LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
This time of year is one for celebration and reflection. Here at The Cable Center, we have a lot to be proud of. The mission at The Cable Center is simple – we tell the story of the cable industry. Our focus is on the entrepreneurial spirit that gave rise to one of the best modern success stories – the technological innovations of today and tomorrow and cable’s profound impact on our society and culture.
To help tell this story, one of largest projects in 2014 was the redesign of our website. The new website highlights our five core areas, complete with interactive exhibits and new videos.
I see the website as the focal point of our efforts as well as increasing the accessibility of information about the industry to academics, the media and the public.
The new website is especially important for our refocused work on the Cable History Project and the Cable Today & Tomorrow project. In 2014, we taped 25 oral histories along with other video for Cable Today & Tomorrow that are being uploaded to the website. We are right on course with our two year effort to bring the website to where we want it to be with these projects.
We will be shooting more video in 2015, especially for our Cable Today & Tomorrow project. The cable industry is no longer just television, and our programs will reflect that to include information about telephony and the internet. Early 2015 scheduled tapings include Ron Hranac and Dr. Ron Rizzuto to explain how the internet works and how cable financing works.
My personal project in 2014 was writing a booklet titled The Cable Industry: A Short History of the Cable Industry Through Three Generations. The booklet is geared towards the academic community as well as the general public who are interested in how the cable industry developed since 1948 to present time.
I have sent the manuscript out for review to a small group of cable people for additional comments. We hope to have the booklet finished and available to the public in April. In writing the booklet about the cable industry I have a much fuller appreciation of the accomplishments that cable individuals have made and their contributions to society. It is cliché to say, but truthfully their efforts have changed the world. I look forward to sharing more about cable’s impact through our Cable History Project and Cable Today & Tomorrow in the coming year.
Our Cable Hall of Fame celebration recognizes the ground-breaking leaders who have shaped and advanced our industry. Induction into the Cable Hall of Fame is one of the industry’s highest and most exclusive honors. I hope to see you all on May 5, 2015 in Chicago as we honor our 18th Cable Hall of Fame class. This group of distinguished individuals best exemplifies the industry’s proud traditions of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In addition to attending and sponsoring The Cable Hall of Fame, there are a number of ways people can support The Cable Center. We are very appreciative of all of you who have shared your oral histories, provided extra video for our projects, and who have provided insight as to where cable is headed in the future. Our efforts to collect these stories will continue in 2015.
Of course, donations are always appreciated as that is what makes all of these projects possible at The Center.
As we look back on 2014, we are grateful to everyone who has helped make it such a successful year and we look forward to an even more exciting 2015. From all of us at The Cable Center, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year.
Larry Satkowiak, President and CEO, The Cable Center
In the summer of 2010, Damon Dominique and Joanna (Jo) Franco met via a Facebook group created for PACE University incoming freshman where they bonded over their love of language, travel and excitement to move to New York City. Fast-forward four-and-a-half years, these once strangers are now best friends and business partners with thousands of followers on YouTube for their travel video blog Shut Up and Go, and are currently working with a major cable network.
Shut Up and Go offers advice for young budget coconscious travelers, following the worldwide travel escapades of Damon and Jo. The multi-lingual duo also offer tips on learning new languages and navigating different cultures.
The success of these young entrepreneurs can partially be attributed to The Cable Center and the network opportunities offered during the Cable Mavericks Masters Forum: One Day Degree in Cable program designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the media and entertainment industries.
Jo attended Masters Forum in 2011 and secured an internship with Horizon Media after speaking to an executive who attended the event. In 2012, Jo brought Damon to the program where they continued to network and learn about the industry. In 2013, Cable Mavericks Masters Forum was replaced by One Day Immersion, produced by Dolly Wolf Enterprises, LLC of which The Cable Center is the Education in Cable Sponsor. In 2014, Jo and Damon were the recipients of The Cable Center’s Justin DeSorrento Opportunity for Excellence Award Internship, providing them the opportunity to attend One Day Immersion for free. “Attending this event for four consecutive years has substantially impacted the success of our careers,” Damon said.
At this year’s program Jo and Damon also led a brief session discussing their company and how they have leveraged the opportunities gained through the events. Jo said, “One of the greatest things about going to an event such as Cable Mavericks Masters Forum and One Day Immersion is that you're not only exposed to executives who can mentor you and change the course of your career, but you're making friends who are just as driven as you are.”
She added, “You may not realize it at the time, but the relationships you make in one day open many doors in the future. Sitting next to Evan Shapiro [in 2013] during the ‘lunch with an executive’ session has gotten us pitch meetings for our show that wouldn't otherwise have happened. In a world of selfish people who are trying to constantly get ahead, it's genuinely amazing that The Cable Center sponsors events that do nothing but good to a young, ambitious, future media mogul.”
