ATLANTA (WXIA) – 11Alive's parent company TEGNA Media – formerly Gannett – and television syndicator Debmar-Mercury announced plans to produce a one-hour daily talk show featuring T.D. Jakes on 11Alive and three other TEGNA stations.
In addition to 11Alive, the show will air on WFAA Dallas, KARE Minneapolis and WKYC Cleveland from August 17 through September 11, weekdays at 2 p.m.
Jakes leads the Texas-based non-denominational megachurch The Potter's House. In addition to the 30,000 members of his Dallas area church, Jakes' church services and sermons reach thousands more weekly through his T.D. Jakes Ministries broadcasts on five Christian television networks across North America. His ministry also hosts an annual MegaFest revival event that reaches more than 100,000 people.
"It's nice to be challenged again at this stage in my life," Jakes said of the new talk show. Jakes spoke with 11Alive's Dallas sister station WFAA. "I'm 58 years old and I have the opportunity to do something new and fresh and exciting."
Jakes says that he has no plans to preach on the new show. He says the show will reveal a different side of himself.
"People tend to define you by how they met you, and they tend to incarcerate you by how they define you," Jakes said. "But, I'm a kind of guy that breaks boundaries and likes to talk about everything and like to enjoy life and have a lot of fun."
He says viewers can expect a "Dr. Phil meets Oprah sort of thing," when describing what his show will be about.
"I'm absolutely excited about it," he said. "We're going to deal with everything; some of the pitfalls we get into, but more importantly, how do we get out of them? It's an opportunity to reach a lot of people with hope and encouragement and excitement. And it's fun for me to be able to be on a platform where I can talk about everything."
In order to achieve success, you need to have a unique voice that lets you stand out in a crowded field as well as great built-in brand awareness," said Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein in Thursday's announcement. "T.D. Jakes has volumes of both, with the strong potential to eventually break out and attract many new national viewers to network affiliates who are hungry for something different."
"We're excited to be one of the four test markets for the T.D. Jakes television show," said 11Alive president and general manager John Deushane. "He's an extraordinarily compelling personality which should translate well for Atlanta viewers at 2 pm starting on August 17th."
Broadcasting and Cable Magazine on Thursday said that Jakes had worked with Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw, along with CBS Television Distribution in 2009 to develop a talk show, but it failed to launch in the wake of the collapsing economy of that time.
"T.D. Jakes has a fresh and distinctive voice and will make a great daytime talk show host," said TEGNA Media senior vice president of programming Bob Sullivan in a statement. "A charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinker and entrepreneur with a strong, established and trusted point of view, he will be able to take on compelling topics in a thought-provoking, uplifting, hopeful and compassionate way, empowering his audience."
WFAA Dallas contributed to this report.