreach in Mid-East.
1979, June 15: CBN begins broadcasting Christian programming 28 hours a week in Israeli.
1979, October 6: Grand opening of International Communications Center (ICC), now called the Studio Headquarters Building, is celebrated. CBN Center is dedicated to the glory of God. Billy Graham delivers the keynote address.
1980: The 700 Club format changes to include news broadcasts.
1980, June: The 700 Club opens a news bureau in Washington.
1981, June: The 700 Club format changes from religious talk to a news oriented magazine format.
1981, September 15: Continental Radio goes on a national network with use of SATCOM I satellite to begin broadcasting a new network package across the country. It is the first 24-hour radio network to be sent via satellite.
1982, April 12: Hope TV station in free Lebanon is donated to CBN and becomes Middle East Television.
1983, July: The Middle East TV Control room is destroyed by terrorist bombing, but Israeli TV friends have it back on the air within 24 hours.
1984, May: CBN dedicates a new TV station in Lebanon.
1989, November: CBN syndicated launches CTAN (renamed Home Entertainment Network) with 33 affiliated Christian television stations.
1990, January: CBN sells the Family Channel to International Family Entertainment.
1990, January 29: The Soviet government gives CBN and International Russian Radio permission to open a ministry center in Moscow.
1990, December 23: CBN produces a Christmas program to air on Soviet TV.
1992, January 5: CBN International programs begin airing in Greece.
1992, March: CBN programming begins airing in Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.
1992, April 10: Middle East Television celebrates its 10th Anniversary.
1992, April 11: CBN programs begin airing in South Africa.
1992, April 26: CBN begins broadcasting in Albania.
1992, April 29: Public offering is made on the Family Channel stock.
1992, May 9: CBN International programs begin airing in Trinidad and Tobago.
1992, June 8: CBN programs begin airing in Honduras.
1992, June 14: CBN programs begin airing in Nicaragua.
1992, July 1: CBN programs begin airing in Benin City, Nigeria.
1992, August 15: CBN programs begin airing in Costa Rica.
1992, September 3: CBN programs begin airing in Zambia.
1992, September 5: CBN International programs begin airing in Estonia.
1992, September 11: CBN programs begin airing in Hungary.
1992, October 26: CBN programs begin airing in Romania and Bulgaria.
1992, December 2: CBN programs begin airing in Zaire.
1993, May: The 700 Club begins airing daily in Nicaragua.
1993, July: The 700 Club begins airing in Albania.
1994, March: Media blitz in the Philippines.
1994, April: Media blitz in Romania.
1995, March: CBN launches it's flagship Web site, which will become CBN.com.
1995, November: CBN acquires Christian World News program.
1995, December: Media Blitz in Zaire.
1996, November: Media Blitz in South America.
1996, November 10: Media blitz in Zaire.
1996, December: Alabaster's Song, an animated television special based on Max Lucado's children's book, airs in the U.S. and 10 foreign countries. It is the 107th CBN animation production.
1997, June 5: Middle East Television begins broadcasting on the AMOS-1 communication satellite over the Middle East to a potential audience of 200 million people in 15 nations including Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and Kuwait.
1997, June 11: International Family Entertainment is sold to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. CBN receives $136.1 million from sale of 3.8 million shares of stock in IFE.
1997, November: CBN's Turning Point program begins airing in Cameroon.
1997, November: The International 700 Club premieres in India.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.