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TCI, Court TV Team Up on Mich. Your Turn

Former President Gerald Ford will be the featured guestspeaker when Tele-Communications Inc. and Courtroom Television Network combine to produceand televise a statewide "teen town meeting" from the campus of Michigan StateUniversity next month.

TCI and the New York-based network will produce and air thefirst-ever statewide episode of Court TV's Your Turn program -- an hour-longshow during which high-school students meet state and local officials to discuss issuesaffecting the students.

The theme of the program will be, "Looking in theMirror," and it will explore such teen-age self-esteem issues as cliques, alcohol anddrug abuse and how self-image is shaped by outside influences, including the media andpeer pressure.

The two-segment program will then air on the network's"Teen Court TV" block May 30 and 31, as well as on nine TCI local-originationchannels in Michigan, on the state government channel and on public television.

On April 14, 150 high-school students from TCI citiesthroughout Michigan will be bussed to MSU Auditorium, where they will interact with apanel consisting of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor, state superintendentof education Art Ellis, state PTA president Georgene Campbell and Michigan school boardpresident Sharon Peters.

On April 21, 10 of the students from Grand Rapids --Ford's hometown -- will sit down with the former president on the MSU campus.

TCI executives said the decision to team up with Court TVon the Your Turn project was part of a corporate mandate to become involved in eachof the company's communities.

"TCI is focused on improving the educational andquality-of-life opportunities for our young people, and this Michigan statewide YourTurn will help us to reach those goals," said TCI regional vice president RussAnthony, in a prepared statement.

TCI spokesman Scott Sobel said emphasizing communityoutreach can also generate similar partnerships with other cable programmers, whileimproving the company's image.

"It's good for the community, andit's good business," Sobel said. "It gets our name out in the community ina positive light. Our customers need to know that we're listening tothem."