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ARCHIVED  July 2, 1999

NTU joins forces with PBS

FORT COLLINS — National Technological University, with academic headquarters in Fort Collins, will join with public broadcasting’s The Business Channel to form the nation’s largest distance-learning and training enterprise.

The merger brings a customer base of almost 1,000 businesses and institutions nationwide into the satellite- and Internet-based network that will be created when the two entities combine.

“What it does for us is to expand our portfolio of content,´ said Jim Boyle, NTU’s Atlanta-based marketing director. “These businesses and institutions can now look at us as a single vender for all their needs.”

While NTU has built its reputation mostly on high-tech training programs, The Business Channel has focused on management courses.

The Business Channel is a subsidiary of the Public Broadcasting Service.

The new client mix will unify NTU’s high-tech market, including Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Ratheon Co. and Lucent Technologies, and The Business Channel’s list of institutions and firms that includes the U.S. Postal Service, the American Red Cross, Lockheed-Martin Corp. and Harley-Davidson Inc.

“The first benefit is that we are diversifying our portfolio to include the Business Channel’s professional development and management offerings,” Boyle said.

“The second prong, even more important, is that customer base of 500. … On the technical education side, there is no one else that can do what we do.”

Boyle said the merger will distance the combined company from any serious competitor.

“The online group is growing, the so-called virtual universities, but they’re nowhere near where we are,” he said.

The merger proposal provides that The Business Channel will transfer its assets to NTU Corp., the Atlanta-based for-profit company that markets NTU’s course offerings, and that PBS will receive common stock in the new company and a seat on the NTUC board.

In addition, NTU will obtain exclusive rights to the PBS brand name for its business and technical-education programs.

NTU and The Business Channel are not total strangers to one another, said Doug Yeager, NTU’s vice president for programming at the NTU broadcast headquarters on Center Street in Fort Collins.

“Over the years, we’ve worked with both PBS and The Business Channel on special projects,” Yeager said. “PBS is a widely known and well-respected trademark, so we’ll benefit from that.”

NTU’s academic headquarters in Fort Collins is fed by a network of 51 colleges and universities, each equipped with NTU satellite uplink systems. Participating universities include Colorado State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland and Georgia Tech University.

NTU is in the midst of a $3 million upgrade of the university’s satellite-based broadcast system that links university providers with business and institutional clients, beaming courses directly to workplaces.

PBS president and CEO Ervin Duggan said that merging with NTU gives The Business Channel a degree-granting outlet for its 800 hours of corporate and management training programs.

FORT COLLINS — National Technological University, with academic headquarters in Fort Collins, will join with public broadcasting’s The Business Channel to form the nation’s largest distance-learning and training enterprise.

The merger brings a customer base of almost 1,000 businesses and institutions nationwide into the satellite- and Internet-based network that will be created when the two entities combine.

“What it does for us is to expand our portfolio of content,´ said Jim Boyle, NTU’s Atlanta-based marketing director. “These businesses and institutions can now look at us as a single vender for all their needs.”

While NTU has built its reputation mostly on high-tech training…

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