Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN Chairman & CEO- Washington, D.C. Chapter
Under Michael Warsaw’s leadership, the Eternal Word Television Network that the late Mother Angelica founded in a monastery garage in 1981 has become the world’s largest religious media network. Today, EWTN’s global reach includes 11 television networks, as well as shortwave, satellite and AM/FM radio, online and digital media services, news and publishing. On April 12, Warsaw — a founding member of Legatus’ Washington, D.C. chapter and EWTN’s chairman and chief executive officer — was named by the Holy See, along with 12 other individuals, as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication. Warsaw recently spoke with Legatus Magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.
How did you come to work at EWTN?
In the late 1980s, I was the communications director at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. As part of my role there, I came to Alabama and met with Mother Angelica to talk about the possibility of televising events from the Basilica on EWTN. Over the following years, I would travel to Irondale frequently to meet with people at the network. In 1990, I had the pleasure of hosting Mother Angelica for a visit to Washington, D.C. During that visit, she at one point asked if I would come work for her. Six months later, my wife Jacqueline and I relocated from D.C., and have been here ever since.
Is Mother Angelica’s legacy still felt at EWTN?
Mother remains a strong part of the network and what the network is. As our foundress, we certainly look to her for inspiration and for guidance as we go forward. While she had been removed from active work with the network for so many years because of her stroke, she was still here with us, praying for us and we really felt that presence. Now that she’s gone home to her eternal reward, I think we also feel that presence still, and we know she’s there as a powerful intercessor for the work of the network.
EWTN has built up its news operation in recent years. Why is that?
Our commitment to presenting news from a Catholic perspective is certainly something that’s very important to us. It’s a very Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN Chairman & CEO WASHINGTON, D.C. CHAPTER strategic goal, one that we’re going to continue to develop over the coming years. Today, EWTN has the largest media group accredited to the Holy See, larger than any secular network in the world. There is much more that can be done in that area. We see it as a way of reaching people who may not be traditional viewers of our television channels or consumers of our news content and other platforms.
What were your thoughts on Pope Francis naming you as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication?
I was certainly very honored by the appointment from the Holy Father. I certainly see that as a really strong recognition of the role that EWTN plays today in the life of the Church. I’m happy to assist the Holy Father and the Holy See in its reorganization plan and working on its communications strategy moving forward.
As a charter member of Legatus’ Washington, D.C. Chapter, what are your thoughts on Legatus’ role in the life of the Church?
Legatus is a wonderful organization that brings together such great people who are doing important work for the Church, bringing faith and the life of the Church into their business endeavors, and into the wider culture.
Do you have time for any hobbies?
When I’m not traveling for business, one of my great joys is being able to travel with my family and to spend time with my family. We recently did a trip following the old Route 66 out to the West, which was a great experience. We also like to seek out new, interesting and unusual places along these country roads. That’s kind of a happy diversion from the day-to-day challenges.