IRONDALE, Ala. — EWTN Global Catholic Network has taken another giant step forward in bringing news with a fully Catholic perspective to an expanding audience.
This June, Denver-based Catholic News Agency (CNA) and its sister organization, ACI Prensa, the world’s largest Spanish-language Catholic news organization, with headquarters in Lima, Peru — which also operates ACI Digital, a Portuguese-language service in Brazil — have become part of the EWTN Global Catholic Network.
The announcement came after what has become a highly successful association.
"EWTN has been a partner with both Catholic News Agency and ACI Prensa for many years, in creating and distributing Catholic news content, and I am very pleased and excited that these two highly respected news organizations will become a part of the EWTN family of services," said Michael Warsaw, EWTN’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
"Since its founding a decade ago, CNA has proven itself to be a valuable source for reporting on important issues of the day that are of interest to Catholics and non-Catholics alike," noted Warsaw.
Affirming that ACI Prensa has been the world’s leading outlet for Spanish-language Catholic news and reporting, he added, "ACI Prensa will be a perfect fit alongside EWTN’s other services, including our Spanish-language television, radio and Web-based services."
EWTN will assume control of all ongoing activities of the two organizations. Under the terms of the transaction, no cash will be exchanged between the parties.
Alejandro Bermudez, a member of the Sodality of Christian Life, is currently the executive director of both CNA and ACI Prensa Group, and he will continue to serve in those leadership positions.
Bermudez is pleased to be part of the EWTN family.
"Among other impressive accomplishments, EWTN is the world’s largest distribution outlet for Catholic content," he said.
"Given that CNA and the ACI Group have become one of the largest generators of Catholic news content in three languages, this union is a synergistic, natural step to take," Bermudez observed. "This is truly a ‘match made in heaven.’"
Expanded News Presence
Warsaw explained that while EWTN has worked as a partner with both CNA and ACI Prensa for a long time, having both organizations as an integral part of EWTN will allow for sharing resources and reporting across all news platforms.
"At the end of the day, that makes each of our news outlets stronger," he said. "I also believe that EWTN will be able to grow the reach of CNA and ACI Prensa in the years ahead, particularly as more and more people turn to digital outlets for their news."
Indeed, this is the latest step in EWTN’s efforts to expand its news presence in the global Catholic digital and multimedia marketplace.
In 2013, the network launched EWTN News Nightly, a daily news program based in Washington that covers major news events from a Catholic perspective.
In 2011, EWTN acquired the National Catholic Register, the leading Catholic newspaper in the United States. Since then, the Register’s subscriber base has increased 65%.
EWTN also produces The World Over With Raymond Arroyo, the highly-acclaimed weekly news analysis and in-depth interview program.
EWTN provides multimedia services to more than 140 countries and territories and transmits 11 separate television channels in several languages to more than 230 million homes around the world.
In addition, in recent years, radio and digital media services have greatly expanded the network’s news dimension. EWTN also operates multiple radio services, including a network of hundreds of AM and FM stations, a Sirius/XM satellite radio channel, an iHeart radio channel and a global shortwave radio service.
At the same time, EWTN’s main website, EWTN.com, is the most-visited Catholic website in the United States.
Together, these digital and social-media platforms rank among the top Catholic outlets in the world. The newest members of the EWTN family will extend that outreach further.
CNA’s editor in chief, Marianne Medlin, anticipates that CNA and ACI’s partnership with EWTN will have "a tremendously positive effect on our global outreach."
"We’re thrilled to be a part of a growing EWTN family that includes the new and dynamic EWTN News Nightly show as well as the prestigious and time-honored National Catholic Register," she said.
"EWTN’s presence in millions of households worldwide — combined with CNA and ACI Group’s expansive news coverage for an increasingly youthful and multicultural audience — will prove a fruitful collaboration," she added.
Founded in Denver in 2004, CNA has become one of the fastest-growing Catholic news providers in the English-speaking world, with news bureaus and reporters around the globe, including in Washington and Rome.
CNA makes its content available free of charge through its own website, CatholicNewsAgency.com, plus through other websites and outlets, including EWTNNews.com. It also provides an editor’s service to dioceses, parishes and Catholic publications, including the Register.
Ryan Thomas, South-American bureau chief, estimates that CNA is on track for 10 million page visits in 2014, adding that ACI Prensa is on track for 50 million.
ACI Prensa was founded in 1980 by the German missionary Father Adalbert Marie Mohm, who desired to provide a steady flow of Catholic news to secular media outlets throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Today, ACI Prensa is the largest and most-visited Web provider of Catholic news in Spanish through ACIPrensa.com and EWTNNoticias.com; the organization also operates ACI Digital at ACIDigital.com.
"We have visits from every country in the world where our page is not blocked [by governments]," Thomas said.
He pointed out the group’s growing social-media presence. On Facebook, the ACI Group (CNA, ACI and ACI Digital) has more than 750,000 active followers, with a monthly post reach of 20 million-plus views.
Serving the Church
Warsaw noted that, presently at the network, EWTN El Canal Catolico, EWTN Espanol and EWTN Espanol HD television services are available to nearly 40 million television households. Its Spanish-language television services are available in the United States and in every country of Latin America, as well as in Spain.
At the same time, the network’s Spanish-language radio service, EWTN Radio Catolica Mundial, is distributed through AM and FM radio stations in the United States and throughout Latin America, and its Spanish-language website and social-media sites are among the most visited in the Spanish-speaking world.
"Given that EWTN already has a huge presence in the Spanish-speaking world, with our three television channels, our radio services and our digital services, having the ACI Group under the EWTN umbrella will help us to further expand our outreach to Hispanic Catholics in the United States and around the world," Warsaw said. He sees this as another "opportunity to expand what we are doing to serve this important and fast-growing part of the universal Church."
CNA’s Marianne Medlin is of the same mind.
"Together," she said, "we are able to provide a comprehensive, relevant and invaluable service to the universal Church."