The Pope hits TV -- Pope John Paul II visits the U.S. for a five-day tour and scores some airtime and his own CD

By Casey Davidson
Updated September 29, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

When Pope John Paul II touches down at Newark airport on Oct. 4 for a five-day U.S. visit, he’ll trigger a media frenzy. His Holiness is scheduled to say Mass at such secular venues as Aqueduct Racetrack and Giants Stadium, but it’s the networks that will offer the best seats west of the Vatican. ”Watching him on TV is the only way — unless you’re one of the lucky ones up front,” says CBS News’ producer Mark Kramer.

While CBS’ 48 Hours will devote its entire Oct. 5 telecast to the visit, NBC’s and ABC’s news divisions are taking a wait-and-see approach. Says an ABC spokesman, ”It all depends on what he does when he gets here.”

But this ecclesiastical journey has already hit cyberspace. The visit has a World Wide Web site to keep track of the Pope. ”We want to have footage and texts of talks,” says site manager Father Larry Rice. ”It’s not perfect yet.”

The tour also provides his Eminence with a shot at the music charts. His first English-language CD, The Rosary, hits stores Sept. 26. Its distributor, Alliance Entertainment Corp., believes the Pope’s rosary recitation at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Oct. 7 will help the CD go platinum. Amen.