Jo and Damon have secured multiple sponsors, an agent and production company and, are currently filming a potential cable series. The successful duo continues to travel and post videos to their YouTube channel twice a week as well working outside jobs.
The Cable Center is very proud to have been a part of Jo and Damon’s story. We look forward to continuing our sponsorship of One Day Immersion in 2015 and presenting other deserving and motivated students with The DeSorrento Internship next year.
Induction into the Cable Hall of Fame is one of the industry’s highest and most exclusive honors. The Cable Hall of Fame Celebration attracts a global audience of high-level executives from all segments of the industry. Put your company in front of this elite group with one of our event sponsorships. Since 1998, 108 men and women have been inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. The 2015 Cable Hall of Fame honorees were chosen based on their dedication and contributions to the cable industry by a committee of industry peers and leaders.
Congratulations to the 2015 Honorees:
Chris Berman, Sportscaster, ESPN
Bill Roedy, Global Health Ambassador and Former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International
Steve Simmons, Chairman, Patriot Media and Communication
JC Sparkman, Chief Operating Officer, TCI, Retired
Tony Werner, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Comcast Cable
Eleanor Winter, Senior Vice President, NCTA
For more information on the event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact
The Cable Center celebrated the season in mid-December with a holiday gathering and luncheon. We enjoyed catching up and sharing holiday cheer with The Center’s Denver friends and supporters. We wish everyone a happy and joyful holiday season.
Pictured: Top Left Photo: Pete Gatseos, David Van Valkenburg, and Paul Maxwell.
Top Right Photo: Denise and Ron Hranac. Bottom Photo: Dr. Charles Patti, Kathy Freeman, and Dr. Ron Rizzuto.
Click here to view the card.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Marketing & Communications
CABLE HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015 ANNOUNCEDThe cable industry must constantly focus on innovation to stay relevant in The Cable Center is excited to announce the members of its Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2015. The six newly elected industry leaders will be inducted during the 18th annual Cable Hall of Fame Celebration, held in conjunction with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s (NCTA) Internet and Television Expo (INTX), May 5-7, 2015, at the Chicago Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.
The new honorees are:
- Chris Berman, Sportscaster, ESPN
- Bill Roedy, Global Health Ambassador and Former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International
- Steve Simmons, Chairman, Patriot Media and Communications
- JC Sparkman, Chief Operating Officer, TCI, Retired
- Tony Werner, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Comcast Cable
- Eleanor Winter, Senior Vice President, NCTA
The honorees were chosen based on their dedication and contributions to the development of the cable industry. The 2015 Cable Hall of Fame selection committee was chaired by Michael Willner, president and CEO of GreatLand Connections and a member of The Cable Center’s Board of Directors.
“It is a pleasure to announce the six new members of our Cable Hall of Fame,” said Willner. “From programming visionaries to technology trendsetters, they exemplify the spirit of innovation that has helped to drive and build this industry.”
“Congratulations to the Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2015,” said Larry Satkowiak, president and CEO of The Cable Center. “They have all exhibited significant leadership and influence upon the people, organizations and communities served by our industry, and we are honored and excited to welcome them into the Cable Hall of Fame during the INTX event.”
Since 1998, 108 men and women have been inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. For more information on the 2015 Cable Hall of Fame celebration, visit www.cablehalloffame.com, or contact Morgan Hernquist at 720-502-7512.
The SCTE Cable-Tec Expo ’14 was held in Denver in late September. The Cable Center was a proud sponsor, hosting multiple events during the show.
During the Circle of Eagles Dinner, Cable Center CEO Larry Satkowiak was inducted as an honorary member. Also at the dinner, Wendell Woody was presented with The Cable Center’s “Good Egg” award for all his leadership in the industry and championship of The Center.
The Loyal Order of the 704 members, decked out in pink (their signature color), celebrated the revered 704 test meter with an auction and a new member induction, complete with flamingo hats and the special tradition of kissing “Pinky”, the 704 mascot. Wendell Woody was presented with a cake, celebrating his retirement after 60+ years in the industry.
View our photo gallery to see all exciting moments at The Center during the Expo.
In addition to all the SCTE events, throughout the week, we continued to capture the stories of industry leaders, taping three oral histories in our studio for our Cable History Project . Matt Polka, president and CEO of the American Cable Association; Alex Swan, senior director of Global Industry Events and Relations, ARRIS; and Terry Cordova, senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer, Suddenlink all shared their stories and industry insights.
