Monsignor Hartman Continues On as Founder and CEO Emeritus
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, March 18, 2005 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced today that Reverend James C. Vlaun has been appointed president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Telecare, the diocesan television station (Channel 29) effective July 1, 2005. He will succeed current president and CEO, Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman, who has agreed to step down from his position but continue involvement in Telecare as founder and CEO emeritus.
Currently serving in his 25th year as president, Monsignor Hartman will continue to be integral to Telecare with his production and hosting of the “God Squad”, “Father Tom and Friends” and in many other ways inside and outside of the studio.
“Father Tom has become an icon for all Long Islanders. He has taught us. He has entertained us. He has challenged us. He has consoled us. He has inspired us and all with a modesty and charm that has made him literally the friend to everyone because everyone is proud and eager to call him ‘my friend,’” said Bishop Murphy. “While this is a major change for us, this in no way diminishes his presence on TV. I have assured Monsignor Hartman that he will continue to be an integral part of Telecare and will remain as active as he so desires in Catholic television.”
“I am pleased to appoint Father Vlaun Telecare’s next president and CEO,” said Bishop Murphy. The bishop added that in addition to his Catholic faith, Father Vlaun brings to Telecare, strong knowledge of the broadcasting industry, a clear vision for the future of television and an enthusiasm for continuing to build on Monsignor Hartman’s successes. “I want to express how excited I am about Father Vlaun leading Telecare to new levels of programming success in the years ahead,” said Bishop Murphy.
Father Vlaun is currently special counsel to Bishop Murphy for community relations and chaplain at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, N.Y. Most recently, Father Vlaun served as interim spokesperson for Bishop Murphy. Father Vlaun is currently the host of Telecare’s “Good News with Father Jim” show. Father Vlaun also served as the co-host of the annual Telecare telethon. For the last 16 years, Father Vlaun has been hosting “Religion and Rock,” a nationally syndicated radio show on WBAB 102.3 FM.
“While it’s hard to leave St. John’s, it is truly an honor to be given the responsibility to guide Telecare and build on the great work of Monsignor Hartman,” said Father Vlaun. “I will be stepping into the shoes of a legendary predecessor. Tom has been a friend and mentor to me for many years and I am honored to be able to learn from such a master.”
Monsignor Hartman took over Telecare in 1979 at the request of The Most Reverend John R. McGann, bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre from 1976-2000. Through his relationship with Rabbi Marc Gellman, Monsignor Hartman has made remarkable strides in interfaith relationships on Long Island. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999 and has kept a full schedule and maintained a high profile to help raise awareness in the disease and to help find a cure.
“It seems like yesterday when I first came to Telecare,” said Monsignor Hartman. “These have been the most exciting years of my life and I want to thank the Church and the bishops for making this possible. The gem of Telecare is that it articulates the truth that God is the creator of our being, the sustenance of our existence and the destiny of our pilgrimage. I cannot thank God enough for giving me the gift of faith and the gift of so many friends,” added Hartman.
# # #
Telecare (Cablevision Channel 29) is the non-profit, state-of-the-art television and production facility of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Everyday, Telecare produces and presents 24 hours of ecumenical programming. Broadcasting seven days a week to almost one million homes served by Cablevision, Telecare touches on the issues affecting all Long Island residents. Telecare also serves the Island's parochial schools with religious educational materials created for every grade level - from kindergarten through eighth grade.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3 million). There are 134 parishes in 119 towns. Last year over 21,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 21,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,622 students in kindergarten, 26,738 in primary or elementary school, 11,979 in secondary school and 9,310 in higher institutions. There are 77 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. These facilities served over 743,000 people last year. For more information visit www.drvc.org
For more information:
Sean P. Dolan
516-678-5800, ext. 625