Daystar Television Network, which is facing two lawsuits by ex-employees, including a sexual harassment case, is downsizing three of its production facilities.The Christian TV network has laid off full-time production staff at studios in Houston, Denver and Ashland, Ky. The facilities will still transmit the network's signal but be operated by a smaller technical staff, according to Daystar spokesman A. Larry Ross.
Ross told the Fort-Star Telegram the move will enable the Bedford, Texas-based network to make better use of its headquarters and achieve operational parity among its 114 television stations nationwide.
The recent cuts do not appear to be due to the network's audience. Daystar's viewer base has been growing at a "rapid pace," said Ross.
Daystar has been entangled in two lawsuits after network founder the Rev. Marcus Lamb admitted to an affair in November. Appearing on the network's "Celebration" episode alongside his wife, Lamb said he decided to go public with the story because three persons were attempting to extort millions of dollars from them.
Jeanette Hawkins, former marketing director at Daystar, sued the company over the extramarital affair. In the suit, she claims she suffered severe emotional trauma because she was promised a Christian work environment but had to learn that her boss was involved in an affair and because she was asked to cover up the affair.
Hawkins also alleges that the Lambs defamed her on television by accusing her and two other employees of extorting money from the company. While her name was never mentioned, she contends that her name was on a letter sent to Daystar attorneys. Daystar has countersued Hawkins, charging her with playing a leading role in the plot to extort the company. Although the suit is still active, Bedford police delivered their own verdict in December, concluding that they found no unlawful activity in their investigation.
More recently, another former employee has filed a sexual harassment suit against then Daystar Administrative Manager of Special Projects Bill Trammell, the father of Joni Lamb.
Jennifer Falcon filed a lawsuit in February, claiming that Trammell asked her to sit on his lap and touched her inappropriately during "quiet time" in his office.
Daystar has denied the allegations, calling them "outrageous."
Both women are represented by the same attorney, James Fisher.
Despite the public confession of the affair and ongoing lawsuits, Marcus and Joni Lamb's marriage appears to remain strong. On Wednesday, Marcus Lamb said via Twitter that he took the day off to spend time with his wife, calling her "sweetheart" and asking of an attached photo of Joni: "Isn't she beautiful?" Christian Post