BCTV and Pilot Media Group acquire bulletin company

BRAINTREE -- Further deepening their commitments to evangelization through a variety of media and enhancing parish communication tools, Boston Catholic Television Network, Inc. has acquired a bulletin company and provider of parish printing services.

BCTV and its Pilot Media Group division has acquired Parish Communications Solutions, Inc., a Topsfield-based provider of bulletins and printing service to parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston and surrounding dioceses. The bulletin service will become part of the Pilot Media Group and be renamed Pilot Bulletins. The printing service will be called Pilot Printing.

Currently, BCTV is the parent company of CatholicTV Network and Pilot Media Group, parent organization of The Pilot. The entire BCTV entity is part of the Archdiocese of Boston's Secretariat for Catholic Media.

"Bulletins are such an important tool for communication and evangelization" said Cardinal Seán O'Malley. "Parish bulletins reach more Catholics weekly than any other media vehicle in the archdiocese. We are hopeful that Pilot Bulletins will innovate the ways weekly bulletins share our faith, convey important news, and invite Catholics to important events. We hope to make Pilot Bulletins the best Catholic bulletin service in the country."

As a result of the acquisition, Parish Communications Solutions will relocate from Topsfield to the Archdiocese of Boston's Pastoral Center in Braintree by October.

"We hope that our central location in the Pastoral Center will allow us to be a convenient provider of printing services to the parishes, ministries and agencies of the archdiocese, as well as to our bulletin sponsors," said Parish Communications Solutions co-founder Paul Blanchette. "We've found that we can typically save parishes 25-50 percent on their printing jobs, so we hope many parishes will give us a shot to earn their printing business."

Scot Landry, the archdiocese's Secretary for Catholic Media, said that as a result of the acquisition, Pilot Bulletins would seek to produce additional content and grow parish bulletins' advertising base.

Landry said the effort could help parishes expand the length of their bulletins.

"Cardinal Seán has been an innovator in utilizing media for evangelization and has been a champion of the idea of offering a great bulletin service to parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond," he said. "In other parts of the country, bulletins are often more than 20 pages with articles on faith topics, columns from Catholic writers, sections for children, plus typically many pages of parish news and events."

He noted that additional content that could be included may include articles from The Pilot, announcements of important events happening around the Archdiocese of Boston, articles on stewardship or other subjects of interest to Catholics.

However, Landry said, pastors will maintain their ability to decide which content is printed in their respective bulletin and parishes will maintain their right to choose their bulletin provider.

Antonio Enrique, president of the Pilot Media Group, welcomes the addition of Parish Communication Solutions to the Catholic media entity.

"The addition of bulletin and printing services to the wide variety of media we already produce will enhance our ability to expand our reach," he said. "They provide new editorial and advertising synergies to our current lineup that includes The Pilot newspaper, TheBostonPilot.com, the Boston Catholic Directory and Pilot New Media Group. It is my hope that these expanded capabilities will allow us to work closely with pastors to initiate new ways to share information as a Catholic community."

"I am encouraged by the positive feedback we have begun to receive from some of the parishes who were using the bulletin company we just acquired," Enrique added.

Parish Communications Solutions was incorporated in 2001 and currently provides bulletins to 48 parishes in the archdiocese and surrounding dioceses.

"The idea for forming a business to help the Church began on a Cursillo retreat. We initially started as a provider of parish software but soon learned from the parish secretaries we were assisting that parish bulletins hadn't been significantly improved since the 1960s. So we designed our 4-color bulletin in a magazine format, including a different cover each week, to increase parishioner readership," said co-founder Paul Blanchette.

He added, "Bulletin sponsors loved the opportunity to have their ads in colors. ParishComm has grown steadily ever since. It is the fulfillment of our hopes and prayers to become part of BCTV and The Pilot, as we think we will now be able to help even more parishes. We thank Cardinal Seán for his vision and for his confidence in us."