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NBC Universal Expands Green Initiative Across Divisions

By Irene Lew (StopGlobalWarming.org) - January 26, 2007

As part of its “Green Is Universal” eco-friendly initiative kicking off next month, NBC Universal has unveiled plans to debut more than 150 hours of environmentally-themed content encompassing all of its divisions across multiple platforms.

The green-themed programming will kick off on November 4 and culminate on November 10. During the same week, NBC Universal’s U.S. Spanish-language network Telemundo will also launch “Alerta Verde” (Green Alert), which will include special programming promoting the preservation of the environment during its entertainment, news and sports shows.

Highlights of NBC Universal’s 150 hours of green-themed content include announcements about the “Green Is Universal” initiative during NBC Sports programs. On November 4 during the Sunday Night Football game, Football Night in America host Bob Costas will explain the programming as NBC Universal’s networks simultaneously turn their respective logos green at 8 p.m. The broadcast also will feature additional announcements about “Green Is Universal,” as well as incorporate the themes throughout its broadcast on Sunday night. The following Saturday, November 10, the Air Force vs. Notre Dame college football game will feature the University of Notre Dame’s students’ and professors’ research for capturing carbon dioxide from the emissions of power plants, which could ultimately contribute to reversing the effects of global warming.

NBC News will dedicate programming across many of its platforms as part of the initiative. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams will feature a five-part green series, dedicating each night to a single topic: water, wind, grass, bio-fuels, nuclear and how to “green your house.” NBC News’ environmental correspondent, Anne Thompson, will contribute to this series.

CNBC will focus on investing opportunities in the green movement, covering what Wall Street, venture capital firms and corporations are doing in such areas as clean technology, alternative energy and sustainability, providing information for investors. This includes a special green edition of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch at 10 p.m.

For the female-targeted online community, iVillage’s iGo Green channel features a wide variety of green content, from organic Thanksgiving ideas to eco-friendly gifts. In addition, iVillage’s gURL.com will feature a recycling game and Astrology.com will feature Green Scopes. Every day, new green content will be featured both on iVillage.com’s main page and on its iGo Green channel, including opportunities to give green within iVillage Cares, with click-to-donate links for a variety of causes.

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution’s Access Hollywood will report on Hollywood celebrities making an environmental difference, with additional green interviews posted online at www.accesshollywood.com. On the November 6 edition of The Martha Stewart Show, naturalist, media personality and author David Mizejewski of the National Wildlife Federation will help educate viewers on the growing importance of involving children in green activities and encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. Lyons and Bailes Reel Talk will highlight Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, on the November 10-11 episodes. Additionally, The Jerry Springer Show, Maury, The Steve Wilkos Show, The Chris Matthews Show, The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, Your Total Health and Lyons & Bailes are all participating in the effort.

The NBC owned-and-operated stations will incorporate extensive environmentally-themed stories throughout their newscasts and display green logos and graphics on air. In addition, the group will run a half-hour special on Going Green at Any Age! The stations’ Going Green websites will also have a green theme and will provide calculators that can determine an individual’s impact on the earth according to carbon, water and energy use. Users can also download widgets to get regional and national environmental news as well as the latest local headlines sent to their desktops.

Additionally, NBC Universal has taken further steps to make its own operations more eco-friendly worldwide. It recently announced the creation of a new West Coast News Headquarters and Content Center, which will be developed under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. NBC Universal will seek LEED Silver certification for new construction for the Center and will target LEED for existing buildings for its ongoing operations. Completed in May 2007, the Universal Studios lot installed its first solar energy system, the largest in the industry. NBC Universal’s long-term goal is to secure an increasing portion of its power from solar or wind generators.

For the first time, NBC Universal Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations that concentrate on strengthening public secondary education, will award funds to three environmentally-focused organizations: Student Conservation Association, the New York Restoration Project and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

“The More You Know,” NBC Universal’s award-winning public service campaign, will debut brand new environmentally themed spots to be broadcast across all platforms. The messages will focus on global warming, pollution and recycling as well as provide viewers with ways to make a difference. Participating NBCU talent include: Molly Sims, Josh Duhamel and James Lesure (Las Vegas); Noah Gray-Cabey (Heroes); Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU); Ann Curry (Today); Tim Gunn (Project Runway and Guide To Style); Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice); Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) and Maria Celeste (Al Rojo Vivo con Celeste).

Telemundo will launch “Alerta Verde” (Green Alert), also kicking off November 4 and culminating on November 10. During the entire week, Telemundo network and stations will offer various specials highlighting the green theme during its entertainment, news and sports shows.

Telemundo’s morning show Cada Día will offer various segments and special interviews related to the green topic during the entire week. Meanwhile, during Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste, the award-winning segment “Alerta Verde” will air every day during the week in order to educate viewers about specific topics such as global warming, recycling, options and alternatives to improve the earth.

Telemundo’s daytime court show Caso Cerrado will present a legal case in which Ana Maria Polo will resolve a dispute related to an environmental issue. The popular dating show 12 Corazones also goes green with an episode in which Penélope Menchaca and astrologist Edward’O join efforts to save planet Earth through the zodiac signs.

Two youth-oriented shows Nítido and Descontrol, featuring music, fun and adventure, will feature special segments that invite Latino youth to join Telemundo’s effort.

“The environment has become both a corporate and cultural issue,” said Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal. “As a leading media and entertainment company, NBC Universal has a responsibility, both in our own operations and in driving awareness. Green is good for the world and the bottom line.”