After more than 50 years, Giant Food will drop its sponsorship of “It’s Academic.” During that time, Giant has given over three million dollars in scholarship funds to participating schools in Washington, Baltimore and Central Virginia.

Morgan State University joins Giant as a sponsor in Baltimore at WJZ-TV.

(In Pittsburgh, It’s Academic is taped under the name Hometown High-Q. In Cleveland, the show is taped under the name Academic Challenge.)

It’s been a fraught few years for the high school quiz show, says The Washington Post, which adds that the program had long been taped at the NBC4 studios on Nebraska Avenue NW, but “had to move in 2019 when that facility underwent a renovation.

““It’s Academic” found a new home at the World MediaNet studio at National Harbor. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and assembling contestants, coaches, fans, production staff and host Hillary Howard in the same room wasn’t a good idea.”

The supermarket chain said it will be advancing healthy eating initiatives in the region, increasing food security and access to nutritious foods. In a statement, the company said: “Giant will always be a fan of ‘It’s Academic’ and wishes the show continued success in the future.”

According to the show, alumni from its various productions since its 1961 launch include New York Senator Charles Schumer, Maine Senator Angus King, best-selling mystery author Laura Lippman, former Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham, journalist and author David Ignatius, Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen, Tony-winning playwright Mark O’Donnell, harpsichord virtuoso Mahan Esfahani, internet pioneer Craig Partridge, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, physicist Daniel Gottesman, TV anchor George Stephanopoulos, best-selling author Josh Foer, astronaut Tim Creamer and Hillary Rodham Clinton who served as Secretary of State, US senator and First Lady of the United States – and is second from left in the back row with the Maine South High School’s “It’s Academic” team in 1965.

More here.


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