BURBANK, Calif. (Oct. 15, 2002) — In an effort to enhance its service and commitment to the public trust, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), ABC Television Network and ABC affiliates this month will launch ABC: A Better Community, a dynamic new public service outreach initiative that will focus on issues of importance to America’s families. A collaboration between the network and its affiliate stations, the campaign will feature Network and localized PSA’s, a half-hour magazine special on innovative teaching styles, community outreach projects for ABC affiliates and an ABC: A Better Community area on ABC.com. Local stations are also able to create A Better Communitylocal pages on their Web sites that link to and from ABC.com, forging local connections for this national initiative, as well as host and sponsor local community projects associated with the localized PSA’s.
Reflecting ABC’s new on-air look, which debuted with the network’s 2002 fall season line-up, ABC: A Better Communityis designed to be the most comprehensive and recognizable public service initiative on television. The centerpiece of the campaign is a series of PSA’s, featuring new and returning ABC stars, that offer pro-social messages along with specific calls to action. Each PSA will encourage viewers to call a toll-free number or browse the web address of a local agency that can help them address the issue being discussed. Local affiliates can also customize the spots to highlight local non-profit agencies that viewers can contact for help, so that action is being taken not only on a national level, but within their local communities as well.
“This innovative, exceptional collaboration allows Disney, ABC and its affiliates to use their expertise, reach and talents to bring a new spirit of creativity in their public service responsibilities,” said Disney President and COO Robert A. Iger. “In association with ABC’s affiliates, we’ll be delivering substantive messages that strengthen our commitment to American families, and empower them to make a difference in the communities in which they live and work.”
K. James Yager, president and COO of Benedek Broadcasting Corporation said of the initiative, “I’m glad that ABC is joining us to better our local communities. The message brought by A Better Community is the right direction at the right time.” “It’s always been my pleasure to support ABC’s public service initiatives in the past by doing PSA’s. I’m excited about continuing that by taking part in the network’s new campaign, A Better Community,” said the Emmy Award-winning star Dennis Franz of ABC’s “NYPD Blue”, who is featured along with more than 65 network stars including ABC luminaries John Ritter, Bonnie Hunt, Katey Sagal, Victor Garber, Esai Morales, George Lopez, Wayne Brady and Courtney Thorne-Smith. Issues addressed in the campaign include volunteerism, compassion, learning, the environment and families and children. All spots will focus on these issues as they relate to getting involved in and improving local communities.
In addition to the PSA’s, the campaign will feature a half-hour magazine-style special that profiles three innovative American schools, which will be hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”). The special will be aired on participating affiliate stations. In addition, there will be opportunities for affiliates to host or sponsor local community events associated with the ABC: A Better Communityinitiative.
ABC: A Better Community is a project of DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company, which is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through focused public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in areas such as learning, compassion, the arts and the environment. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise which includes Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Stores, television and radio stations and Internet web sites. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit our Web site at www.disneyhand.com