Christian Broadcasting Network chief political correspondent David Brody, right, interviews President Trump at the White House. Photo courtesy of Mark Bautista/CBN News
When they got the get — the third one-on-one interview with President Trump — staffers at CBN News took a moment for high-fives to celebrate.
But then the journalists for the usually little-noticed Christian Broadcasting Network went to work to capitalize on the newfound access they’d received from the Trump administration.
“To be on par, if you will, with ABC and Fox News with Sean Hannity, it really gave me a sense that it was a new day in D.C.,” said chief political correspondent David Brody of his 17-minute interview with Trump. “He had said all along that it was time to change the way his administration dealt with the media. And I think he was making good on that promise by having CBN News be a major part of the media equation.”
Brody, 51, a Reform Jew-turned-evangelical Christian, said his team was particularly proud that the new president had made news speaking into their cameras. Trump discussed his views on prioritizing persecuted Christians, called much of the media “the opposition party” and spoke of how he needs God more than ever after entering the White House.
The news staffers at the conservative Christian network known more for sharing the gospel than for breaking news scrambled to get video clips to major networks. Trump’s words to them were quoted across national and international media, in as many as 5,300 outlets, CBN said. A network news release said the program drew 3.4 million video views plus “more than 700,000 views through President Trump’s social media share alone.”
By contrast, 700,000 daily viewers on average watch “The 700 Club” on cable, affiliate and syndicated outlets.
Sitting under the bright lights of CBN News’ Washington studio days after he had been in the interviewer’s chair, Brody said his pitch for a one-on-one with Trump wasn’t a hard sell. He just pointed to the audience he serves through news programming rooted in CBN’s flagship “700 Club” show, based at Virginia Beach, Va., headquarters.