NEW YORK (CNS) — Father Jonathan Morris, program director and talk-show host for the Catholic Channel on the Sirius XM satellite radio platform, has left the station.
In a Jan. 8 tweet, Father Morris told his followers, “Today I hand off direction of @catholicchannel SiriusXM 129 to more competent hands @liz_aiello. Great 3 yrs!! New assignment news soon!!”
Liz Aiello, a longtime broadcast executive, will succeed the priest.
Father Morris, 42, was ordained in 2002 in the Legionaries of Christ order, although in 2009 he sought incardination in the Archdiocese of New York.
In addition to his radio duties, Father Morris was assigned to Corpus Christi Parish in the New York City borough of Manhattan, and also worked in campus ministry at Columbia University in New York.
From 2002 to 2004, Father Morris served as a theological adviser to Mel Gibson during the making of the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” In 2005, he joined the Fox News Channel as a commentator. That year, he also appeared on CNN during coverage of the death and funeral of St. John Paul II.
Father Morris has written three books: “The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts,” “God Wants You Happy: From Self-Help to God’s Help,” and “The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer.”
Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel features talk shows boasting a Catholic perspective on events. Father Dave Dwyer’s three-hour “Busted Halo Show” and Lino Rulli’s two-hour “Catholic Guy” program are both repeated twice daily. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York’s Tuesday “Conversation With Cardinal Dolan” is also repeated frequently on the channel.
Father Morris had an hourlong weekday “News & Views” show on the Catholic Channel, which also features daily Mass form St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and Gus Lloyd on their air for five-and-a-half hours each weekday with the program “Seize the Day.”
Aiello has previous experience with other Sirius XM channels. She had been news director for Howard 100, the three Sirius XM channels run by longtime shock jock Howard Stern, leaving in 2006 for a position as senior vice president for Sirius XMs Martha Stewart Living Channels.
She left Sirius XM for a slot as a managing editor and executive producer at WABC-TV in New York. She had later served as vice president of all-news WEMP radio in New York, but was sacked in early 2012 after the station slumped in the ratings.
Aiello is married to Tony Aiello, a reporter for WCBS-TV in New York. They have twin sons.
Father Jonathan Morris, program director and talk-show host for the Catholic Channel on the Sirius XM satellite radio platform, has left the station. He is seen during a broadcast at the satellite radio station’s studios in New York in 2012. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)