He Made A Difference

He Made A Difference

In 1987 I met Bud Paxson when he came to New York for a visit.  Thus began a long relationship with one of the most interesting individuals with whom I have ever worked. Bud was a major supporter of the Orchard Group, but it was through PAX-TV and the Christian Network, Inc. that I came to know him best.

After starting the Home Shopping Network, Bud moved on to begin PAX as a family friendly television network. During the overnight hours PAX aired Worship, a product of the Christian Network, Inc. Worship’s programming was unique, comprised of beautiful scenes of nature coupled with soothing music and short inspirational stories. It was simple, but very popular. As one of the on-air hosts, I was privileged to hear from people who stopped me in airports, on busy city streets, or at sporting events. These viewers told me about late nights up with sick children, struggles with severe depression, and difficult days caring for disabled family members. All of these struggling souls told me how much our programming meant to them in their dark night.

I loved telling Bud the stories I heard. He was moved by thousands of letters he read from loyal viewers. Bud may have invented Home Shopping and created a vast network with PAX, but Worship was probably his greatest work, touching more lives than most of us will ever know.

Bud was a complex man. There were times, when I was chairman of the board of CNI, that Bud would call screaming and yelling words I won’t print here. Just a few hours later he would call back, gentle and thoughtful. That was Bud.

I loved my 19 years in television work, and none of it would have happened, on air or off, without Bud. I learned much from him, and valued his friendship. We parted company around 2006 or 2007, but I have always thought of him fondly. This evening, on NBC Nightly News, I heard Brian Williams tell of Bud’s passing earlier today. Of all the things I could say about Bud, this one thing I know for sure, he loved Jesus – a lot. We’ll miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with Marla and the family.

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