Their oral histories will be available in video and transcript form later this year from The Barco Library on The Cable Center’s website, home of the other 330+ histories already captured.
Larry Satkowiak, president and CEO of The Cable Center was named an honorary member of the SCTE Circle of Eagles on Sept. 24th during the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo ’14. Member leaders surprised Satkowiak with the honorary membership during the celebratory dinner held at The Cable Center.
In 1999, SCTE Charter Members voted at their annual dinner to allow new members. They formed a new exclusive group called The Circle of Eagles, encompassing those who laid the groundwork for the formation of SCTE, including SCTE Charter members, SCTE Hall of Fame members, Fellow Members, former SCTE board chairmen and presidents and other industry veterans. The first Circle of Eagles dinner was held in 2000.
Honorary membership into The Circle of Eagles is extremely rare; Satkowiak is only the second person to be bestowed entry into the esteemed organization. Wendell Woody, nominated Satkowiak saying,
“Larry’s leadership of The Cable Center and commitment to capturing oral histories preserves our legacy. In order to look to the future, we need to know where we came from. We appreciate that The Cable Center is telling our story.”
“I am deeply touched to be inducted as an honorary member of the Circle of Eagles,” said Satkowiak. “The members of this group have provided outstanding technological leadership for the cable industry and I am humbled and honored to be counted among the members.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Academic & Industry Outreach
Development & Programs
Marketing & Communications
INDEPENDENT SHOW GENERAL SESSION SHOWCASES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PANEL
The Cable Center, a recognized thought leader in customer experience management, presented a featured General Session panel at The Independent Show in July, titled, "The Maturing Customer Experience: Best Practices in a Changing Environment."
Developed by The Cable Center's Jana Henthorn, senior vice president of academic and industry outreach and moderated by The Center's Cox Chair, Dr. Charles Patti, the panel discussed what customer experience is and how new customer experience initiatives lead to financial payoffs. The panel was comprised of three cable executives: Colleen Abdoulah, Chairwoman of the Board, WOW; Ed Finegold, Director Marketing Communications, Netcracker Technology; and Gibbs Jones, SVP Customer Experience, Suddenlink Communications.
Dr. Patti kicked off the session defining customer experience as "F.A.C.T." which stands for: Functionality, Ambiance, Communication and Talent. Finegold elaborated, sharing F.A.C.T. customer experience enhancement success stories. Abdoulah talked about how WOW operates on an internal service structure and culture that starts with the customers first.
Jones discussed why fixing problems in the field is the most important aspect to increasing positive customer experience. He also described how their new customer IVR technology using front end logic has equaled happier customers. Finegold echoed this comment saying, "Be proactive and personalized with your customers"... "If a joke about the cable guy coming between 12 and 5 has made it into a comedian's standup routine, we have a problem."
The panel wrapped up answering audience questions about what generates customer loyalty. Abdoulah said, "Trust." Dr. Patti stated that the end goal shouldn't be loyalty, but rather advocacy. Video of the panel will be available later this fall.
Since 2006, The Cable Center has led both academic and industry projects in the evolving science of customer experience. This work is based on the Cox Endowment for Customer Experience Management and other sponsorships that support the industry's dedication to improving our service to customers.
QUIET PLEASE! ORAL HISTORY TAPINGS IN PROGRESS
Capturing the stories of industry pioneers and leaders continues to be a priority for The Cable Center. This past month, we taped oral histories for our Cable History Project. In mid-July, John Goddard, former president and CEO of Viacom Cable was interviewed by Paul Maxwell at The Cable Center. Among other insightful stories, he shared how Walter Kaitz taught him the cable facts of life related to politics and the importance of keeping promises.
At The Independent Show in Kansas City, we taped histories with five industry trailblazers: Steve Weed, CEO, Wave Broadband; Steve Friedman, president and COO, Wave Broadband; Bill Beaty, executive vice president, Comporium Communications; Rob Marshall, retired president, New Media Research Group and retired president of Mid-America Cable Television Association; and Ed Holleran, president and CEO, Atlantic Broadband.
Customer experience management was a major theme throughout the tapings; Steve Weed shared that it is fundamental to understand how the customer interacts with you. Steve Friedman added, "You only get a few opportunities to make a customer happy." Ed Holleran took a different approach advising to "take care of your employees and they will take care of your business."
All the oral histories will be available in video and transcript form later this year from The Barco Library on The Cable Center's website, home of the other 330+ histories already captured. The Center will schedule more history tapings during the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in September.
