Proclaim to the World the GOOD NEWS OF THE WORLD TOMORROW
BOX 111, Pasadena, California
Publishing: The PLAIN TRUTH a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
June 28, 1955
Dear Co-Workers with Christ:
Just today, noon, we completed the Television Schedules — our starting TV log — subject, even yet, to final acceptance by the various stations. Now I can give you the definite schedule.
We are disappointed, in one way — we shall not be able to go on as many stations, or cover as much territory, at first, as we had hoped. BUT THIS IS ONLY A START. More and more TV stations will be added, just as rapidly as FINANCES permit. Much depends on the response. Of course, we have to realize we can't have every- thing we might like, at the very start.
Remember, when God works thru His human instruments, we have to start off SMALL — like the grain of mustard seed — and then GROW bigger and bigger. On radio, we started the smallest that was possible — on one little 100-watt station! Now, on TV, we are able to start off COAST TO COAST — but perhaps the SMALLEST number of stations ever on a Coast-to-Coast net-work.
Yet we here at headquarters are absolutely ELATED — REJOICING in great GRATITUDE to God — over the way it has worked out — the way GOD HAS OPENED SUCH IMPORTANT DOORS for us! For while there are only 13 stations (Remember the United States started out with only 13 states) yet these are important stations in IMPORTANT and major cities — and WE HAVE MUCH MORE DESIRABLE TIMES on these stations than we expected.
The one thing I'm most sorry about is that a good many of you faithful Co-Workers won't be able to see us on TV until later. I surely hate to ask you to be patient — yet PATIENCE is one of the godly virtues that we must learn to develop! This list of stations, and the hours of broadcast on most of them, is really impressive. It is a QUALITY schedule — the quantity will come as God provides.
This TV schedule is the result of many weeks of intensive work by many people. We made an extensive survey among scores of thousands of listeners and Co-Workers, to learn which TV stations in various cities and sections OUR KIND OF PEOPLE (those interested in GOD'S TRUTH) tune to most. We carefully checked our Co-Worker files, to learn the exact number of Co-Workers in the listening area of EACH TV station. We carefully checked all the letters received from NEW listeners on the ABC Radio Network stations for the past 13 months, to see which areas had the biggest response of new listeners we must not neglect, as we go off radio.
We tried to plan to give first choice to those TV stations MOST listened to, covering the areas where, first of all MOST Co-Workers live; but, secondly, where most total LISTENERS live.
Without going into further detail, I think you can see that we have gone to very great pains to analyze this TV field intelligently and scientifically, to start out on the most important stations possible in the most important areas.
In St. Louis we wanted to go on TV, but were unable to find any time available at present, so we are staying on the radio station KXOK.
Remember, however, that many of these stations have offered us the time I am listing for you ON CONDITION they approve the program AFTER they actually view and audition one or two programs. We don't think any station will reject the program.
I am now hard at work preparing the sermons for the next nine — or 12 — TV programs. Our producers and directors now want to work me harder than ever, and keep me going FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT — three programs per day. That's seemingly more than human strength can stretch to. But if I can do it, I can save two or three thousand dollars. So I'm going to try, and do my best. WILL YOU REALLY PRAY FOR ME THIS TIME? I'll surely NEED it! PLEASE ask God to give me strength, good health, and to keep my mind keen and alert.
Well, here then, is our first start-off TV log:
Starting Sunday, JULY 24th: New York City — WABC, Channel 7 — 11:30 PM. Chicago, WBKB, Channel 7 — 9:AM. Los Angeles — KTLA, Channel 5 — 10:00 PM. Portland, Ore. — KLOR, Channel 12 — 9:30 PM. Denver — KOA, Channel 4 — l:PM. also XLZ (CBS) Channel 7 — 10:30 PM. Tyler, Texas — KLTV, Channel 7 — 10:45 PM. (NOTE: Because of lower rates and exceptional times offered on the two BEST stations, we are using TWO stations in Denver).
There it is — 12 cities and 13 stations! A pretty important "grain of mustard seed" start! We hope that by December or January we may be able to add some 15 or 20 more stations, and to bring the number of TV stations up to 100 or more in one or two years.
The reason we are starting the TV program on July 24 in only SIX cities, and the second six on July 31 is that this saves us $180 per week. The prints of the film of the program cost $30 each. This way we need have only six films printed instead of 12. The stations broadcasting the program on July 24th will send the films to the other six stations for July 31st. We are doing all we can to CUT COSTS.
