Dr. Paul Folkemer gone from Channel One News.

March 30, 2013
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Good riddance: Dr. Paul Folkemer will no longer be marketing junk food, soft drinks, movies, and rock bands to a captive student audience.

From Jim Metrock:

May no educator ever, EVER, do what this man did with his Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree.

Educator-turned-kiddie-marketer Dr. Paul Folkemer is out at Channel One News.

He first joined Channel One in 1998.  He left after four years and then came back to the youth marketing firm in 2008.

Now I find out that without ceremony or even a public “thank you” for his years of service Channel One parted ways with Dr. Folkemer in January 2013.  Did he quit? ? Oh yeah, I bet he “retired” – wink, wink.

Dr. Folkemer liked to call himself the “child advocate” at Channel One News.  If any company needed one, it surely was Channel One.  Folkemer tried to ease the fears of parents and educators by telling them he gave final approval to all ads.  His message was simple: I used to be a middle school principal. I care about children. You can trust me. I will only approve “good” advertisements for your children.

He was a miserable failure as a self-proclaimed “child advocate.” See some of the articles below to appreciate the terrible ads he approved for high school and middle school students.  Most sickening of all was the fact that Channel One and Primedia (parent company) helped secure Folkemer a spot on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) board of directors while Channel One continually advertised movies and TV shows that glorified underage drinking.

More than likely Dr. Folkemer has “retired” because the company can no longer afford to pay him. With so few paying-advertisers (Clearasil ,Clean & Clear, and Neutrogena appear to be the last full-paying advertisers using the program), with Channel One’s contracts with schools becoming unenforceable. it is easy to understand why Folkemer is out.  In 2010, I visited Channel One’s offices in New York City.  I asked the receptionist if I could speak to Dr. Folkemer. I was told that he never comes into the office. Yipes. From what I could tell he did very little to earn his paycheck. He did put his name on a teacher’s newsletter.  He also was a registered lobbyist for the marketing company.  And he did help Channel One just being on the payroll because having an educator on staff – no matter how compromised and tarnished he was – made the marketing company look like they were concerned about education.

Now with Folkemer out of the picture, what educator will stand up and support this youth marketing company’s presence in public schools? There was no Education VP before Folkemer and there probably won’t be on after him.

In the end Dr. Folkemer’s education credentials never helped Channel One News. Channel One’s audience steadily went down every year after he was hired. There were 8.1million students compelled to watch the classroom TV show in 1998 and today the audience is less that 5 million.

I first met him in the fall of 1998. He was newly hired and he showed up at the Shelby County (AL) board of education meeting. They were considering removing Channel One News from all their schools.

Dr. Folkemer was as smooth as melted butter. He told the board he understood their concerns and since he was a former principal he wasn’t going to stand for any inappropriate advertising to students.  I sensed the board instantly liked him. Heck, I liked the guy even though we were on the opposite sides of the Channel One issue.

Then the floor collapsed underneath the good Dr. Folkemer.

Trey Ireland, a Shelby County board member asked Dr. Folkemer if he was familiar with everything that is being advertised on Channel One’s TV show and website. He said he was. He was new with the company but he had taken the time to review what was advertised.  He should never have said that.

Ireland asked Dr. Folkemer if he was familiar with the website called The Mining Company. “No” was the answer. Ireland asked him about other specific advertisers. Dr. Folkemer was unfamiliar with any of them.

Mr. Ireland then distributed a fairly thick binder of papers to all board members, the superintendent, to me, and to Dr. Folkemer.

The binder had page after page of Channelone.com advertisers who had inappropriate and often pornographic content or links on their websites. The screen shots showed that these were all advertised on Channel One’s official website. Dr. Folkemer had either misled the board members by saying he had taken the time to review all the advertisers or he had conveniently forgotten the most outrageous advertisers. He had no idea a Shelby County School Board member would take the time to do the research that Dr. Folkemer had said he himself had done.

The board was stunned. This was a surprise to me too. I wished I could have taken credit. Dr. Folkemer was shocked. He did the only smart thing he could do. He said this was embarrassing to him and he would go back to New York and make sure this never happened again.

Channel One never recovered from this and Dr. Folkemer couldn’t prevent any of Shelby County’s 18 schools from removing Channel One’s TV sets.

Two years later Mrs. Pat Ellis of Obligation and I visited Dr. Folkemer at his swanky Madison Avenue office. Oddly, Dr. Folkemer and I then were somewhat friendly with each other. At the time Channel One had their headquarters in the heart of the New York City advertising world.  I asked Dr. Folkemer that since he approved all commercials on Channel One did he ever actually see any of the movies before the ads were shown to children. He laughed. He said no he never did. That laugh always bugged me. Why wouldn’t this man take the time to preview movies he was going to advertise to teens and preteens? He was not concerned with the content of a movie but rather the content of the commercial itself.  That was the easy, lazy, indifferent way to approve ads for children. I never thought kindly of Dr. Folkemer after that.

Few educators and fewer students will miss Dr. Paul Folkemer. I wish him well in his “retirement” but I hope he never seeks to make a buck off of American schoolchildren again.

 

Oct 19, 2012  An email to Kent Haehl and Paul Folkemer

Mar 19, 2012  Dr. Paul Folkemer and Kent Haehl of Channel One continue to ignore our pleas to stop advertising gURL.com to kids.

April 30, 2010  Orsini Or Folkemer? An Easy Choice.

October 14, 2011 Footloose content no problem for Folkemer and Haehl

September 10, 2008 Dr. Paul Folkemer, Take Down This Ad!

September 30, 2008  Folkemer’s Follies

June 24, 2012  Channel One News Hall of Shame: Dr. Folkemer’s unethical letter to principals (April 20, 2000)

November 18, 2009  Haehl and Folkemer to Kids: In your face!!

January 28, 2008  Paul “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Folkemer

September 12, 2009  Haehl and Folkemer approve MTV ads for kids 

November 28, 1999 Ask Dr. Folkemer

February 13, 2009  Dr. Folkemer: Stop Advertising Teen Drinking Movies!

August 2, 2008  No Reply from Folkemer

October 17, 1998  Letter From Judge McGuire to Paul Folkemer

December 8, 1999  Ballabon and Folkemer Approve Second James Bond Ad for Kids

January 17, 2001  Jim Metrock to Channel One’s Paul Folkemer – Stop Advertising About.com to Kids, NOW!

March 12, 2012  Out Email to CEO Kent Haehl and Channel One’s “Child Advocate” Dr. Paul Folkemer

January 30, 2009  Channel One Says, “F. U.” to Kids

January 8, 2013  Prequel to Sex in the City advertised on Channel One News

March 29, 2012  Warning: More filthy content from Channel One News advertised gURL.com

 

Click here for dozens of other articles about Dr. Paul Folkemer on Obligation.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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