National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Teams with Superstation WGN to Promote Child Safety and Help Bring Children Home

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Tuesday, 17 June 2003

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Superstation WGN are teaming up to raise awareness about the plight of missing and exploited children in America and how parents can protect their kids through Together We Can. The new program announced today at the National Press Club will begin to reach 57 million homes this fall as Superstation WGN promotes abduction prevention education and airs photos of missing children presumed to be taken across state lines. This multi-media effort, utilizing on-air promotion, print support and online elements, is in response to recent high profile child victimization cases and parents desire to learn more about prevention.

"The more media attention a case receives, the greater the chance that child will be found safely," remarked NCMEC President Ernie Allen. "Superstation WGN's reach into 57 million homes will have a tremendous impact on empowering parents with ways to safeguard their kids instead of making them fearful."

According to NCMEC, one out of six missing children is recovered because someone recognizes his or her photograph on television or a missing child poster. Every day more than 2,000 children are reported missing to law enforcement - nearly 800,000 each year.

"We are proud to be working with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children on such an important community service," said Bill Shaw, President and General Manager of Superstation WGN. "Our network is general entertainment with programs that appeal to all members of the household. Through this national outreach effort, we have the ability to educate families on the importance of child safety. It is also our hope that national TV exposure of the pictures of missing children that may have been taken out of their home state will greatly enhance the chances of their recovery by law enforcement officials."

Someone who understands all too well the importance of media exposure when a child is abducted is Marcella Anderson. Her one-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was abducted from a Chicago bus station on Christmas Eve in 2001. Thanks to national media attention, Jasmine was recovered safely three days later in West Virginia and the suspect was arrested. Anderson and Jasmine, now two-years-old, attended today's launch. "Through the efforts of the national media, my daughter was found safe and brought home to me. If Superstation WGN can help other families be reunited with their missing children, I applaud their efforts," said Anderson.

Also pledging support for this new partnership and on hand for its unveiling was Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. "I congratulate NCMEC and Superstation WGN for joining together to reach millions of Americans with vital information," said Rep. Lampson. "WGN has made a commitment to NCMEC to do its part in reuniting families and I hope that other networks follow this lead."

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, is also supportive of this new initiative. "This partnership between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and WGN will provide a tremendous boost in the search for missing children," he said. "The more we can get the public to view photos of missing kids, the more success stories we will have. NCMEC has found a valuable ally in keeping our children safe."

For more details about this new partnership visit NCMEC's and Superstation WGN's web sites.

For more information, or to contact National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, see their website at: www.missingkids.org

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