Classroom Gets Back in the Magazine Business

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With school back in session, Cable in the Classroom is back on the outreach trail with new print and online efforts.

After shutting down its long-running Cable in the Classroom
magazine for teachers three months ago, the industry's education-focused consortium is premiering two publications in an effort to reach a wider constituency, and do so more often.

Already available: Access Learning, a monthly 32-page overview of educationally sound cable shows, designed for reading by parents as well as teachers. It will be joined later this month by Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education, a quarterly journal exploring technology — from cable operators and elsewhere — and its impact on learning.

CIC/Crosby Publishing, the Boston-based magazine and cable-guide company that put out CIC
magazine, will handle both titles.

Also, CIC/Crosby will send 40,000 copies of each 40-page Threshold
issue to a mailing list of national education, technology and political leaders.

Expanded features from both publications, along with TV listings and related material, will be posted on CIC's Web site (www.ciconline.org). Cable operators can use that material on their own Web sites.

Operators can circulate one or both magazines among teachers, parents or key officials, paying CIC/Crosby $1.53 per issue to do so. Previously, they paid $1.83 to do that via Cable in the Classroom. The issues can be customized with company logos, listings and other features.

The decision to revamp the organization's print strategy came earlier this summer following a year of review. Whatever the group adopted had to "go beyond the teacher," CIC executive director Peggy O'Brien said.

The organization's board of directors — including Comcast Corp. cable president Steve Burke and Cox Communications Inc. CEO James Robbins — was "clear that we had to bring notice and evidence of what the industry is doing in education to broader, key audiences."

"One important audience we're reaching here is parents, who have everything to do with what their kids learn, and who pay the cable bills," she said. "Another is people who make the spending decisions and policy decisions for education at the state, regional and national level."

In Access Learning's first issue, the dual teacher-parent focus is demonstrated with a cover story on science projects, in which activities that can be used by each group are presented.

Each Threshold
issue will be tied in with an educational resource, beginning with the National School Board Association. The second issue will have the American Library Association as an adviser, opening with a letter from A&E Television Networks CEO (and CIC director) Nick Davatzes.

O'Brien's organization also will make a monthly e-mail newsletter highlighting Access Learning
topics available for operator distribution. A second e-mail monthly effort, giving parents previews of family-friendly cable programs, is in development.

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