Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Family Radio‘s failed Judgment Day/Rapture. It was a surreal few weeks leading up to May 21, 2011, with the Christian radio network’s founder Harold Camping doing daily call-in talk radio shows in order to spread the word about the impending rapture.
After the non-events on May 21 (Camping had predicted rolling earthquakes beginning at 6pm local time all over the world), Camping eventually retreated from the business of predicting the end of the world. He suffered a stroke in summer 2011 and has had far less of a presence over the network’s radio waves. Since that time, Family Radio has sold off some valuable radio properties (including WKDN near Philadelphia, WFME in Newark, WFTI in Florida, and WFSI in Maryland) and according to an article written by investigative reporter Matthias Gafni, there are signs that the network is struggling financially.
In his piece for the Contra Costa Times last week, Gafni reveals some interesting details about the massive Christian radio network. According to the article, Family Radio’s net assets and cash on hand have dropped and the network “took out a $30 million bridge loan to keep operating…” while waiting for proceeds from station sales. Gafni writes:
“Former and current insiders allege the situation may be even worse than it appears, claiming donations have dropped almost 70 percent since the Rapture prediction proved incorrect, leading to numerous layoffs of longtime Family Radio staff members. Those insiders say the nonprofit mishandled the sales of the stations, reaping far less than they were worth, and is on the hook for millions of dollars to devotees who have loaned them money over the years.”
The article includes other juicy tidbits, including details about a plan to have skywriters post Judgment Day messages over major cities in May, 2011. Apparently the planes were cancelled at the last minute as a cost-saving measure (surprising for a company that thought the world was ending anyway).
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