NBC Universal Makes an Unprecedented Commitment to Health and Wellness

May 7, 2009

Companywide Effort Includes a New, Daily Program Anchored by World-Renowned Health Expert Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Innovative Research Partnership With the Cleveland Clinic Will Study the Power of the Media as it Relates to Consumer Health

iVillage, the Leading Online Destination for Women, Launches “Health Is Beautiful” Program To Raise Awareness for National Women’s Health Week

WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire/ — NBC Universal today launched a comprehensive, companywide effort to expand its commitment to create content specifically designed to educate and inform its audience on important health and wellness-related issues.

The announcement was made by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal, and is part of NBCU parent company General Electric’s “Healthymagination” initiative. NBCU’s efforts in this new initiative will be led by Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBC Universal Women and Lifestyles Entertainment Networks.

“As recent events in the news underscore, timely access to news and information about health and wellness is vital to our audience. We are in a unique position to provide that information in ways that no other media company can, given the breadth of our assets,” said Zucker. “NBC Universal’s role in ‘Healthymagination’ is to provide access to timely, relevant, actionable content on health and wellness issues.”

A cornerstone of this commitment will be the creation of a new, daily program dedicated solely to health information, beginning in June on MSNBC, NBC Universal’s 24-hour cable news channel. The program will be anchored by world-renowned health expert and NBC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman. She will tackle everything from health and wellness tips and medical breakthroughs to in-depth looks at health policy as it makes its way through Washington. Dr. Snyderman will also bring her tips and medical advice directly to the millions of women in iVillage’s online community, adding her expert opinion to the site’s daily conversations around health.

“The abundance of medical and health information means that we have more news than newscasts at NBC. This program will give us a chance to integrate medical news with politics, health policy, and the health concerns of our consumers,” said Snyderman. “Health information changes as quickly as the stock markets, which is why we need this daily platform. In addition, the opportunity to cover medical news in depth and engage directly with women, via iVillage’s online social community, is an extraordinary opportunity. I am very excited to play a part in all of it.”

Additionally, NBCU and the highly respected cardiac care facility, The Cleveland Clinic, are partnering on a research study to determine the power of consumer health education in affecting greater compliance with a recommended course of treatment.

Additional Highlights of the commitment include:

NBC News:

NBC News, the nation’s number one news organization, will make a significant commitment to providing its domestic and international audiences with critical news about health and wellness. This increased commitment spans the breadth of NBC News’ platforms including “Today,” “Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Dateline,” MSNBC, MSNBC.com, NBC Mobile and NBC Radio.

NBC News will provide health news and information to its viewers and users, delivering more than 5,000 reports a year on our national and local outlets including its Owned and Operated stations (see Local Media section) as well as through its affiliates in over 200 markets on breaking medical news, healthy living and consumer-focused trends in health and wellness, and much more.

As part of this initiative, NBC News will produce in-depth reports on key health issues periodically throughout the year, tackling major issues on a division-wide basis. By maximizing exposure across all its platforms, NBC News has the ability to reach people with this critical information in ways that no other media outlet can match.


iVillage, the leading online destination for women, is a valued resource for the latest news and information about healthy living. Additionally, the site provides a safe, trusted environment where women can talk to their peers about health issues via 200 different community message boards related to the topic.

Additional offerings from iVillage Networks:

*YourTotalHealth (www.yourtotalhealth.com) features expanded health tools, content, and community, as well as the Healthbeat blog (http://healthbeat.yourtotalhealth.com/) for daily essential health news and a just-launched video series (http://video.health.ivillage.com/player/?id=1093383) with NBC’s Medical Director Dr. Tanya Benenson.

*NeverSayDiet (www.neversaydiet.com) offers weight-loss and healthy living articles, tools and video for women who want to feel great, be well and love their body. The site includes workouts, before-and-after stories, a blog on body image and virtual coaches who offer daily tips to motivate and inspire. NeverSayDiet’s Summer Body Shape-Up Community Challenge (http://www.neversaydiet.com/summer-body-shape-community-challenge) kicks off May 18.

*NBC Digital Health Network’s Healthvideo.com (www.healthvideo.com) develops original weekly online videos to add to its existing library of over 2,000 original health videos. New health-oriented public service announcements (PSA’s) that feature NBC talent will be available soon.

*The Patient Channel has partnered with Safe Care Campaign to launch “The Safe Patient Series,” featuring two-minute tips to create awareness of patient safety and how to prevent infections during hospital stays.

*iVillage Networks has joined forces with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health for the 10th anniversary of their nationwide initiative, National Women’s Health Week (May 10 – 16), which encourages women to take care of their health. As part of this week-long event, iVillage and other sites within its network, including HealthVideo.com (www.healthvideo.com), Your Total Health (www.yourtotalhealth.com), Never Say Diet (www.neversaydiet.com) and Petside (www.petside.com) will feature health-related editorial content, video series and community board discussions. A hub page, themed “Health Is Beautiful” will spotlight all of the content, in addition to tips and news from the Office of Women’s Health, at www.health-is-beautiful.com.

