I apologize to those I have phone conversations with. Sometimes I identify myself as working with DeSales and other times CTN. I am not trying to keep you guessing – I just have a hard time identifying what organization you should associate me with. I hope you know by now that CTN is a service of DeSales Media Group. That is a relatively new relationship.

DeSales was created in 2011 as the vision of Bishop DiMarzio, who saw that it just made sense to consolidate all the media related entities of the diocese under one roof. It seems he was moving towards that decision in 2006 when he appointed Msgr. Kieran Harrington as Vicar of Communications – a new position in the Diocese. Msgr. Harrington naturally became Chairman of DeSales and it his vision that has led CTN into the digital arena.

We have actually gone through a winding path of different names in our history – so I feel a bit vindicated in my faltering.

CTN is an acronym for The Catholic Television Network. The diocesan TV system operated under that name for the majority of its history. Luckily for us, when we transitioned from television operations to digital in 2011, we easily exchanged the “T” for Telemedia, allowing us to keep our recognizable brand.

When we first went on the air in 1966, there was no precedent for this type of service so we identified ourselves simply as ETV (Educational Television). The FCC however, categorized our licenses under Instructional Televised Fixed Services so in the ‘industry’ we were identified as ITFS.

In 1967, the five dioceses that had this type of operating TV system created a new corporation, Instructional Television Associates (ITA). Its purpose was to facilitate the sharing of resources to be able to create productions more efficiently.

Two years later, CTN was incorporated and is the name by which we are known until this day. CTN is an active network of 11 + Dioceses that maintain their FCC licenses. (CTNBQ identifies us as the CTN of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese.) As a network, CTN’s main purpose is being a unified voice to safeguard the allocation of these licenses for education. We are active in petitioning the FCC and commenting on any rulemaking that might adversely effect us. The CTN name goes far beyond our diocese and is sometimes referenced in the footnotes of FCC rulings – pretty awesome.

We have gone through a similar experience of name changes regarding our place in the diocesan structure. Long before DeSales, the TV system began as an entity of The Diocesan Office of Schools. The Associate Superintendent of Schools, Fr. Michael Dempsey took on the task of building the first educational TV system, and the largest of its time. Upon the untimely death of Msgr. Eugene Molloy, Fr. Dempsey was appointed Secretary for Education. CTN remained under his direction until 2007.

In 1978, Bishop Mugavero created a separate diocesan agency for us, Pastoral Communications. The name was a reflection of the expanding outreach to parishes, hospitals, agencies – and schools.

It seems we needed a new corporation to manage the business side of TV so Trans Video Communications was created.

Those of you who have been teaching for a while might remember getting correspondence with letterhead from CTN OR Pastoral Communications OR TVC – I fully understand if you are as confused as me.

Thankfully, we are now DeSales Media Group — or is it CTN?


Gina Krainchich, Director of Educational Media Services