Five Examples of How Channel One News Cheats

January 17, 2004

Below are five pictures. Each is an actual frame from the in-school TV show called Channel One News.

Example #1
Stealing time from taxpayers.
After the Channel One News show appears to end, the screen goes black, but then the students see this graphic.

The purpose of airing the name of a school is to get teachers to write the name down and enter a contest. Cash is being handed out by Channel One – in this case $5,000. Why waste student time and taxpayer money with this contest? Channel One can do whatever it wants. They need to convince advertisers that their ads are actually be seen by students, so they developed this and other contests.

If thousands of teachers send in their list of schools they saw mentioned in these “Big Shout” graphics, then Channel One can help justify its advertising rates.  Adding to this taxpayer rip-off is the fact that this graphic usually shows up around the 12 minute 30 second point of the 12-minute show. Channel One is stealing time – plain and simple.

Example #2
Advertising more than 2 minutes per show.
Schools have a Channel One contract somewhere in their file cabinets. It states that there will be no more than 2 minutes of commercial content per daily show.

Channel One News executives started to cheat on this promise several years ago. There may be a Cingular commercial on a show, but there will also be Channel One anchors pitching Cingular during the several-minutes-long Cingular Question of the Day segment.

This segment is not counted as advertising time by Channel One. They are the only ones who think so. Channel One News is clearly adding more commercial time than they are allowed to by the very contract they wrote.

Example #3
Advertising more than 2 minutes per show.
Once a week, Channel One takes up valuable school time to play a video clip of some school’s latest football or soccer game. This is done during the “news” part of Channel One.

Schools didn’t sign up for this nonsense and they didn’t agree to the sneaking in of more advertising with brand logos on screen. Gatorade’s Play of the Week is even more advertising over the 2-minute limit.

Example #4
Using the show to promote a related company, without notification to the audience.
This is an ad for the Gravity Games. Channel One also had guest hosts from the Gravity Games on the show several times. The Gravity Games were treated like a regular news story, even though most people had never heard of them. Does it make sense now, when you know that at the time, the Gravity Games company was owned by PRIMEDIA, the parent company of Channel One News?
Example #5
Mixing the news with advertising.
This is Tony Hawk. He is a skateboarding legend. He has several popular video games that have been heavily advertised on Channel One News.

Here he is guest anchoring Channel One News. His appearance is for one purpose: to sell more of his video games. This is another way that Channel One pulls a fast one on educators and others who trusted them to be a company of its word. There was suppose to be 10 minutes of current events and two minutes of advertising.  But Channel One News got greedy. “Let’s allow our advertisers to be guest anchors.”

Every moment that Hawk is on is helping to promote his video games. Channel One is looking out for their advertisers, but not for the students who have to watch this TV show.

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