GAC CEO Bill Abbott: Network Focuses On ‘Family, Faith And Hometown Values’

Photo courtesy of GAC Media

GAC CEO Bill Abbott: Network Focuses On ‘Family, Faith And Hometown Values’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Great American Media CEO Bill Abbott is opening up about what it’s been like to run the network over the last two years, from a merger with Pure Flix to the impacts of the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. 

“It’s not easy starting from scratch, but we have assembled a high-quality offering that we’re very proud of and we’ll see in the fourth quarter how it plays out when we add 20 more original movies to our schedule,” Abbott said in an interview with Deadline. 

He continued, “We’ve been at this for two years. We’re just entering our third year, and it’s an incredibly competitive landscape and very hard to break out. And yet over the past 10 months, every month we’ve been the fastest growing linear cable channel. So we feel really good about that. We feel really good about all the talent that we’ve brought in and the high quality content that we’ve produced.”

Discussing the Pure Flix merger, Abbott explained that it is the first “quality streaming and linear service that will be branded under the same umbrella in the faith and family space.”

“There’s a huge blank space in this category and we are focused relentlessly on high quality content that will satisfy the underserved viewer, in a way that entertains and inspires,” he shared. “There’s a lot of content out there that goes in a different direction and we are going to stay in that family, faith and hometown values area.”

In a statement made at the time of the merger, Abbott called it “a significant milestone,” adding that it is “an important step in our mission to become the leader in trusted faith-and-family entertainment for a large and under-served market.”

Abbott also spoke about the “big distinction” between Great American Family and other family channels.

“Not all of our projects incorporate faith, but a good majority or a good portion of our content is faith driven and really seeks to reinforce faith and its place in people’s lives and in family lives,” he explained. “And the two in many ways go together and are very much again missing from the overall landscape.”

He discussed the need for a family-centered channel in an interview with the Christian Post, saying, “The vast majority of content [that’s out there] is salacious and is not appropriate for any member of the family, really.”

“We scrutinize every piece of content,” Abbott said of the network’s content. “We create every word, every sentence, every way in which a person either respects their family and their elders or interacts with them. Those are very important elements for us that are supportive of an overall culture structure and belief system.”

The ongoing strikes have not slowed the network down, which is due to their preparation before the strikes began. 

“We saw it coming and we put all of our movies into production in March, April, May, and June,” Abbott said. “We’ll have a full slate of Christmas movies and we produced everything that was scheduled to run in 2023 before the strike started. 2024 is a different story, but for 2023, we’re in a good place.”

Movieguide® recently reported on Great American Media’s rebranded streaming platform, Great American Pure Flix:

Great American Media has relaunched its streaming platform as Great American Pure Flix, following the network’s merger with Sony’s Pure Flix in June. 

“Great American Pure Flix fits seamlessly with the Great American Media family,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO of Great American Media. “Our mission is to provide families with quality entertainment that celebrates faith, family, and hometown values wherever and however they enjoy watching.”

Great American Pure Flix is now “the 24/7 companion to Great American Family with uplifting films and series.”

“Our family is getting bigger! More original movies. More faith & family. More inspirational stories,” Pure Flix revealed on Instagram. 

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