An Imaginary Interview With Judy Harris

May 8, 2007


Jim Metrock conducts a fake interview with Channel One’s president Judy Harris.


From Jim Metrock:
I have given up on actually talking with Judy Harris. I have emailed her, called her, and I have gone by her office in New York City several times (I never got past the desk in the lobby). So it’s time to use my imagination and conduct my own "interview" with a fictional "Ms. Harris."


Let’s give a big welcome to Judy Harris, president of Channel One News.


This is not real. These words are being made up by Mr. Metrock. I am not Judy Harris. This is asinine.

OK, let’s get right into it. Howyadoin’?



I am not going to cooperate .

Ms. Harris, I know this is a tough time for you, but inquiring minds want to know what is the future of Channel One News?



Our future is very promising. Things have never looked better for the company. I am very bullish on Channel One News. Our new owner Alloy will help us reach heights we never thought possible.


Ms. Harris, are you feeling all right?



Yeah, I was just having some fun. Actually we are in very bad shape, but we can turn this around if everyone has a nice positive attitude.

Ms. Harris, will you, here and now, publicly promise to never again advertise any food product, soft drink or sports drink?



I will promise no such thing. We have to keep our options open. Right now there are no candy bar commercials on Channel One. That should be good enough for parents.


You have very publicly said that Channel One News does "advertorials." Do you understand why mixing news and advertising content is controversial, especially for young people?


I have never said we do "advertorials." Like always you have wrong information, and quite frankly I resent it.


Let me refresh your memory a little. Here is a video of you speaking at a National Governor’s conference. (Harris discusses Channel One’s advertorials.)

Since I am not the real Judy Harris, I have no idea what she meant by "advertorial." I am sure she used that term in its best possible meaning . Mixing ads with news content is a tricky business and I am sure the real Ms. Harris is doing it with style.


What are your thoughts about your new owner Alloy? They look like real bottom-feeders. They stole your company for nothing. Does that hurt your feelings?


I love Alloy. I was hoping all along that they would purchase us. Alloy has the same marketing mind set we at Channel One have. Kids have cash -we want our share of that cash. Go Alloy!

Boy, was that a shameless effort to keep your job. Anyway, the Knight Foundation agreed to give you $2.25 million so you will help promote greater knowledge of the First Amendment. You have run a lot of stories on the First Amendment. During each of these stories your anchors give a plug to the Knight Foundation. What’s to prevent anybody else from giving you money and "buying" Channel One coverage for their particular interest?



You got something against the First Amendment? We would be doing all these stories anyhow. The fact that we are desperate for money and Knight dangled $2.25 million in front of us had nothing to do with our programming decisions. That is very insulting for you to even mention such a thing.

Do you care to mention any mistakes you made since you became Channel One’s president in March 2005?


Where do I begin? I approved a Clear & Clean commercial that was specifically made for our show. It featured a fake news reporter which I am sure confused students. I wish I hadn’t done that. I approved ads for Hubba Bubba bubble gum which is just loaded with sugar. I regret that. I used news reporters to plug movies. Looking back on it, that really stunk. And I didn’t do a bang up job with our sales department – obviously. Oh, approving cell phone ads for middle school students wasn’t a good thing, but we don’t do that anymore.

I have been dying to ask you about the notorious Subway ads. You got Subway to sponsor the One Step To A Better Me health segment on the show, but then you allowed them to advertise their highest calorie menu items. Subway is known for their "6 grams of fat or less" sandwiches and you chose to preface each "healthy eating" feature with sandwiches up to 50 grams of fat! Can you tell us what in the world was going on in your brain when you approved this lunacy?


Just a moment. Subway was the advertiser, not Channel One. Subway chose what they wanted to pitch the kids and you have to agree even the worse Subway is better than the Snickers and Twinkies we used to advertise.


The company’s only real value comes from having signed, enforceable contracts with schools. It seems you have given most schools a pass on honoring the Channel One contract. Isn’t this why Channel One’s net worth is now zero?


I totally disagree. Our net worth is zero for numerous reasons. As far as the contract goes, how are we going to enforce it? Threaten to take our old equipment out if they don’t watch our show?
We just hope and pray that the children are watching our show AND the ads!


Well, that’s it for this imaginary interview with one of the most elusive figures in the world of tween/teen marketing. Ms. Harris, thank you for your candor. You know that Alloy won’t keep you on their payroll, but when they do cut you loose, I know you will be much happier. Thanks, again.

Mr. Metrock when you see a psychiatrist you will be much happier. Sitting around and making up interviews is bizarre. I have to go back to work. Marketing to young people is a 24/7 business.
I love Alloy!!!!