Another obstacle confronting our path since my last letter is that we find the production cost is going to run at least 50% higher than the estimate. We are doing everything possible to reduce expenses, but TV can't be produced on pennies. It is the MOST POWERFUL medium there has ever been to get a message to multitudes of people. The TV experts tell me that "The WORLD TOMORROW" TV programs are going to hit the TV public with a TERRIFIC IMPACT! It starts out with various views (in different programs) of our magnificent campus grounds — (now, Co-Workers, YOU judge whether they are magnificent — you're going to SEE them!) — and then, a close-up of the most mighty, majestic, kingly LION in all the world (so his trainers claim!) sitting peacefully on our beautiful lawn, a little girl and a 2-month old lamb beside him. Then the little girl rises, and the lion and the lamb follow (see Isaiah 11:6). It's a foretaste-PICTURE of The WORLD TOMORROW! I don't believe ANY TV program starts off with such an impact! The lion and lamb were on our grounds last Tuesday. And let me tell you THAT was an exciting day around here! The lion is old "Jackie," the MGM trained lion — as peaceful and docile as a kitten. His trainer explained: "Jackie isn't tired — he's just LAZY!" But, as you'll see, HE'S PEACEFUL! Just like it will be after Christ comes! And our campus grounds are the most PEACEFUL setting I know of.. But let me tell you — there's a thousand times more WORK to a real TV production like this than you'd suppose!
Now, finally, even with these 13 stations starting off — we are in populous and important centers where costs are high because SO MANY PEOPLE will be reached — we were not able to reduce the cost of station time below that which we shall save by cancelling the radio Network. So what it means, finally, is that station time costs are going to remain about the same, and we have this PRODUCTION COST to meet in addition.
There is simply no way to avoid it. We CAN'T start on TV with any fewer stations — we ought to have at the very least twice as many, so MORE of you — as well as more NEW people — could see it.
Let me say, dear Co-Workers, I am grateful to you a thousand times more than I can express in words, for your FAITHFULNESS, your LOYALTY, your SACRIFICE, and your PRAYERS! You have been responding loyally! The only trouble is, there just are not, as yet, enough of us. The tithes and offerings being received for the work are holding right up thru the summer — and yet, because of this increased TV expense, it continues to be NOT QUITE ENOUGH TO MAKE ENDS MEET.
We have had to go off one super-power radio station on the DAILY program — XERB, on the Pacific Coast. I hope that by October we can go back on. We are threatened with having to off XEG and XELO. There was another telegram today from XELO saying we'll have to go off unless we can send a big check. We are struggling desperately to hold on to these stations. We have sent cancellation notice to the ABC Radio Network. I have instructed the advertising agency to cancel the great station WLW. We have tried to cancel WCCO, but they are so far trying to hold us to our contract, and unless they agree to cancel we may in honor have to stay on. Our word has to be good — unless they agree to release us.
So, dear Co-Workers — WHAT CAN I SAY?
Here I am, being FORCED to send this as another URGENT EMERGENCY LETTER. Let us hope and PRAY that TV will bring so MANY viewers that we will soon have many thousands of additional Co-Workers to HELP us hold up this great work financially! I know you dear Co-Workers have done HEROICALLY in holding up my hands! Out of THOUSANDS of you, only one wrote a letter criticizing me for not being able to succeed the first time on TV. This man's letter was hard, sarcastic, and cruel. But dozens and dozens of you wrote me how you actually shed tears when you read my last letter, and you wrote ENCOURAGING letters of FAITH that CERTAINLY DID INSPIRE ME TO PRESS ON HARDER THAN EVER! This is the greatest mission on earth! It's by far the MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY on earth! I'm RE-doubling my efforts! Please PRAY for me! Trying to do 12 programs in four days will be a gruelling ordeal — but this time I'll know YOU ARE BEHIND ME AND PRAYING FOR ME, and God will give me strength and vitality and energy and endurance to succeed. Shooting dates are July 5, 6, 7, and 8th. I'll know you're PRAYING!
And I know you'll keep up YOUR part — with faithful tithes, and GENEROUS OFFERINGS besides. A few have been responding with amounts of a thousand dollars or more — GOD BLESS THEM! I hope there are a few others that can keep responding this way — but NEVER have smaller offerings, or even the widows' mites been more sorely needed! This is a truly GREAT work — and it takes ALL of us — ALL TOGETHER! STAND BY ME!
With love and affection, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. — REMEMBER, we are planning to STAY ON all RADIO stations broadcasting our DAILY programs, if God wills.