SUMMER INTERNS ASSET TO THE CENTER
This summer, five young people interned at The Center assisting with a variety of projects, in the Barco Library, business office and the web development team. The interns helped to inventory, catalogue and organize the digital media collections so that the library can better serve the public's research needs. Interns also inventoried our fixed assets and began creating a 3-D model of The Cable Center that will eventually be put on the website.
"The Cable Center's Internship program is an ideal way for young people to gain exposure to our dynamic industry and acquire meaningful work experience," said Larry Satkowiak, president and CEO of The Cable Center. "It has been a pleasure to be able to work with such energetic and talented young people."
In its second year, the Summer Internship program successfully grew upon last year's, welcoming back two former interns and expanding the breadth of assigned projects. "These five outstanding young people were a pleasure to work with and added considerable value to The Center during their tenure," said Jana Henthorn, senior vice president of academic and industry outreach.
As they completed their final days at The Center, all the interns expressed that the program was a great learning experience and gave them knowledge that will be valuable to their future endeavors.
NAMING OPPORTUNITIES: BECOME A PART OF THE LEGACY
You paid your dues and made your mark upon the cable industry. Celebrate your accomplishments with an ever-lasting naming opportunity, housed in the one place created especially to honor the achievements of those who built, and continue to build, the cable industry. The Cable Center reflects the innovative and vibrant culture of the telecommunications industry. Become a part of the lasting legacy. A variety of naming opportunities, large and small, are available for your consideration.
The Cable Center connects the industry's past, present and future for academics, students, the press and the public. Make your mark and show your support of The Cable Center and our mission through a naming opportunity.
The SCTE Cable-Tec Expo ’14 is coming to Denver this September. Attending the show? The Cable Center will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome to stop by for a guided tour of our building and archives. On Wednesday evening, The Center will be hosting the Circle of Eagles Dinner and the Loyal Order of the 704 Annual Event. During the conference we will also be taping scheduled oral histories at our studio.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Marketing & Communications
Web Design & Development
STAYING CUTTING EDGE: INNOVATION AT THE CABLE CENTERThe cable industry must constantly focus on innovation to stay relevant in today's fast-paced society. As cable's storyteller, The Cable Center is no different. From interactive website exhibits to video streaming, The Center strives to use and create cutting-edge technology to help us better serve our constituents.
"Innovation isn't a new concept at The Cable Center, it is a part of our past, present and future" said Diane Christman, senior vice president. In 2011, The Center launched iOS and PC video streaming on the website which was initiated by a request from Honorary Board Member Gus Hauser. Web designer and developer, Steve Luiting, recounts how it began.
"We had been doing research on HTML video. Mr. Hauser called and said he could not see his oral history on his iPhone. We started doing more research on our media server and discovered how to create cross-platform video so all devices could see the same video. We then looked into how we could stream live video from our media server in the same way. After hearing of our success, our server vendor requested we teach him how to set up cross platform video streaming for his own business's use. It was interesting to discover that almost all the television networks were only using Adobe Flash to play multimedia and you couldn't see video on their website from all devices. We were ahead of the curve in providing cross-platform video usage."
Other technological advances include the Myhren learning stations that are found throughout The Cable Center building. Recently we experimented with making them interactive via Microsoft's Kinect. This project is still under development and will be used in future exhibits.
In a few weeks, we will launch the beta version of our new website. The March Newsletter gave an overview of the redesign but did not detail some of the exciting features that will be available to users. Overall, the site will be easier to navigate and to find specific items of interest. Color coded sections will help users better identify what program area they are exploring. The search functionality has been upgraded and allows dedicated oral history searches by name.
The new exhibits on the website are functional across multiple platforms, allowing visitors on any device the ability to see the exhibits. The current Cable Hall of Fame exhibit inspired this upgrade. The original exhibit was created in Flash in 1998 and left Apple product users unable to view it, due to iOS not being able to view Flash. The new exhibit has been created on a different platform that will allow all users to view on any device. Inductees can be searched by both year and by name. Biographical information, photos and videos of their induction are readily available on their individual page. This exhibit will also be available on our future Cable Hall of Fame 2015 mobile app.
Other exciting web exhibits include an interactive historical timeline, allowing users to view specific years and dive into information about that year of cable history. The new "Three Generations of Cable" slideshow exhibit allows users to pause and look at images and then restart from the same place.
In addition to our new website, The Cable Center is keeping an eye on future technological developments that could impact the industry – the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset owned by Facebook, being one of them. "I think a lot of people don't consider virtual reality and the Oculus Rift to be a significant player. Historically, virtual reality has never really taken off. But, it is likely that at the end of 2015 it will be a big deal," said Luiting.
