The CEO of Great American Media says his networks are a place where Christians and people of faith will see their beliefs depicted in a positive way instead of mocking, as often happens on other platforms.
Great American Media is the home for Hallmark-rival Great American Family and other brands, including Great American Living, Great American Community, and Great American Adventures. This year, Great American Media merged with a faith-based streaming service, Pure Flix.
“The way [faith is] positioned in the mainstream media, being a person of faith isn’t always a flattering portrayal,” Great American Media CEO Bill Abbott told Christian Headlines. “And in our case, we really want to reinforce the elements of faith.”
Abbott pointed to the company’s hiring of actress and filmmaker Candace Cameron Bure – an outspoken Christian – and to her 2022 faith-focused film A Christmas … Present. Great American Media, he said, strives to be a place where “people can be proud of their faith, and they can feel good about going to church, and they can feel good about the relationships they have with their pastor or other people in the community rather than having faith be something” that’s “derisive,” as often happens elsewhere, he continued.
Bure “really understands” the Christian community, he said. He added that Bure has future projects that will premier on Pure Flix and have a second window on Great American Family.
“She’s got great insight into how to really tell those stories that intertwine faith and emotion and positivity and that are uplifting and inspiring,” Abbott shared.
In June, Abbott’s company released new data showing Great American Family continuing its impressive growth and “leading all networks in year-over-year viewership increases for the seventh consecutive month,” according to a news release. In July, Great American Family and Pure Flix launched their “Christmas in July” content.
The faith community, he told Christian Headlines, has been “very much underserved.” Other networks, he said, “continue to push different agendas and have different points of view that are intertwined throughout their content, and, frankly, aren’t appropriate for most members of families or a co-viewing experience.” Great American Media, he added, works “very, very hard” to maintain the high standards of the faith community.
“We scrutinize every word in our movies,” Abbott insisted. “We are very, very sensitive to doing anything that would be betraying the trust of our viewers. … We want people to be able to turn our channel on and feel comfortable – they’re not going to throw the remote, they’re not going to have nightmares, they’re not going to be put in a position where there’s anything that is just not in keeping with the family and faith elements of their lives.”
Photo courtesy: ©Pure Flix/Great American Media, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.