Published Online: July 9, 2003
Published in Print: July 9, 2003, as Media

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Media Merger

The children's publishing giant Scholastic Inc. is widening its online presence by partnering with the Internet media outlet MSNBC.com to broaden the reach of the school publisher's student news program.

The two New York City-based companies joined this May to bring Scholastic News to a general audience through MSNBC's Web site as well as through the newly created www.scholastic.msnbc.com.

The venture provides another way to advertise and link at least six of Scholastic's teacher-oriented magazines, said Victor Aluise, the vice president of Scholastic.com's teacher site. MSNBC.com is the Web site of MSNBC, the third- ranked cable TV network owned by NBC and Microsoft Inc. The Web site attracts 25 million readers per month.

"This cross-promotional type of exposure gives us broader exposure," Mr. Aluise said.

The Web site, aimed at teachers and students in grades 3-8, offers standardized state lesson plans, downloadable curriculum materials, and interactive features such as "Scholastic News Radio," through which students can record their opinions on issues in the news or contribute book, Web, or music reviews.

This isn't the first online partnership for Scholastic. It also has a presence on Yahoo.com's children's site, Yahooligans; America Online's AOL@SCHOOL (school.aol.com), which serves grades 3-5; and Microsoft's MSN.com.

The Scholastic and MSNBC partnership comes as the student online-news world has become more competitive.

The Atlanta-based Cable News Network partnered earlier this year with the education publisher Harcourt Inc. to broaden the audience of CNN's online Student News (www.cnn.com/fyi/) program. The Orlando, Fla.- based Harcourt is a direct competitor of Scholastic.

While Scholastic's news site features a full-page spread about the fan frenzy over the newest Harry Potter book—which happens to be published by Scholastic—CNN's Web site caters to older students.

Last week, for example, the CNN site featured news on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on using race as a factor in college admissions, and a discussion on Palestinian militant groups. CNN's site also has links to lesson plans, charts, maps, and student activities, some provided by Harcourt.

Another major player in the online student news world is PBS, which produces NewsHour Extra, a spinoff of the "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," at www.pbs.org/newshour.extra.

Rhea R. Borja

Vol. 22, Issue 42, Page 6

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