In anticipation of that, we are experimenting with building a virtual reality website for The Cable Center that can be viewed in Oculus Rift. People will be able to "walk" through virtual equipment and memorabilia archives in the Barco Library, viewing items up close. "This is a perfect solution for those unable to come to The Cable Center in person and allows them to research tangible objects at a distance," said Luiting. He added, "It is all theoretical at the moment, but something we are exploring."
Regarding beta launch of our new website – Luiting requests that if users find any glitches, typos or see something that doesn't look right or work, to please let The Center know. We are particularly interested in hearing how things look on a variety of devices. We strive to provide high quality and easy functionality to our users and need help to make sure the entire site is excellent.
VOLUNTEERS CHRONICLE CABLE HISTORY
The Cable Center's Barco Library is home to the world's largest collection of printed resources and equipment exclusively regarding the cable industry, and is routinely consulted by professionals working on wide-ranging projects—from documentaries and news productions to books and publications. Our librarian Brian Kenny organizes and maintains this enormous collection with help from our two long-time volunteers Diane Rabson and Pam Patrick.
Diane has volunteered at The Barco Library for over five years. She worked as an archivist for 20 years at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. Prior to NCAR, Diane worked at the Colorado Historical Society, now History Colorado, in the historical photography collection. Diane has led an adventurous life. Prior to her career as an archivist, she was one of the first female firemen running locomotives on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in Pueblo in the late 1970s. Diane has recently published a semi-fictional book based on her experience titled "Planet Railroad".
An amateur photographer, Diane has also created a time-lapse photograph collection titled "Changing Denver" that chronicles how downtown Denver looked in 1978 and again in 2008. The collection was inspired by pictures of what is now Lower Downtown (LoDo) from a 1937 project the federal government sponsored that she found in the History Colorado vault. She wanted to continue the project and showcase the growth and change from the depression to the now vibrant LoDo Denver area.
Over the last five years, Diane has been involved in many diverse projects in the library including, processing the Gail Sermershiem manuscript collection; inventorying equipment donations and organizing the equipment archives; organizing memorabilia collections; and transcribing oral histories. Brian Kenny, the Barco Library librarian said, "Diane is willing to do anything; she is a jack of all trades and has had a piece of everything in the library. She has also been integral to our oral history project, transcribing the video content."
According to Diane, "The Barco Library is totally unique. No other collection in the world that I'm aware of even approaches the resources that are available here. The equipment archives are especially fantastic." When asked her favorite part of volunteering she said, "I sincerely enjoy all the activities I do at The Barco Library, especially transcription. I'm not going to stop coming anytime soon."
Pam has been volunteering for just over two years at the library, focusing on photo digitization. Her work scanning and categorizing photographs has contributed to the nearly 4,000 pictures currently available in our online media collection. Additionally, she is responsible for significant improvements to The Barco Library's digitization process and workflow management, making it easier and more efficient to upload photos and make them easily searchable on our site.
Pam started her career in 1963 at The Denver Public Library as a librarian, where she worked for 27 years. She spent 20 years in the Western History department and then transferred to the library's Cable TV office, where she had her first introduction to the cable industry. The office collaborated with Mile Hi Cable Vision to provide community programming for the Denver metro area, much of which was produced at the library. Vicki Myhren volunteered at the Cable TV office while Pam worked there and the two became acquaintances.
In 1994, she moved to Utah with her husband and worked for the State Library of Utah at Utah State University for 15 years. There she worked on the library's first website, creating content, maintenance and online referencing. Pam says, "In those days [before search engines], it was the job of librarians to help tame the Internet."
This month, she trained the new summer library interns on the photo digitization process so they can help tackle the thousands of pictures waiting to be uploaded to the collection. "Pam is a very determined individual. She has a strong commitment to the digitization project and helping history become available to everyone," said Kenny.
"The preservation of historical photos is vital. I am glad to see the digitalization of cable history available online via the Barco Library and I love being a part of making these photos available. It is also a lot of fun," said Pam.
The Cable Center is lucky to have these two amazing volunteers. Kenny said, "It is such a blessing to work with smart, competent, friendly people. It takes a special person to volunteer after retirement." He added, it is "great to work with librarian colleagues; it makes my job even more enjoyable." Diane and Pam echoed Brian's sentiments about volunteering with others in the industry, saying Brian Kenny is a wonderful person to work with and part of the reason they choose to continue volunteering at The Center.
The Cable Center reflects on the passing of former Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt. His passing marks the loss of a true trailblazer and visionary. “Glenn was passionate about the cable industry; its people, its innovation and its impact on society,” said Larry Satkowiak, CEO of The Cable Center. Satkowiak added, “He knew the industry backwards and forwards and was a recognized leader of the cable industry. When Glenn spoke on an issue, people listened.”
