Zoom, Zoom, Zoom (er)

Did you hear about the re-emergence of Moses Znaimer in Canadian television? His company, ZoomerMedia, has purchased VisionTV, the longtime “multi-faith, multicultural” religion channel, from the not-for-profit company that used to own it.

While I haven’t watched much of the channel lately, it is — or used to be — kind of a “mainline” religion channel, one that had a few of the evangelical shows but tended to veer more toward serious, questioning discussions of religion. (In the ’90s, they were the channel where I first encountered Ingmar Bergman movies; they showed a weekly festival of Bergman crisis-of-faith movies like The Virgin Spring and Through a Glass Darkly.) According to the Wikipedia entry, evangelical viewers have tended to abandon Vision in favour of the more conservative, evangelically-oriented CTS (which has been slowly inching toward semi-national status for two years), and that’s probably the case.

Like I said, I haven’t seen much Vision lately, but in its early years it was a rather good place to see some documentaries, TV plays and movies you wouldn’t see in many other places, often dealing with the issues about faith, the universe, and so on — not programs that demanded you be religious, but just that you be interested in these questions. But a religious channel that caters to mainline liberal religion is probably a lost cause these days, where the most-rapidly growing denominations in North America are conservative evangelicals and non-religious people.

I don’t know what Znaimer’s plans are for Vision, if he intends to use it for an entirely new programming block or make something that’s an outgrowth of Vision’s current orientation. Znaimer’s company is targeting aging baby boomers (hence “Zoomer”) and the purpose of the Vision purpose is to give him a channel whose audience is mostly in that age range. What he’s going to do with it, I don’t know, but if he’d bring back the old wacky, self-mocking announcements from CityTV, I’d be very happy.

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