PRIMEDIA Top Man “Retires”

July 9, 1999

From Jim Metrock:

He was the man Henry Kravis picked to run K-III Communications in 1994. (K-III changed their name to PRIMEDIA in 1997.) William Reilly never could get people excited about this “Macmillan” (publishing house) clone. Now he has to fall on his sword. He announced his “early retirement” yesterday.

I suspect more heads will roll over the next few months. Reilly will stay on until his successor is picked. The successor will clean house. Watch for Charles McCurdy and Beverly Chell (the other two “I”s in “K-III”) to be looking for other work. The cleaning will probably go down to the Channel One management even though they have recently removed their president, David Tanzer. Who knows? Who cares? All we care about is that PRIMEDIA is continuing to waste our children’s school time with their marketing gimmick called Channel One.

What we do know is Channel One has to stop its assault on our schoolchildren. The first step they can take is to end their plan to bring Nielsen Media Research into America’s public schools this fall. (See article early this year below.) This is the most repulsive invasion of the privacy of children I have heard of. Channel One will incite an army of parents against them if they install the monitors that will secretly record schoolchildren compliance with the Channel One contract.

Another step Channel One can take is to release the list of all movies, music and television shows that have been promoted or played for children during PRIMEDIA’s ownership of Channel One. I know it will prove embarrassing to Channel One and PRIMEDIA, but the public has a right to know what their children were exposed.

Unless Channel One changes its arrogant attitude, Channel One executives will be facing “early retirement” just like Mr. Reilly.


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