Scripps enters strategic alliance with "Schools Now"

Tue, August 26, 1997 by Tim King

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The E.W. Scripps Company’s television station group has entered into a strategic alliance with Schools Now, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based creator of educational awareness campaigns that raise money for schools through partnerships with local television stations.This year, Schools Now will be active in seven television markets, three of those in partnership with Scripps – Phoenix, Baltimore and Kansas City. The program expands to 13 markets in 1997, and will involve the local sponsorship of all nine Scripps television stations.“I know of no other private organization that has generated as much excitement and financial support for education as Schools Now,” said James M. Hart, senior vice president of Scripps’ television station group. “We’re proud to be associated with an organization that has been so successful at bringing together educators, civic leaders and corporate sponsors for the worthy goal of helping local schools.”Schools Now, formerly known as Kids Now, was formed eight years ago from the concept of selling coupon books in a fund raising effort to benefit schools. The program matches the local school system, a local television station and a local celebrity to highlight local education through the sale of coupons redeemable at dozens of retailers and restaurants. During a focused, month-long publicity campaign, students sell the booklets and the majority of the funds raised stay with the individual school. A portion of the proceeds goes into an educational trust established in the name of a high-profile celebrity supporter, such as NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon, who appeared in promotional advertising for Houston’s million-dollar campaign in 1995.“We are extremely pleased that Scripps recognizes the potential of this program,” said Bill Arant, managing partner of Venture Alliance, a majority owner of Schools Now. “We have great respect for Scripps, and we believe they will help us maximize the program’s positive impact on the schools.”Under the name Scripps Howard Broadcasting, Scripps operates network-affiliated television stations in Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa, Phoenix, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Tulsa, Okla.The Company also owns 18 daily newspapers, two television production companies, a licensing and syndication unit, and Home & Garden Television, a 24-hour cable television channel.