Paul “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Folkemer

January 28, 2008
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Dr. Paul Folkemer is back.

Press Release
Source: Channel One Network

 

Channel One Appoints Dr. Paul Folkemer SVP, Director of Education

Thursday January 24, 8:55 am ET

Position to Focus on the Delivery of Education Standards-Based News Content and Resources to Over Six Million Teens

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Channel One, the preeminent news and content provider for teens, today named Dr. Paul Folkemer to the position of SVP, Director of Education, Channel One Network. In this newly created role, Dr. Folkemer will develop and pilot Channel One’s education standards-based curriculum as it aims to deliver quality news content and resources to more than six million teens in more than 8,000 middle schools and high schools across the country.

“Paul has built a commendable, forty-plus year career in educational administration and in highly-regarded schools systems,” said Kent Haehl, CEO of Channel One Network. “He’s been on the frontlines as a teacher, as well as providing the strategy and oversight for the development of a district’s course curriculum. In our view, this makes him extremely well-placed to shape Channel One’s programming and instructional materials. His perspective will be critically important as we map our content to educational standards and hold our product to an ever higher bar. It’s an exciting time in Channel One’s evolution and we’re thrilled to have him on board in this capacity.”

Dr. Folkemer has a history with Channel One. He has been a national spokesperson for the news broadcast and has effectively managed relationships with administrators across the network of Channel One schools. He was instrumental to the launch of ChannelOneNetwork.com, a web-based resource for educators offering lesson plans and resources to help teach breaking news and current events.

Dr. Folkemer has served as both teacher and administrator for several of the nation’s leading school districts. His successful and varied tenure in education includes twenty years as Principal of Benjamin Franklin School in Ridgewood, NJ; and most recently, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for the Scarsdale Public Schools in Scarsdale, NY. Long a proponent of media literacy, Dr. Folkemer was a co-founder of the Student Television Network, a national organization of secondary schools with an interest in promoting scholastic broadcasting and video production. Additionally, he co-authored Media Mastery, a national media literacy curriculum aimed at teaching media and advertising.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Folkemer remains an active supporter of youth and societal issues. Currently, he is National Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He holds a Doctorate in Education and an M.S. in Educational Administration from Fordham University, and a B.A. in English Literature from Gettysburg College.

About Channel One News: Peabody and Webby Award-winning Channel One News, an Alloy Media + Marketing Company (NASDAQ: ALOY – News), is the preeminent news and content provider reaching over six million teens in middle schools and high schools across the country, nearly 25% of teenagers in the U.S. In recent months, Channel One News has covered fast-breaking world events from regions such as Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Myanmar, and Qatar. Through a partnership with NBC News’ Peacock Productions, Channel One expands its global newsgathering capabilities, ensuring worldwide coverage wherever and whenever news breaks. Channel One News programming has been featured on leading networks and news programs, including NBC’s Nightly News and The Today Show, CNN, ABC News, and Nightline. Visit the Webby Award-winning website www.ChannelOne.com to learn more.

Contact:
For Channel One:
Sloane & Company
Amanda Cheslock, 212-446-1884
acheslock@sloanepr.com

 

Those new to the Channel One News controversy may not know the name, but Folkemer worked for Channel One from 1998 to 2001. Before that he used his position as principal of a New Jersey middle school to help promote Channel One’s interests. If Channel One needed an educator to tell reporters how good the show was, they would call on Folkemer almost exclusively. It is not known if Folkemer was paid by Channel One while he was a principal.

He left Channel One in 2001 and became an assistant principal in a New York school district.

Now Channel One’s CEO Kent Haehl, also a former employee who has come back to the company, has hired Dr. Folkemer to reprise his role as Education Vice President.

Obligation has given Dr. Folkemer two nicknames. Paul "Dude, Where’s My Car?" Folkemer and Paul "Twinkies" Folkemer. The man earned both nicknames.

When he was last at Channel One, Folkemer told the press and school boards that he was the "child advocate" at Channel One News. As such he did not allow any commercial to be aired on the show unless he personally approved it. That made some school board members feel secure. Folkemer had, and probably still has, a very reassuring countenance.

Any faith a person put in Folkemer however was misplaced. The advertising during his tenure at Channel One was the worst in its history. The advertising he approved for kids was simply disgusting.

In December 2000, Folkemer gave a thumbs-up to a multiple-spot campaign for the drug comedy "Dude, Where’s My Car?"

Obligation’s Jim Metrock said, "I once asked Dr. Folkemer if he ever saw the movies before he approved their promotion on Channel One News. I remember that he laughed and said, ‘No.’ The answer was shocking enough. After all, didn’t the welfare of the millions of children who would be watching these commercials dictate that he expend just a little bit of energy to check out the movie himself? He gave me the impression that it never occurred to him to preview a movie for content problems. Yet it was his laugh that irritated the heck out of me. The laugh said to me that it wasn’t in his interest to preview a movie. If he did and he saw age-inappropriate content he might have to reject the movie and say ‘bye-bye’ to the advertising revenue that supported his fat paycheck. ‘See no evil, do no evil.’ That is why I’ll refer to him as Paul ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ Folkemer. It fits just like a glove."

Folkemer also was known for his approval of junk food ads for kids. He gave his stamp of approval to many junk food and junk drink commercials, but his approval of a massive ad campaign for Hostess Twinkies was what stunned teachers and students alike.

In the summer of 2000, Obligation and Commercial Alert published a "coalition letter" that called on Channel One News to stop advertising junk foods to kids. It was aimed at the management of Channel One and Folkemer was one of the most important managers of Channel One at the time. In the letter, the 42 signers restated the undeniable evidence of an obesity crisis among the age group that Channel One advertised to. From the letter: "It is probably no accident that childhood obesity has become a major public health problem in the United States. An article in the October 27, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association notes “alarming increases in obesity among children and adolescents,” and an accompanying editorial remarks on the role of the “marketing of snack foods” in the obesity epidemic. In 1998, Surgeon General David Satcher observed that many young people in America today are “starting out obese and dooming themselves to the difficult task of overcoming a tough illness.”

Five months AFTER receiving this letter, Channel One News approved the advertising campaign for Twinkies and its sister product Hostess Cupcakes. Here is an actual commercial that was part of that campaign: [Twinkies Vulture commercial] The sole purpose of this Folkemer-approved ad campaign was to get children to eat more Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies.

Metrock said, "So Obligation reserves the right to refer to Paul Folkemer as Paul "Twinkies" Folkemer. Again, it is a name he has unfortunately duly earned."