The celebration was emceed by Libby Casey, Al Jazeera America’s Washington D.C. correspondent.
Glenn was a champion of The Cable Center and he and Time Warner Cable provided early support for our Chairman’s Campaign. An Honorary Board member, Glenn helped influence the growth of the Cable Hall of Fame, serving as selection committee chairman for both the Cable Hall of Fame and the Bresnan Ethics in Business Award.
In his oral history, Britt discussed what he wanted his legacy to be in the cable industry. He said, “I would like to leave behind a company [Time Warner Cable] that is a far more compet-itive, more innovative; on a shorter cycle than the one I found. I'd also like to leave behind a company that is a lot more committed to diversity, which we all talk about and nobody seems to do enough about.”
Glenn Britt’s oral history, Cable Hall of Fame induction videos and photos, and historical photos can be found here.
The Cable Center extends our heartfelt condolences to Glenn’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be missed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Academic & Industry Outreach
Web Design & Development
A LEGENDARY EVENING: CABLE HALL OF FAME 2014
The Cable Center extends a heartfelt thank you to all who attended the 17th annual celebration during the 2014 Cable Show in Los Angeles. Your support made this event one of our most successful ever. We greatly appreciate the tremendous support of our industry friends and colleagues.
CABLE HALL OF FAME HIGHLIGHTS
The Cable Hall of Fame class of 2014 represents a diverse cross-section of the industry, from entrepreneurial CEOs to technology titans to content dealmakers and one of journalism’s best known names. The six trailblazers honored on April 29 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live were:
- Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent & Anchor, CNN International
- Alex Best, Former EVP, Engineering, Cox Communications
- Fred Dressler, Former EVP, Programming, Time Warner Cable (deceased)
- Jerald Kent, Chairman and CEO, Suddenlink Communications
- Daniel Ritchie, Chairman and CEO, Denver Center for the
- David Van Valkenburg, Former CEO and COO, Telewest PLC
The celebration was emceed by Libby Casey, Al Jazeera America’s Washington D.C. correspondent.
During her acceptance speech, Amanpour said, “I believe in this age, education and information are power,” when discussing her time at CNN. Best joked when his kids asked him why he was being honored, he told them “I invented cable TV.” Andy Heller, former vice chairman, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. accepted the Cable Hall of Fame award on behalf of the late Fred Dressler. "His word was his bond," he said of Dressler, who had a knack for “making lifelong friends with people he was paid to say no to.” Jerry Kent told the audience “to innovate, take risks and be entrepreneurial.” He also credited his wife Judy for his success. Honoree Daniel Ritchie said being at the Cable Hall of Fame and receiving his award “brings back warm memories of wonderful people who did in fact change the world.” David Van Valkenburg furthered Ritchie’s comments, saying “cable has truly changed the world."
The entire celebration will be available for viewing on our website and YouTube in June. Photos of the event can be found in our Cable Hall of Fame photo gallery.
BRESNAN ETHICS IN BUSINESS AWARD
Nick Davatzes, CEO emeritus, A+E Networks was bestowed with the fourth annual Bresnan Ethics in Business Award, honoring outstanding men and women in the cable industry who best demonstrate the standards modeled by Bill Bresnan, including understanding and doing what’s right in the face of adversity and upholding ethical leader ship qualities in everyday work situations. Michael Willner, recently named president and CEO of SpinCo, introduced the Bresnan Award and recipient Davatzes. During his acceptance speech, Davatzes said, "the road to success without honor is not worth taking”.
THE EVOLVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
During The Cable Show, The Cable Center held a session titled “The Evolving Customer Experience: Interconnecting Generations & Platforms” in partnership with NCTA. Moderated by The Center’s Jana Henthorn, SVP Academic and Industry outreach, the panel discussed how leading companies are working to ensure best-in-class, end-to-end customer experience. The panel was comprised of ÿve cable executives: Ryan Pellet, SVP Strategic Consulting Services, Nexidia; Jonathan Leepson, VP Customer Experience, Cox Communications; Ricky Boyle, VP Technology Solutions, Netcracker Technology; Gibbs Jones, SVP Customer Experience, Suddenlink Communications; and Mike McArdle VP Process Deployment and Management, Comcast Cable.
Highlights from the panel included Pellet’s discussion about how cable has increased connectivity in our lives, especially the explosion of access. Leepson said, “Responding immediately to customer concerns is important” and shared how Cox is implementing this mentality by giving customers a call-back. Boyle agreed, saying, "The industry needs to have proactive notifcation with customer’s troubleshooting." Comcast’s McArdle commented that the employee experience directly impacts customers, and talked about Comcast’s current initiative to build better back-end technology for their employees to improve interaction. Overall the panelists agreed that customers expect an easy and quick response and therefore, for cable companies to be successful, it is vital to evolve the entire customer experience.
