Court TV, cablers team on teen public service pitch

It will be announced today that Court TV is joining forces with Tele-Communications Inc., MediaOne, Cablevision Systems Corp., Time Warner Cable and Marcus Cable on a broad-based public service initiative spotlighting issues faced by adolescents today in America.

Called “Choices & Consequences,” the initiative — which also includes the participation of the National Middle School Assn. and Cable in the Classroom — was created in response to the National TV Violence Study, which stressed the negative results of portraying violence without consequences on TV.

The “Choices & Consequences” campaign kicks off Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern time with a live broadcast titled “Portraits in Change,” airing on Court TV from Arlington, Va. It will feature a studio audience of teenagers, celebrities, parents and educators, providing a forum for young people to voice their concerns about pressing issues in their lives.

Emphasis in the TV show will be on busting preconceptions about American teens being rebellious, drug-abusing and contemptuous of authority, and on encouraging them to provide clearer pictures of their everyday lives.

“This is a great example of how the cable industry can join forces on an important public service initiative,” said Leo J. Hindery, prexy and chief operating officer of TCI.

The multimillion-dollar initiative will run over the next five years and focus on making young people aware that they aren’t alone in taking on the issues impacting their lives, said Dick Beahrs, COO for Court TV.

“We feel that, as a network focusing 24 hours a day on the consequences of violence, it would make sense for us to be involved in an effort that would attempt to increase the public’s awareness of what makes young people tick, and help young people make wise decisions for themselves,” Beahrs said.

“This is a great program that centers on issues Court TV should logically address.”

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