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Lilly Endowment Renews Funding for 12th Season of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

7 Jul

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2008 - Thirteen/WNET New York announced today that Lilly Endowment Inc. has renewed its funding for the 12th season of RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, the award-winning PBS newsmagazine program hosted by Bob Abernethy. The new season begins September 5 (check local listings).

Lilly Endowment, an Indianapolis-based private family foundation devoted to the causes of religion, education and community development, has committed $6.25 million towards the weekly series for the 2008-2009 season. In addition, the show has received $250,000 from Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, a three-year grant of $500,000 from The Henry Luce Foundation and $100,000 grant from CPB.

"RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY provides outstanding reporting on important events and issues in religion and ethics, as well as nuanced portraits of compelling religious and moral practices and exemplary people of faith," said Craig Dykstra, Lilly Endowment vice president for religion. "The weekly television program, combined with the extraordinary Web site, make a singular contribution to the American public's awareness and understanding of religion and ethics in the United States and around the world. Lilly Endowment is proud to be a long-standing supporter of this unique public broadcasting program."

"RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY continues to be the only regular source of news and analysis on American television dedicated to covering the religious and ethical issues affecting the entire globe," said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of Thirteen/WNET, which produces the series and presents it on PBS. "We are deeply grateful to Lilly Endowment for continuing its indispensable commitment to this landmark program, which brings unique insight and understanding to American audiences. We also express our thanks to Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, The Henry Luce Foundation and CPB for their generous support of this series."

Since 1945, Mutual of America Life Insurance Company has specialized in providing pension and retirement-related products and services to nonprofit organizations, corporations and individuals. The Henry Luce Foundation, established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., endeavors to "bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities." CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 and serves as the industry's largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production.

Winner of more than 125 industry awards - including the Sigma Delta Chi, the Gracie Allen, the Chicago TV Fest, New York Festival, and CINE Golden Eagle - RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY has been hailed by the Religion Newswriters' Association for setting "a national standard for balanced and fair coverage of religious topics." And, the program's Web site, , has also been nationally recognized for its online creativity, innovation and content, winning a prestigious 2007 Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY is broadcast over more than 280 PBS stations nationwide, reaching an estimated 550,000 viewers each week. Executive editor and host for the program is Bob Abernethy; executive producer is Arnold Labaton; Thirteen/WNET executive in charge is Stephen Segaller.For Information Contact:

Mary Schultz
Director of Communications
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly


The organizations and/or individuals who submit materials for distribution by Religion News Service are solely responsible for the facts in and accuracy of their materials. Religion News Service will correct any errors brought to its attention.

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