[01/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Discovery Channel and America Online Join Forces to Name the 'Greatest American' of All Time

[via press release from Discovery]

Discovery Channel and America Online Join Forces to Name the 'GREATEST AMERICAN' of All Time

Voters Can Cast Their Ballots on the AOL.com(R) Web Site or at AOL Keyword(R): Greatest American Starting January 13

Web-based Results Fuel a Seven-Hour Series, Part of Discovery Channel's 20th Anniversary Programming Line-up

SILVER SPRING, Md. and DULLES, Va., Jan. 13 -- Who is the greatest American ever? Discovery Channel and America Online have teamed up to answer that question with an innovative campaign that combines original television and online programming with interactive online features. The multifaceted initiative, kicking off January 13, will give Americans a chance to determine who will be named the "Greatest American," inviting them to submit nominations and to vote through the AOL.com Web site (http://aol.com/greatestamerican) or at AOL Keyword: Greatest American. The effort will culminate in a Discovery Channel series beginning in May that will highlight the top vote-getters and will ultimately reveal the person named as the "Greatest American."

"This opportunity is providing both of our companies with a perfect partnership," said Jane Root, executive vice president and general manager of Discovery Channel. "AOL is the world's leader in interactive services and Internet technologies, and Discovery Channel is America's largest cable network. Together, we can tap into each other's strengths for an inventive series sure to generate sustained interest and participation."

Jim Bankoff, executive vice president of programming, properties and productions for AOL, added, "This collaboration with Discovery Channel aligns perfectly with our goal to provide compelling original online content, while also offering a forum where Americans can make their voices heard."

The campaign kicks off January 13, when the nomination process begins on the Web at AOL.com (http://aol.com/greatestamerican) and on the AOL(R) service at AOL Keyword: Greatest American. Through February 1, Americans can nominate up to five individuals they believe most influenced the way they think, work and live. The top 100 nominees will be announced in March.

From March through May, Discovery Channel will provide AOL with packaged biographies of top vote-getters arranged by category, such as politicians, sports figures, news personalities and celebrities, that will be available for viewing online. In addition, Discovery Channel will provide AOL with "person on the street" interviews with ordinary Americans as they share their thoughts on who the "Greatest American" is and why.

Discovery Channel will premiere the first episode of the GREATEST AMERICAN series in May, profiling a selection from the top 100 nominees based on online submissions. Viewers can then cast votes online to pare down the list, and each subsequent show will profile leading vote-getters, with the eventual No. 1 choice profiled in the final episode in June. The programs will highlight the candidates' lives, and will feature interviews with celebrities and national figures who will discuss the country's top choices.

Information on the top 100 nominees will be integrated throughout relevant AOL programming categories such as its industry-leading Research & Learn education site, as well as areas that align with the nominees' spheres of influence such as Sports (athletes), News (newsmakers), Black Voices (African- American leaders) and Entertainment (celebrities). AOL will also allow visitors to exchange opinions about the nominees through extensive community resources such as AOL(R) Community Chats and Message Boards.

About America Online, Inc.

America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is the United States' largest cable television network, serving 89.4 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Military Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.

For more information, please log onto http://discovery.com.

SOURCE Discovery Channel
Web Site: http://www.discovery.com

  [january 2005]  

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