Does your school still have Channel One News?
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Houghton Mifflin/Channel One News

Channel One News is a youth marketing company whose main purpose is to get advertising to a captive audience of impressionable schoolchildren. The company loans a school TV equipment in exchange for the school’s contractual pledge to show students a daily, 12-minute, hyper-commercial, TV program called Channel One News. Students lose one hour a week of schools time, which equates to one lost week of instructional time (32 hours) per year. No educational organization endorses the use of Channel One News.

Channel One has fallen on very hard times. Once they claimed over 8 million students were under contract. Since 1997 they have continued to lose schools and now they claim “nearly five million” students and the true figure is probably lower.

In May 2014, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired Channel One from ZelnickMedia the makers of the ultra-violent Grand Thief Auto video game series. Houghton Mifflin did not disclose the purchase price.

At the end of 2014 most of Channel One’s full-paying advertisers have abandoned the program.

Channel One May Have Advertised Adult Soap Opera To Children

November 27, 1997

It appears that ABC’s steamy "Port Charles" soap opera was advertised to Channel One’s captive audience of eight million schoolchildren at least once this year. We are awaiting a response from Channel One’s Madison Avenue headquarters, so we have to couch our words with qualifiers. This is what is known: Teachers in several states,...
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Antidotes To Pop Culture Poison

November 20, 1997
Antidotes To Pop Culture Poison

Obligation was pleased to contribute information for the article "Antidotes to Pop Culture Poison" in the December issue of The Heritage Foundation’s magazine, "Policy Review". Author Kris Napier gives parents solid steps they can take to help combat the popular culture’s impact on their children. The article mentions our efforts to encourage schools to...
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Will Channel One Let You Own the Equipment?

November 19, 1997

A Kansas middle school teacher who is very familiar with Channel One sent us a letter, dated November 12,1997, telling us how wonderful Channel One is. She says, "At the end of three years, if the school no longer wishes to be a part of Channel 1, the equipment becomes the property of the...
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A Soap Opera Ad On Channel One?

November 15, 1997

Do you know what soap opera was advertised on Channel One in May of this year? Click on this line and email us. Thanks. (All information is confidential.) We feel safe in saying now that a soap opera was pitched to children by Channel One in May of this year. We first heard the...
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No Response From Channel One

November 15, 1997

Obligation has yet to receive a reply to our November 7 letter (below) to David Tanzer, president of Channel One. We, however, have heard indirectly from two teachers in two Midwestern states that have contacted Channel One and the PR people have told them that Marilyn Manson will not be played again. One teacher...
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Marilyn Manson Music Played During School

November 10, 1997

Jim Metrock was the in-studio guest of WBRC’s Good Day Alabama morning show today. The topic concerned the impact that explicit content music groups, like the death-rock satanic Marilyn Manson, have on children. Metrock told the anchor, Janice Rogers, that many parents are unaware that Manson’s music was played in Alabama public schools over...
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Letter to Channel One’s President – Apologize To Schoolchildren For Playing Marilyn Manson Music On In-School TV Show

November 7, 1997

Mr. David Tanzer, President Channel One Network 600 Madison Avenue, Sixth Floor New York, NY 10022 Dear Mr. Tanzer: Our child advocacy organization would like your company to apologize for playing the self-described satanic-rock band Marilyn Manson during your in-school TV show (Channel One News). We ask that Channel One News discontinue playing any...
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No Response From Birmingham-Area Schools Concerning Chat Room Warnings

October 21, 1997

  Obligation sent a request/press release to each Birmingham-area school system that is still showing Channel One urging them to send home a warning to parents and students of the dangers of Internet chat rooms, especially the Channel One chat room since that is being advertised to students almost daily in school. So far, we have received no response from...
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“Channel One” Schools Urged To Warn Parents About Internet Chat Rooms

October 9, 1997

Press Release October 9, 1997 Contact: Jim Metrock 205-822-0080 “Channel One” Schools Urged To Warn Parents About Internet Chat Rooms “>(Birmingham, AL) Channel One, a controversial in-school TV show, is urging children to visit its Internet web site and its chat room and parents should be warned, says a local child advocacy group. Jim Metrock, president of Obligation, Inc., said,...
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“Critics Tune In To Channel One”

October 6, 1997

This article presented Obligation’s view of Channel One and the opposing view. The article was written by Elizabeth Wine ( or 205-325-2308). Although no local superintendent was quoted, State Superintendent Ed Richardson was. “(Richardson) said that the trade-off of advertising for technology is ‘an unfortunate dilemma’ but adds that he’s not too worried about the effects of advertising on students.”...
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