Media Conglomerate to Drop Channel One

By Rhea R. Borja — December 22, 2006 2 min read

Primedia Inc. has announced that it will classify Channel One, the for-profit news network for schools, as a discontinued operation in the fourth quarter of 2006. The move by the New York City-based media company can be construed as a first step by Primedia to rid itself of the network, which has struggled financially for years.

Whether that means the daily news network will be sold or shut down is still up in the air. But Amanda Cheslock, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based network, said in a Dec. 21 interview that as of now, “it’s business as usual at Channel One.”

The network airs daily broadcasts, which include two minutes of commercials, to 7 million middle and high school students nationwide. Advertising revenues for Primedia’s education segment fell almost 28 percent in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2005, according to company documents. That segment’s revenues all come from Channel One.

The falling revenues come despite the work of Chief Executive Officer Judy L. Harris, who came to Channel One in April 2005 . Primedia blames the revenue shortfalls on the end of big advertising contracts in late 2005, the loss of much of Channel One’s government advertising, and lackluster progress this year in securing more advertising.

Target of Anti-Commercialism Groups

Channel One has also suffered the slings and arrows of anti-commercialism watchdog groups such as Commercial Alert, which is based in Portland, Ore., and Obligation Inc., based in Birmingham, Ala. Gary Ruskin, Commercial Alert’s executive director, said he is not surprised by Primedia’s move to drop Channel One, saying in an interview that the network is “the dregs of the dregs” of the company’s holdings.

He added that he doubted the company would find a buyer, citing reports that Primedia unsuccessfully tried to sell the network in 2002. “It’s clear that Channel One is in its death throes,” Mr. Ruskin asserted.

Ms. Cheslock of Channel One replied that the network has “received positive testimony and response from hundreds of educators underscoring the value of [Channel One] in the classroom.”

In addition, she stressed the network’s commitment to news. She pointed to such examples as Channel One’s recent coverage of the malaria epidemic in Mozambique, a multimedia project on the First Amendment, and a “town hall” meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings scheduled for March 2007.

Stay tuned.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Federal Biden Calls for $130 Billion in New K-12 Relief, Scaled Up Testing, Vaccination Efforts
President-elect Joe Biden proposed new aid for schools as part of a broader COVID-19 relief plan, which will require congressional approval.
5 min read
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 2020.
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y.
Mary Altaffer/AP
Federal Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal's Office
Many who've worked with Joe Biden's pick for education secretary say he's ready for what would be a giant step up.
15 min read
Miguel Cardona, first-time teacher, in his fourth-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Ct. in August of 1998.
Miguel Cardona, chosen to lead the U.S. Department of Education, photographed in his 4th-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Conn., in 1998.
Courtesy of the Record-Journal
Federal Obama Education Staff Involved in Race to the Top, Civil Rights Join Biden's White House
Both Catherine Lhamon and Carmel Martin will serve on President-elect Joe Biden's Domestic Policy Council.
4 min read
Federal Opinion What Conservatives Should Be for When It Comes to Education
Education is ultimately about opportunity, community, and empowerment, and nothing should resonate more deeply with the conservative heart.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty