May 16, 2006

From Jim Metrock:

Channel One News is the self-proclaimed “preeminent news and public affairs content provider for teens.” It has also called itself the “leading provider of news and educational programs in America’s secondary schools.” They have said their company will continue their ” mission of educating and informing teens.”

Critics of Channel One have always said it is a company that is more concerned with marketing than education, that Channel One News has more to sell than tell.

Let’s consider for a moment the position of Senior Vice President of Research at Channel One. What does a person do in that job?

Surely, given Channel One’s public proclamations, there is constant research being done by the company on new ways to educate young people, new ways to inspire them. Surely, Channel One’s research department explores new innovative ways to convey educational content to students. Maybe they conduct surveys to see what subject areas are most troublesome for young people and then help the programming staff create content to address those problems.

Maybe the Channel One research department interviews college admissions directors and corporate human resource directors and finds out what students need to be successful in college and in the workplace.

Maybe…, OK, this could go on and on. You know Channel One News or you wouldn’t be reading this. Channel One’s idea of “research” is not what a parent, teacher or student would think it is or would hope it is.

Lisa DeFelice is the current Senior Vice President of Research at Channel One Network. Her job is to do research not FOR the benefit of students, but to do research ABOUT students that will benefit advertisers.

Ms. DeFelice was hired to understand the captive student audience that has to watch Channel One News and to use that information to help advertisers fashion more effective commercials and web site advertising.

For years, Channel One’s Research Department published the “Channel One News – Teen Fact Book.” This was not a book for young people. It did not contain a list of state capitals and famous events in world history. After all, what do you think Channel One News is? This was a book about young people’s spending habits and facts about how they lived their lives. It was a valuable book for companies that had a product to sell students. This “Teen Fact Book” would make most parents physically sick. Channel One’s Research Department studies teens and preteens like an entomologist studies the habits of insects.

Teen Fact Book: 2001. New York, NY: Channel One Network, 2001. 110 pp. 658.83408 T229. Published by Channel One, the Teen Fact Book is a resource that aids in developing a deeper understanding of this increasingly important segment of the population. This year’s edition has been updated and reorganized and includes teen purchasing habits and media consumption as well as teen attitudes and values.

Channel One tunes in on teens. (Channel One Network research)(Brand Marketing)

NEW YORK-Teens do a sizable chunk of America’s grocery shopping, according to new research from Channel One Network here. Channel One, best known for its Channel One News, the daily news show that reaches eight million teenagers in 12,000 public, private and parochial high schools, reported the results in its recently released Teen Fact Book. The report says teens, who encompass 22 million kids between the ages of 12 and 19, spend $17 billion shopping for groceries each year, with 50% shopping three or more times each month. In addition, the study found that teens watch …


This is Channel One’s own bio on Ms. DeFelice:

Lisa DeFelice Senior Vice President of Research Lisa leads the audience research team for Channel One, heading up a group that develops and delivers custom research and demographics sought by Channel One’s in-house production team, as well as its many partners and clients. Throughout her 30 years in the media industry, Lisa has developed expertise across broadcast mediums and in nearly every aspect of research, from media buying and planning at agencies such as McCann Erickson to customized research projects developed and executed expressly for clients. She gained further insight and exposure through her work in radio and television marketing and research, as head of product development at Scarborough Research in New York and as Executive Vice President of Syndicated Research at Simmons. Lisa attended the University of New Orleans. She is married, lives in New Jersey and is the mother of one daughter.

It sounds like her work only incidentally deals with “partners and clients” (read: advertisers), but look at the two companies she worked for before Channel One.

Simmons (from their web site):

“Founded over 50 years ago by legendary market researcher Willard Simmons, Simmons Market Research Bureau today is the nation’s leading authority on the behavior of the American consumer.

“Today Simmons is a subsidiary company of Experian Marketing Solutions, enabling Simmons to combine its comprehensive information on consumer behavior, including media consumption and product preferences, with Experian’s advanced data assets and analytical solutions. Simmons’ customers can experience the power of the combined data assets of Simmons and Experian by targeting consumers across multiple channels, using a common currency to analyze those consumers.  “Simmons research — on everything from the products we buy and the brands we prefer to our lifestyles and media preferences — is used by virtually every major marketing firm and advertising agency in the U.S. Our research data is the standard for planning, product development, brand building, consumer profiling and differentiating programs and products from the competition. No other syndicated service measures the American household like Simmons, as a unit where each person has the opportunity to report preferred products, media and ideas. And no other research company has more analytic tools and segmentation models to bring a client’s marketing information to life.”

Scarborough Research (from their web site):

“Scarborough Research is your premier source for consumer insights. We measure the shopping patterns, lifestyles and media habits of consumers locally, regionally and nationally. From retail outlets to home improvement stores to cellular phone preferences to travel, Scarborough measurements detail the dynamic lives of American adults. Businesses use Scarborough data to buy and sell media, acquire and retain customers, develop business plans, increase market penetration, roll-out new products, distinguish brands, better understand the marketplace and monitor competitors. Marketers, media executives, local media salespeople, members of the press, advertising agencies and industry analysts find that Scarborough data is a necessary tool to keep their finger on the pulse of the American consumer. “

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