February 6, 2012

Publicity still from the Channel One News-advertised movie Chronicle.

Channel One News is now advertising the new movie Chronicle in middle schools and high schools. Channel One executives Kent Haehl CEO and Dr. Paul Folkemer VP gave the green light to this ad campaign even thought he movie is rated PG-13 for its sexual content and teen drinking. From the movie studio publicity still above it looks like there’s some violence too.

To understand the disdain Channel One News executives have for the welfare of  young people (and now primary schoolchildren thanks to their partner Promethean), one only has to imagine what took place before Channel One accepted 20th Century Fox’s money to advertise the movie in public schools.

Somebody representing the movie studio had to make the initial contact with Channel One’s sales department.

This is how that conversation might have gone:

“We have a new movie we want to pitch to your captive audience. It’s called Chronicle. It’s aimed at an older audience, but we would like your kids to fill the theaters too.”

Channel One: Sure thing. First, what’s the rating?

Movie Studio: PG-13. No big deal.

Channel One: Hey you know that’s fine with us. We haven’t met a PG-13 movie we didn’t like for our students. Just out of curiosity, why the rating?

Movie Studio: Let’s see what it says here. Yeah,  “intense action and violence.” Violence OK with your middle schoolers?

Channel One: Sure. They are quite streetwise.

Movie Studio: “Thematic material.” Who the heck knows what that means?

Channel One: (Chuckling) Parents are not going to call the principal over that. Thematic materials could be concerning “justice” or “redemption.” Right?

Movie Studio and Channel One: (Laughter)

Movie Studio: “Some language.” Oh, how disturbing! You have to have language or it’s a silent movie. (Laughter)

Channel One: Everything sounds fine.

Movie Studio: Wait a minute. “Sexual content.” Standard stuff. Your kids have seen worse I bet.

Channel One: It would be better for our principals and teachers if you didn’t have it, but hardly any of them every complain. Children have to learn about sex some time. It’s a go.

Movie Studio: One last one, just to be sure we mention everything. “Teen drinking.”

Channel One: Again, better without it, but no one is going to complain.  Teens and preteens are pretty savvy. If they see a movie with popular teens drinking it is not going to make them start drinking. It sounds like a movie that will connect with a lot of our audience. You going to give me the check now or later. You know we can put young people in those theater seats better than anyone.

Movie Studio: That’s why we always come to you.  It is so easy to work with you guys. Now you know we aren’t going to pay you the same as the last movie.

Channel One: No way!

Movie Studio: Come on. Don’t act surprised. You guys keep losing schools. And I hear a lot of schools are trying to ramp up their academics by cutting our your show and our movie trailers. Face it your audience is shrinking faster than our movie audiences.

Channel One: Wait a minute. Did you ever think that we might be losing schools because we are advertising your teen-drinking, teen-sex, teen-violence movies?  Come on. Can’t we pay what you did last time.

Movie Studio: Already written the check. Here. Take it or leave it.

Channel One: OK. Thanks. This will really come in handy. We at Channel One News don’t want to do anything to undermine this long and financially beneficial relationship with Hollywood movie studios.





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