This year the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) proudly celebrates two decades of excellence in cable communications with the 20th Annual Beacon Awards. Since 1989, the Beacon Awards have been the standard for cable communications and public affairs excellence. Through the challenges and triumphs of a rapidly evolving industry, the Beacon Awards continue to recognize the best of the best as a part of ACC’s mission to develop and promote cable communications distinction through professional development to achieve corporate goals. The 2009 winning entries were submitted by cable operators, programming networks, cable associations and cable technology providers nationwide and reflect the latest accomplishments in a long tradition of excellence.
The Beacon Awards were founded to guide and nurture the relatively new field of public affairs in the cable industry. By showcasing methods and campaigns pioneered by practitioners, the founders hoped to strengthen the profession as well as raise awareness of the value of the developing trade. In the first year, 180 entries were submitted to compete in 14 categories and C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb received the inaugural President’s Award. The next year, entries nearly doubled, and 40 campaigns were honored.
The Beacon Awards continued to expand over the years, adding special honors that brought in industry and community partners. The ESPN Good Sports Award recognizes system operators that generate outstanding community involvement through athletics and education while the Joel A. Berger Award is presented by Multichannel News and ACC to the best cable AIDS Awareness campaign. Community partners, an essential component to most Beacon Awards entries, are acknowledged with the ACC Community Bridges Award. The best cable communication campaign that had a strong impact within cable while enhancing the image of the industry nationwide wins the Golden Beacon Award, the association’s highest honor.
Even in its 20th year, the Beacon Awards continues to improve. Overseeing the 2009 Beacon Awards Committee of 21 volunteers, chair Janice Caluda, vice president, operations of the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association, steered the program through its own digital transition. Entrants were prompted to submit their campaigns in mostly digital format. This allowed 77 ACC members all over the nation to participate in the first round of the two-part Beacon Awards judging process. In August 2009, 20 senior cable communicators gathered in Washington, D.C., to choose the Beacon Award finalists and winners.
These final round judges were given the opportunity to see the excellent work cable communicators do to promote their companies' products and contribute to the bottom line while also striving to improve the quality of life for their companies' customers and the communities they serve. Whether the campaigns and tactics were geared towards local needs or had worldwide impact, they all displayed ingenuity, creativity and continued commitment to community despite the national economic climate. And, the judges had the joy of picking the best of the best.
The 59 2009 Beacon Award Winners achieve peer, industry and local market recognition and join a long tradition of exemplary accomplishments in cable communications. ACC is proud to congratulate the winners and honorees of the 2009 Beacon Awards and celebrate an important milestone in cable communications.