End Nigh For Apocalypse-Predicting Christian Radio Network - NBC Bay Area

End Nigh For Apocalypse-Predicting Christian Radio Network

Harold Camping's Family Radio is in fiscal dire straits



    Not Getting Enough Sleep? What’s Your Excuse?
    In this May 23, 2011 photo, Harold Camping speaks during a taping of his show Open Forum in Oakland, Calif. Camping, who famously predicted the end of the world two years ago, is supposedly selling off his Family Radio network's assets.

    The end is near -- for Harold Camping and his Family Radio network.

    The Oakland-based preacher, who famously predicted that the world would end about two years ago (it didn't), may be off the air as his broadcasting network is busily shedding assets, according to the Contra Costa Times.

    Camping, 91, made international headlines when he predicted the end of the world on May 21, 2011. Many of his followers quit their jobs and donated their retirement funds towards getting out his message, according to reports.

    Camping suffered a stroke following the persistence of existence after his prediction. He has since sworn off predicting the end of times.

    In the meantime, Family Radio has sought to balance its ledger by selling its three most-profitable radio stations, and has seen its cash on hand dwindle from $2.5 million in 2008 to $282,880 by the end of 2011, according to tax documents.

    Matt Tuter, 55, who for years was Camping's "right hand man" before he was fired last year, says that the failed Rapture prediction cost Camping 70 percent of his donations -- and that things may be even worse than they appear.

    "I believe they are killing it off," he told reporters.

    Family Radio sold its "powerhouse" and "flagship" East Coast FM stations -- WFME in Newark-New York City, WFSI in Annapolis, Md.-Washington, D.C., and WKDN in Philadelphia, the newspaper reported -- and replaced at least one with an AM station.

    In Family Radio's heyday, "its stations had no commercials, providing 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Christian programming in 30 languages -- including hymns, Bible teachings and gospel talk shows -- with Camping's "Open Forum" program airing every weeknight for 90 minutes," the newspaper noted.

    But since then, Camping has gone off the air due to his stroke -- and the network may be soon to follow. The newspaper reported Camping's wish to have the radio network die with him.