Who Is Lawrence Kaplan?

February 6, 2001

For over ten years, Channel One has used TV sets as bait to get schools to sign their contracts.

Those days are gone.

Television sets aren’t good bait anymore. With tougher curriculums and all-important “exit exams”, few schools have the luxury of wasting time with Channel One’s TV show. TV sets are so cheap that even the poorest schools cannot justify a Channel One contract.

Schools want computers. Channel One realizes that technology has passed them by. That is why they are trying desperately to come up with a new “interactive” version of Channel One.

Below is a press release that announces the promotion of Lawrence Kaplan to head the group that will develop the “New Channel One.”

Jim Metrock said, “It appears the future of Channel One rests on the shoulders of Mr. Kaplan. The old Channel One is dying out. Schools are realizing they don’t need to sacrifice any time to this company for the use of cheap TV sets. The easy money for Channel One is gone. It is difficult to imagine how this company can recreate itself. The Channel One brand is not in good shape. An ‘Interactive Channel One’ cannot possibly appeal to many educators. The sheer expense of creating this new interactive interface has got to be incredibly high. Mr. Kaplan has his work cut out for him.”

Obligation will let the public know when we get information about the “New Interactive Channel One.”

Primedia press release:


NEW YORK – December 19, 2000, Primedia (NYSE: PRM) – Jim Ritts, President and Chief Executive Officer of Channel One Network, announced today the promotion of Lawrence Kaplan to Executive Vice President of Channel One Interactive Development, effective immediately. In his new role, Mr. Kaplan will be responsible for the development of Channel One Interactive, the next generation of Channel One’s infrastructure, incorporating the Internet and emerging technologies, both in schools and in homes. In this capacity, he will also continue to oversee the current operations and future growth of ChannelOne.com.

Lawrence has done a marvelous job of building and managing ChannelOne.com,” said Mr. Ritts. “His expertise in both the online and offline worlds makes him uniquely suited to guide the future development of Channel One Interactive.”

Previously, Mr. Kaplan served as Senior Vice President for Channel One Network’s Online Group, where he was responsible for building and managing ChannelOne.com. An award-winning teen-focused site, ChannelOne.com has been rated “Best of the Web” by HomePC magazine and is a featured anchor tenant in America Online’s teen channel. Most recently, Mr. Kaplan was responsible for the successful launch of “OneVote,” the largest online vote in history, where nearly nine hundred thousand teens cast their vote for President. “OneVote,” Channel One Network’s mock vote for the 2000 election, culminated a nine-month effort to inform teens about the political process and engage them in the electoral process. Under Mr. Kaplan’s leadership, ChannelOne.com also hosted President Clinton’s largest online chat ever with teens – with the President receiving more than 16,000 questions from teens within one hour.

Mr. Kaplan joined Channel One in 1997 to run its business development group. In that role, he re-launched the College Channel and developed plans for strategic partnerships with several companies, most notably AOL. Prior to that, as Chief Operating Officer of Susan Lazar, he helped to create a leading, start-up women’s fashion apparel manufacturer and, before that, managed business affairs for Entertainment Productions, a London-based, start-up television production company. Mr. Kaplan earned an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Wharton Business School and an MA in International Management from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute in 1995. He received a BA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989.

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