ComStar Buys FamilyNet

ComStar Media, which earlier this year bought AmericanLife Television Network, said last week it has also purchased FamilyNet Television and FamilyNet Radio for an undisclosed sum.

FamilyNet is in 26 million homes, 10 million with cable operators and 16 million with broadcast affiliates, according to ComStar. FamilyNet Radio has 11 million subscribers via Sirius Satellite Radio, the company said.

ComStar Media Fund was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert A. Schuller and Wyatt, the founder of It bought AmericanLife, a boomer-focused network with about 12 million subscribers, this past spring.

FamilyNet’s TV network was launched in 2007 by Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries and its mix includes religious and kids’ programming, originals such as Julie Byrd’s Kitchen and old acquired sitcoms Happy Days and My Three Sons.

ComStar CEO Chris Wyatt said in an interview last week the fund, backed by “high-net-worth individuals looking for safe places to grow their money in a market that doesn’t offer many choices” over the next 18 months, would like to make one or two more acquisitions, preferably cable networks that generally fit the definition of family programming.

“There are a lot of distressed media assets out there,” he said, and it’s a “spectacular” time to buy them.

ComStar’s plan is to combine what it buys into a renamed family-targeted network with acquired, recent movies and original programming. He said ComStar planned to create a new, $50-million fund to pay for new originals. AmericanLife’s first new original is Everyday Life, hosted by Schuller, former co-host of religious program The Hour of Power from Crystal Cathedral Ministries.

For more from Wyatt’s interview, visit

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.