ORAL HISTORIES CAPTURED
The Cable Center taped six oral histories for our Cable History Project this past month. In mid-April, Rouzbeh Yassini, known as “father of the cable modem”, came to The Cable Center and shared his story of helping connect the world. At The Cable Show in Los Angeles, we taped histories with industry trailblazers Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE; Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks; Bob Schmidt, CEO of Great American Broadband and former NCTA president; and Evan Shapiro, president of Participant Media. Highlights from the tapings included Shapiro talking about change in the industry, Schmidt sharing stories of monumental events during his time as NCTA president, Sapan discussing the risks and successes of AMC’s Mad Men and Dzuban saying “we need to be the Johnny Appleseeds for our industry.” This past week, Rocco Commisso, founder, chairman and CEO of MediaCom Communications shared his oral history with The Center.
All the oral histories will be available in video and transcript form by this fall from The Barco Library on The Cable Center’s website, home of the other 320+ histories already captured. The Center plans to continue taping for the Oral History Project at The Independent Show and SCTE later this year.
All current and past Cable Hall of Fame inductees were invited to the stage for a champagne toast; Larry Satkowiak, The Cable Center’s CEO thanked them for making cable a global institution.
Libby Casey, Washington D.C. Correspondent, Al Jazeera America, introduces the Cable Hall of Fame inductees.
Guests enjoy the cocktail reception prior to the Cable Hall of Fame ceremony.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Academic & Industry Outreach:
Marketing & Communications:
From the financial acumen and creativity deal making of Alan Gerry and John Malone to the significance of the first satellite distribution of a cable program in 1975, oral histories available from The Cable Center’s Barco Library offer firsthand accounts of the cable industry. Capturing personal histories is an integral piece of The Center’s mission to tell the industry’s story. “The oral histories are the cornerstone of the Cable History Project,” said Jana Henthorn, senior vice president. Since the late 1980s, The Cable Center has collected over 320 interviews, the majority on video with full transcripts.
The histories share the story from many different angles; from the entrepreneurs, engineers, operators, programmers, marketers, and producers, to the financiers, journalists, women, men, immigrants and media moguls who made the cable industry what it is today.
The Center’s oral histories are a primary source materials that help give breadth and depth to our other collections. They can be moving and often times humorous. Pennsylvania cable pioneer Joe Gans recalls shooting ice off an antenna with a rifle in order to restore the sound to customers. Engineer Jim Chiddix shares how the lizards in Hawaii “added a little blood sport” to the early cable ad insertion by eating moths in the shed where the advertising was filmed. New England pioneer Dick Loftus discusses how when he was CEO, he surprised a customer by fulfilling a Friday night service call in order to make sure the customer would have television for a Sunday football game.
The most popular component of our website, the oral histories are used by academics, national and global press and hobbyists. “It’s time to reinvigorate the oral history program,” said Henthorn. The Center continues to add a modest amount of content each year, but is looking for major sponsors for additional underwriting in order to accelerate the gathering of the oral histories.
In 2014, The Center will be taping interviews at The Cable Show, The Independent Show and SCTE Cable Tec-Expo. Collecting oral histories
In February, The Center’s CEO Larry Satkowiak briefly introduced Cable Today & Tomorrow. This month, we are offering more in depth look at planned program initiatives. The world, society and culture have changed exponentially in the last 65 years. In many cases, cable has either been the catalyst or served as the medium for providing exclusive and deep media coverage. Diane Christman, senior vice president at The Cable Center said, “We want people to know that we are a contemporary industry. One of the highlights that we’ll be exploring is the cable industry’s considerable impact on our society and culture.”
Additionally, Cable Today & Tomorrow will focus on bringing to life a vivid illustration of what the industry looks like today by telling the story behind the numbers – for example, cable’s commitment to diversity, jobs created by the industry, and the human and relatable face of the published data.
Showcasing the industry’s innovative nature, the third concentration of the program, focuses on technology to tell the story of tomorrow. The Center will use noted thought leaders, stories and influencer-led discussions to combat the myth of cable as old school by highlighting cable’s rapidly changing and high-tech position in today’s marketplace.
