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KHJ to Use New Roberts Tape

January 17, 1987|DENNIS McDOUGAL | Times Staff Writer

Oral Roberts will not be telling his Los Angeles television audience that he will die if his viewers don't send money on this week's show.

"Expect a Miracle," the Tulsa-based evangelist's 30-minute program that airs over KHJ-TV Channel 9 at 9 a.m. on Sunday, is "clean" of such pitches from the 68-year-old Roberts, according to KHJ-TV programming chief Walt Baker.

"We have seen the tape this morning and, in fact, it is clean," Baker told The Times Friday.

Baker said Roberts' production company called late Thursday to let KHJ know that another taping of the show was being delivered to replace a program in which the evangelist tells viewers he's going to die if he doesn't raise $4.5 million for a scholarship fund by March.

Roberts has stirred up a national controversy in programs that have aired the last two Sundays by claiming that God would "call me home" if viewers did not contribute $8 million to his Oral Roberts University medical scholarship fund by March.

Roberts' pleas have brought in $3.5 million in pledges so far, according to a spokeswoman for Traco Inc., the Oklahoma company that syndicates and produces both his show and that of his son, Richard Roberts. The Richard Roberts program airs on KCOP Channel 13 locally on Sundays at midnight and has had none of the references to his father's death that "Expect a Miracle" has contained.

"We've been assured that there will be no problem like this in the future," Baker said. "We're delighted we're in agreement in this issue and look forward to a long and pleasant association with Mr. Roberts."

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