Alexander Du, interim CEO, Salt and Light TV.

Salt + Light TV sets stage for a new chapter

  • July 24, 2019

For the first time in its 16-year existence, Salt + Light TV will be launching its fall season without the guiding hand of Fr. Thomas Rosica.

Rosica resigned as CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation June 17 after being caught up in a plagiarism scandal, leaving behind a memorable legacy as the only CEO the Catholic television network had ever known. But in his absence, it is business as usual as Salt + Light prepares to launch its new season.

“You can expect (Salt + Light) to continue providing best-in-class Catholic content on our various media platforms, and you can also expect an increase in the amount of content to be produced in the months to come,” said Alexander Du, chief operating officer at Salt + Light who has assumed interim leadership during a search for a new CEO.

“We are busier than ever and will continue to work hard in delivering engaging, inspiring, hope-filled Catholic content to our viewers.”

Indeed, staff has been carrying on in its normal fashion since Rosica went on sabbatical in March. Salt + Light aired its sneak peek week June 24-30 which featured the return of several popular series as well as the airing of pilot episodes for four new programs, said Du via e-mail to The Catholic Register. At least three additional programs have been in development over the summer, which viewers can expect to see in the fall.

The new programs will be the Italian-language Vatican 360; Shadowing HIM (in Chinese); This Place: Real People, Real Faith, exploring life for Catholics in different parts of Canada; and a program called behold, mini-documentaries, interviews and explainers exploring current events and stories in the life of the Church.

The new programming joins returning series Subject Matters and the French-language Sur la route des dioceses as well as staples like The Daily Mass, Perspectives, Lectio Divina with Cardinal Thomas Collins and a wide range of documentaries, live and tape-delayed coverage of events like the Canadian bishops’ plenary, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention, the upcoming bishops’ synod on the Amazon and events from the Vatican.

Du understands that as “the leading personality” at Salt + Light, Rosica’s contributions can’t be taken for granted. His stamp is all over Salt + Light and his vision, along with that of founder Gaetano Gagliano, has turned Salt + Light into “a real gift to the Church and far beyond and in today’s media-driven landscape.” But moving forward, he credits “the true protagonists” at Salt + Light, the young adults on staff who are driving all of Salt + Light’s platforms (beyond the television channel, Salt + Light has a presence on radio, online and in print).

“It will be their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the mission of Salt + Light that will ensure its future success,” said Du.

Salt + Light was born out of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. It was founded in 2003 by then 86-year-old Gagliano, the man behind St. Joseph Communications, Canada’s largest privately-owned printing company. Gagliano saw the need to harness the reach of modern media to spread the Gospel. He enlisted Rosica, who had just piloted World Youth Day, to run Canada’s first Catholic television network as it began broadcasting 24/7 across Canada. Gagliano died in 2016 at age 98.

The family support remains strong in seeing Gagliano’s dream carry on and grow, said Du. The board of directors, led by Gagliano’s son Tony, “remain firmly committed” to its mission.

“The Gagliano family remains as committed today to Gaetano’s vision as they have been since the launch of Salt + Light,” said Du.

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