The Cable Center website is currently undergoing a major upgrade to better showcase our programs and serve as an information resource for the industry. The website has been developed from the bottom up to reconfigure its design for any device, from phones, tablets, computer monitors and even televisions. The website will become more video centric, offering visitors a more engaging experience. Other exciting features include an interactive timeline of the cable industry, a Cable Hall of Fame exhibit and additional search options for oral histories. Reorganization of the main page and segmentation of subpages will make it easier for industry members, researchers and lay persons to navigate directly to their area of interest. The main page will be made up of moveable modules that allow for easy updates so that The Center can prominently showcase The Cable Hall of Fame and other events or newsworthy items. The Cable Center’s web designer and developer Steve Luiting said, “I am enthusiastic about the redesign and how it will benefit the user, especially how it allows them to access information in multiple ways via the main page.” The updated website is expected to be completed in early summer.
Marketing & Communications:
The Cable Center | 2000 Buchtel Blvd. | Denver CO, 80210 | www.cablecenter.org | 720.502.7500
The world today is plugged into technology more than ever before. We are dependent on a constant stream of information and interacting with others via multiple platforms. At some point every day there is a touch point with the cable industry. People don’t think twice about the evolution and tremendous advancement of the technology upon which they rely on so heavily. Cable industry innovations have heavily influenced technology, enhancing current communication and paving the way for the future.
At The Cable Center, we bring this story alive by focusing on the entrepreneurial spirit that gave rise to one of the best American success stories; the technological innovations of today and tomorrow; and cable’s profound impact on our society and culture. Our mission is simple – we tell the story of the cable industry.
The work of The Cable Center focuses on five core areas: The Cable History Project, Cable Today &Tomorrow, Academic Community Programs, Customer Experience Management and The Cable Hall of Fame.
In coming months, newsletters will highlight one or two of our programs in depth and share exciting updates and accomplishments. This month focuses on The Cable History Project and introduces the Cable Today & Tomorrow program.
The Cable History Project documents the journey of the industry, rich in history and featuring a diverse cast of trailblazers; from Mom and Pop operators, to programming pioneers like HBO and MTV and to the cutting edge technologies that made it all possible. The Barco Library at The Cable Center is one of the most robust resources for information about the cable industry anywhere in the world and is the ‘home’ of the project.
The Cable History Project includes several publications that are currently under development, oral and video histories, video productions and potential exhibits. Since its inception, The Cable Center has collected over 320 oral and video histories. We are expanding the number of histories and plan to send film crews to industry meetings and conferences to capture oral histories.
Cable Today & Tomorrow focuses on telling "the story behind the numbers", specifically economic impacts. Additionally, this area explores milestone moments in cable, by examining the story from an insider view and a public perspective. Using technology as a framework, Cable Today & Tomorrow will also use stories and discussion to illustrate cable’s profound impact on society and culture.
"Don't expect the same old, same old with Cable Today & Tomorrow," said Larry Satkowiak, president and CEO, of The Cable Center. "We are taking a fresh and engaging approach with this program and believe The Center holds a distinct and somewhat untapped advantage to bring an authentic and accurate perspective to key audiences and influencers."
The Cable Center website is currently undergoing a major upgrade to better showcase our programs and serve as an information resource for the industry. The updated website is expected to be completed in early summer.
CABLE CENTER SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM PROVIDES VALUABLE EXPERIENCE TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF CABLE LEADERS
The Cable Center is giving young people the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and to discover more about the industry with its Cable Center Summer Intern program. This past summer, six young people assisted The Center on a variety of projects, including working in the Barco Library, home to the world’s largest collection of printed resources and equipment exclusively dedicated to the cable industry. The interns helped to catalogue and organize the digital media collections so that the library can better serve the public’s research needs.
"The Cable Center’s Internship program is an ideal way for young people to gain exposure to our dynamic industry and acquire meaningful work experience," said Jana Henthorn, program administrator and senior vice president at The Cable Center. "It was a pleasure to be able to work with such energetic and talented young people, and we look forward to continuing this program in 2014." In addition to their other duties, the interns researched and produced a video titled The Founding Fathers of Cable Television, highlighting the early industry pioneers.
The industry's best networking event, The Cable Hall of Fame, honors those in the cable industry who have made a lasting contribution to the advancement of the industry and will take place on April 29, in Los Angeles in conjunction with the NCTA Cable Show. This year’s Cable Hall of Fame inductees are: Christiane Amanpour, Alex Best, Fred Dressler (deceased), Jerald L. Kent, Daniel L. Ritchie and David R. Van Valkenburg. In addition, Nick Davatzes has been named the 2014 Bresnan Ethics in Business Award recipient. The 2014 celebration will be tweeted live using the hashtag #cablehof. For more information, please visit www.cablehalloffame.com.
Marketing & Communications:
The Cable Center | 2000 Buchtel Blvd. | Denver CO, 80210 | www.cablecenter.org | 720-502-7500