Teachers and students reacted enthusiastically Monday to the debut of a commercial daily television news program for teen-agers at Gahr High School in Cerritos.
Whittle Communications provided 91 television monitors, a satellite dish and videocassette recorder to the school as part of a nationwide test of “Channel One,” a 12-minute news program. The five-week pilot program also is being tested at high schools in Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.
After the show began with flashy graphics, two youthful anchors read headlines illustrated with film footage about the Eastern Airlines strike, the battle over John Tower’s nomination as secretary of defense and the life of Soviet teen-agers.
“The production was outstanding. It was as good as any of the network broadcasts,” Principal Nadine Barreto said.
Kristi McNally, 15, said she liked the program because it gave her a chance to see news she cannot see at home. “I think it’s pretty neat we can watch in our classrooms,” she said.
Monday’s broadcast included two minutes of commercials for candy bars, jeans and a dandruff shampoo, Barreto said. Groups such as the National Parent-Teacher Assn. and the National Assn. of Secondary School Principals have opposed the program because it includes commercials.