*iVillage is also partnering with the Associated Press on a poll to take the pulse of American women across the country on the topics of health, body image and wellness versus beauty concerns. These findings will be available on the site at the start of Women’s Health Week, Monday, May 11th.

“The More You Know”:

NBC Universal’s award-winning “The More You Know” public service campaign will focus its upcoming 2009/10 season on health and wellness. This multi-platform initiative will motivate millions of viewers to take an active role in improving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “The More You Know” PSAs reach 45% of hospitals in the U.S. on the Patient and Newborn Channels. This year, “The More You Know” celebrates its 20th anniversary as the longest-running network public service campaign. For two decades its objective has remained the same – to provide citizens with critical information that affects their lives.

NBC Entertainment:

“The Biggest Loser”

NBC’s hit weight loss series hosted by Alison Sweeney (“Days of our Lives”) and trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, continues to bring contestants together hoping to transform their bodies, their health, and ultimately, their lives. They shed pounds in a safe and recommended manner through comprehensive diet and exercise as they compete for a grand prize of $250,000.

The series has become a worldwide hit airing in over 90 countries and produced in 25 countries. It has produced a New York Times best-selling book series. The show also has four top-selling fitness DVDs and a “Biggest Loser” meal plan available for home purchase, as well as a burgeoning online lifestyle club www.thebiggestloserclub.com.

Oxygen Media:

“Dance Your Ass Off”

Who says getting fit can’t be fun? Oxygen Media’s new dance/weight loss competition series “Dance Your Ass Off,” premiering Monday, June 29 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, features full-figured contestants who incorporate dance to reach their ideal weight while working with a nutritionist and fitness trainers to achieve a healthier lifestyle, as well as a chance to win $100,000. Each contestant will be paired with a professional dance partner who will train them for their weekly stage performances — ranging from Hip Hop, to Ballroom and even Pole Dancing! Then they’ll shake and rattle their rolls in front of a live studio audience and a panel of expert judges: choreographer Danny Teeson, dancer/choreographer Mayte Garcia, and dancer/actress Lisa Ann Walter. “Dance Your Ass Off” is hosted by TONY Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur, well known for her role as plus-sized Tracy Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray.” As part of the series launch, Oxygen enters its first-ever multiplatform marketing partnership with Crunch that extends the Oxygen brand beyond the analog world. On-site, Crunch will feature a “Dance Your Ass Off” class at locations nationwide throughout the run of the show, which will reflect the dance styles the contestants perform each week.

In addition, Oxygen and Crunch will produce a co-branded fitness DVD, distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, on sale at www.shop.oxygen.com and other retailers. Online, the two brands will share content via www.Crunch.com and www.Oxygen.com with users gaining access to exclusive videos, fitness tips, merchandise for sale, e-newsletters and mobile content. Oxygen will have a strong presence at all Crunch locations nationwide through closed-circuit promotion on monitors throughout their facilities; Oxygen designated channels on individual TV screens on cardio equipment; as well as signage in locker rooms and other areas.

Also, Oxygen and iVillage have partnered to create a robust “Super 360″ experience designed to get fans of “Dance Your Ass Off” moving and grooving their way to a healthier lifestyle. Generation O can join neversaydiet.com, powered by iVillage, for community and support as well as get video fitness tips featuring trainers from Crunch and healthy (but tasty) recipes on Oxygen.com.


“Inhale” is Oxygen’s daily morning yoga workout series hosted by yoga guru, Steve Ross. These one hour high energy yoga sessions which air Monday-Friday at 6:00 AM ET/PT are set to popular music and give viewers a power boost so they can start their day with a new feeling of wellness and energy.

NBC Local Media:

The NBC Local Media stations provide extensive coverage on health and wellness issues in their daily newscasts and also feature regular health segments that air on a daily and weekly basis in the various markets. In addition, many stations participate in local health and fitness events and air additional coverage in support of those efforts.


Telemundo, the fastest growing Spanish-language network in the U.S., will join forces to promote this company-wide health initiative across all its platforms. The Hispanic network will launch the “El Poder de Su Salud” (“The Power of Your Health”) Health and Wellness PSA campaign and will broadcast weekly health segments in its national evening news (“Noticiero Telemundo”) and morning show (“Levantate”). In addition, Telemundo.com will create digital roadblocks to drive users to the “Vive Mejor” (“Live Better”) channel and health content across the site, and mun2 (moon-dos), Telemundo’s lifestyle cable network for bicultural Latinos 18-34, will launch “mun2 Ask,” a PSA campaign focused on the AIDS/HIV issue affecting young Latinos.

SOURCE NBC Universal

Source: newswire

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