And they don’t like you either.

May 2, 2007

From Jim Metrock:

It is getting impossible for Channel One News to feature a school on its show that actually watches Channel One News.

On today’s show, Channel One focused on an academic team from Vestavia Hills High School, in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. This is a school I know something about. Both of my sons graduated from VHHS.

In 2000, Channel One was kicked out of the school at the request of teachers. VHHS is one of the very best high schools in Alabama. Teachers were fed up with goofy reporters interviewing movie stars and with the relentless junk food commercials on the show.

Ending Channel One’s contract did not upset students because few had ever seen the show while they were high school students. The principal at the time, Michael Gross, did not want students to lose any academic time watching Channel One News. He had it air on all classroom TV sets at 7:45 each weekday morning. School did not start until 8:00. The first bell was at 8:00. Students would be coming into homeroom as Channel One’s ending credits ran on the small 19" TV sets. That went on for years leading up to its final cancellation in 2000. That is not what Channel One or its advertisers want, but that is routinely done in schools that still have the program. In 2007, there are few nationally ranked schools that have contracts with Channel One. Even fewer honor the contract.

Vestavia Hills High School excels in virtually everything they do. That couldn’t happen if they had a contract with Channel One. Schools under contract to Alloy/Channel One have to sacrifice an hour a week to watch this TV show so they can keep these pathetically old TV sets. That is the equivalent of losing one entire week of school time. Channel One News is for schools that don’t want to maximize learning time. Channel One is for burned-out teachers who desperately need an electronic babysitter. Top schools like Vestavia Hills HS place too high a value on academics to put up with the fluff of Channel One.

Note: Once again this is a news story dictated by the Knight Foundation. Channel One is trying to keep the Knight Foundation happy so they won’t yank their money away. The news is always up for sale at Channel One News – ask Gatorade, ask the Army, ask Subway, ask the Knight Foundation.