Settlement Reached in Calvary Satellite Network Split

The parties in the nasty power-struggle over control of the multimillion-dollar Calvary Satellite Network have come to a settlement agreement.

In a nutshell, the “Idaho faction” (Mike Kestler et al.) walks away with close to half the full-power FM stations in the CSN inventory and the overwhelming majority of translator stations (400+). The “California faction” (Chuck & Jeff Smith et al.) retains control of 29 full-power stations and just two translators, as well as most of those currently wending their way through the application- and construction-approval process at the FCC (with whom a copy of this settlement agreement has already been filed). The Idaho faction will make a symbolic payment of $200,000 to the California faction for the media empire it’s wangled out of the deal, as well as bear the costs of doing the necessary FCC paperwork to formalize this schism. Read More

CSN Exposé Finally Published

The long-awaited L.A. Times piece on the problems at the Calvary Satellite Network was published today. It doesn’t include much more than we already knew, save for a few interesting factoids:

1. The CSN network is valued at $250 million, most of that in the form of the licenses for the 450+ full-power FM and translator stations it owns.

2. Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith poured some $13 million into network construction, and Chuck’s son, Jeff, siphoned money from his dad’s radio ministry to finance CSN in troubled times. Read More

Calvary Satellite Network Lawsuits Near Settlement

The Phoenix Preacher blog reports that discussions between Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA (the founding church of the Calvary Chapel phenomenon) and Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, ID may avoid acrimonious litigation and instead end with a partial breakup of CSN. The scuttlebutt says the Idaho-based operation will end up keeping the network’s uplink, several full-power FM stations, and an undetermined number of FM translator repeater-stations. Read More

Glass Houses, Etc.

Major-league bad blood is now gushing over at the Calvary Satellite Network, the Clear Channel of godcasting. A couple of months ago a civil suit surfaced, filed by Michael Kestler, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, Idaho, against Jeff Smith – son of Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel fellowship itself. Kestler accused Smith and several anonymous accomplices of siphoning money from CSN to finance other projects, like Chuck Smith’s syndicated radio program, The Word for Today.

Smith et al. have now responded – big time. In a 112-page counter-complaint, it is as if Kestler’s accusations are thrown back at him, amplified. Before getting into the dirty details, though, a bit of back-story is required. Read More