The Eternal Word Television Network has announced plans to acquire one of the most prominent Catholic publications in the United States, the National Catholic Register.
“The Register is a perfect addition to our teaching apostolate,” said EWTN's President and CEO Michael Warsaw as he made the move public. “I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part of the EWTN family.”
The change in ownership was announced in Birmingham, Ala. on the morning of Jan. 19, and will be finalized at the end of January.
EWTN has signed a letter of intent to acquire the publication from its current owners, the Legion of Christ. Under the terms of the agreement, no cash will be exchanged. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational expenses of the Register and will assume its future subscription liabilities effective on February 1st.
Warsaw said that EWTN intends to continue the Register's tradition of providing “faithful Catholic reporting on the issues of the day,” while also expanding the publication's reach. “It's a tremendous legacy that deserves not only to be preserved, but also to grow and to flourish,” he stated.
The Register began publication in Denver, Colorado in 1905 and published its first national edition in November of 1927. During the 1950s, it reached a million readers across the country. A California businessman, Patrick Frawley, purchased the paper in 1970 and moved it to Los Angeles, where it was published until 1995.
During that year, the Legionaries of Christ religious order took over the Register, moving its headquarters to Connecticut and expanding its online presence. However, recent trends in the publishing world, coupled with fallout within the Legion after disclosures that their founder Fr. Marcel Maciel led a double life, made it impossible for the order to continue publishing the paper.
“As an apostolate that is focused on using the media to evangelize, we immediately saw how the Register could fit into what we do,” Michael Warsaw explained to EWTN News. “I believe the Register has a bright future and fits quite well under the EWTN umbrella.”
He described the Register as a “publication of record” for news and analysis, and assured readers that they would continue to see “the same commitment to accurate and faithful Catholic reporting” that has distinguished the publication for decades.
“Over time, we intend to continue the Register's digital transition plans, and to integrate it more fully with EWTN's global presence on the Internet.” That presence has expanded in recent years to include the Network’s partnership with Catholic News Agency, as well as its new Spanish-language service “EWTN Noticias.”
As the world's largest religious media network, EWTN has long sought to integrate world news and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Warsaw noted that it was the network's founder, Mother Angelica, who insisted that news services were a vital part of EWTN's apostolate.
He promised that in its acquisition of the Register, as in all its undertakings, EWTN would “look to the Holy Spirit to guide us,” to make the best use of a “tremendous tool for evangelization.”