Monitor Television Fades to Black

The Christian Science church, $235 million poorer, drops an experiment

THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, GOT OUT of the cable-television business after running up $235 million in losses over seven years. Shutdown costs -- including severance packages for the 400 employees of Monitor Television who were laid off -- will run another $45 million. While church officials search for a buyer for the cable operation, the Monitor Channel will broadcast reruns. The channel managed to attract about 4 million subscribers before its demise, a bantamweight entry in the cable ring compared with the likes of the Discovery Channel, which has upwards of 57 million homes.

The television fiasco has triggered...

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