Arnold Torres ’85, the CFO of Daystar Television Network, says Daystar is the world’s fastest growing faith-based television network and uses the airwaves instead of physical buildings to spread the message of their ministry.

His work at Daystar is inspiring and always interesting, the accounting and finance graduate of Mays Business School recently told a group of undergraduates, including Business Honors students. Every day, Torres utilizes the accounting and finance skills he acquired in college and in banking to do his job at Daystar. He encouraged the students to consider careers in television, where opportunities range from analysts who work for the networks to accountants to CFOs.

Daystar Television Network CFO Arnold Torres '85 recently spoke to Mays Business Honors students about his experiences in the television industry.
Daystar Television Network CFO Arnold Torres ’85 recently spoke to Mays Business Honors students about his experiences in the television industry. (view more photos)

When Torres’ career with Daystar began in 2001, he intended to stay six months. “Then they got rid of their COO, and I’ve been there ever since. I learn something new all the time, so it is really enjoyable. I am fortunate to have this job.”

Torres says he has learned a lot about the industry in his years with the company. TV still remains the No. 1 way to reach people each day, with 88.3 percent of people as viewers compared with 73.1 percent on the Internet. In comparison with the Internet and other media outlets, TV also reaches more people at all age groups, more upscale households and more women than men.

Dallas-based Daystar strives for diverse programming within its genre, and there are so many programs trying to be carried by the network that there is a waiting list. Daystar is broadcast in 680 million home worldwide and is available in more than 200 countries. A toll-free prayer line receives more than 1 million calls a year.

“Our outreach is that we buy a TV station or secure cable carriage in a new city,” Torres explains. “We don’t sell any commercial advertising; we use that time to promote our own programming and our programmers on the network.”

The money raised from the programmers is used to cover overhead and operating expenses. Twice a year, the company holds fund-raising events to raise money and 100 percent is used for buying new television stations and other outreach projects.

Torres urged the Mays students to learn all they can while they are in school. “Don’t take it for granted that you are here, just take it all in every step of the way.” In particular, he urged the students to hone their communication skills, both written and verbal. “If you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter how analytical or book savvy you are. If you can’t explain it in spoken or written fashion, you won’t get your point across.”