Pearson Appoints Hollar to Lead New Broadband Education Television Venture

Pearson plc, the international media company, today announced the appointment of John Hollar as President of Pearson Broadband Education Television.

Mr Hollar will set up and lead a new broadband educational television business for Pearson. The new venture will draw upon intellectual properties and distribution platforms from across Pearson and target the delivery of educational content to consumers worldwide on high-capacity wired and wireless networks. In particular, the new division will capitalise on Pearson Education's position as the world's premier education company and Pearson Television's skills as a pre-eminent independent television production company. Mr Hollar will report to Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson plc.

Mr Hollar joins Pearson from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) where he is Executive Vice President in charge of PBS Learning Ventures, with responsibility for the strategy, operations and management of the division. The Learning Ventures division of PBS encompasses all of PBS's Internet, consumer and education units. Mr Hollar founded the division in 1995 and it is one of the world's leading innovators in the convergence of video, interactivity and the Internet. Most recently, it won the 2000 Milia d'Or for the best interactive television project of the year.

Commenting on the new venture, Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive said: "We are delighted that someone of John Hollar's calibre is joing us to spearhead this exciting initiative. John's brief is to develop, and then implement, a blueprint for a new educational television business that capitalises on the very best of both 'new' and 'old' media opportunities. John's very impressive track record and his grasp of education, television and the internet will ensure that we make the most of this fantastic opportunity."

Commenting on his appointment, John Hollar said: "I'm honoured to join Marjorie Scardino's team at Pearson, which is transforming its vast content base into exciting new business opportunities in many media. Personal learning on demand over global broadband networks could well be one of the future's most exciting developments, and I'm eager to pursue that future in this new role at Pearson."

Notes to Editors:

John Hollar is Executive Vice President of PBS Learning Ventures, responsible for the strategy, operations and management of the division, which encompasses all of PBS's Internet, consumer and education units. In 1999, PBS Learning Ventures, which operates as a for-profit division within the non-profit company, had annual revenues exceeding $68 million.

Mr. Hollar founded PBS Learning Ventures in 1995 and its business operations cover the Internet; retail and consumer media; k-12 and classroom services; adult distance learning; child and adult literacy; and professional and business training. Mr. Hollar is the co-founder of and chief strategist for PBS ONLINE, winner of the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Webby Awards as the best television site on the internet. Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine named PBS ONLINE the nation's best television web site and one of its 100 Best Sites in January 2000. On January 3, 2000, Yahoo! Named PBS ONLINE first on its list of the 12 best sites in the history of the internet. The PBS TeacherSource area of PBS ONLINE was named one of the Top 10 Teaching Sites for the 21st Century in November 1999 by The Education Source newsletter (www.edusource.com).

At PBS, Mr. Hollar is also the company's chief strategist for enhanced digital television programming and services combining video, audio, text, images and educational materials for all broadband video platforms. Under his direction, PBS has continued to produce breakthrough interactive broadband programming and, through a partnership with Intel, PBS will launch America's first 24-hour, 7-day-a-week channel of enhanced digital terrestrial broadcast content.

Mr. Hollar has also led the expansion of PBS's lifelong learning efforts into workplace training with the establishment, capitalisation, growth and sale of PBS The Business Channel, a for-profit subsidiary of PBS. He serves on the board of directors of the National Technological University Corporation.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, non-profit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 348 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of non-commercial television, the internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week.

Pearson plc is an international media company. Its major business operations are:

  • Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world;
  • Penguin, one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non fiction, bestsellers and classic titles;
  • The Financial Times Group, with an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services which are read and used by millions of business executives and investors every day;
  • Pearson Television, the leading international television production company, which produces popular television entertainment in local languages and cultures all over the world; and Recoletos, which is one of the top media companies in Spain and is also breaking out into new Spanish and Portuguese speaking markets.
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