Nine Cable Executives Join CTPAA Board of Advisors

The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) announced Tuesday the formation of a Board of Advisors consisting of senior cable executives who will provide the association with insight, advice and feedback on CTPAA activities, industry issues and trends. Currently nine executives have agreed to an initial two-year term on the Board of Advisors.

The following executives have accepted CTPAAís invitation to participate on the Board of Advisors: Decker Anstrom, President & COO, Landmark Communications, Inc.; Nickolas Davatzes, President and CEO, A&E Television Networks; Brian Lamb, Chairman and CEO, C-SPAN Networks; Robert Miron, Chairman and CEO, Advance/Newhouse Communications; Jim Robbins, President and CEO, Cox Communications, Inc; Josh Sapan, President and CEO, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.; Robert Sachs, President and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunication Association; Henry Schleiff, Chairman and CEO, Court Television Network and Michael S. Willner, Vice Chairman and CEO, Insight Communications.

The Board of Advisors is an outgrowth of CTPAAís recently developed strategic plan. The creation and role of the Board of Advisors will help ensure CTPAA is able to fulfill its mission: to develop and promote public affairs excellence to help achieve industry, corporate and social goals. The Board of Advisors will be used by CTPAA as a sounding board for potential or planned association programs and services including industry initiatives, professional education program development, and research to measure contributions made by the cable industry on both the local and national levels.

"As we begin the work of implementing our new strategic plan, having the advice and consul of such an illustrious group of industry leaders will help us create the most effective initiatives to support our members and ensure the industry receives the proper recognition for the incredible contributions our collective public affairs offerings make in our local communities and the nation as a whole," said CTPAA President, Bob Morrison, Vice President, Public Affairs, VH1.

With increasing competition and a larger and more complex product offerings, the cable industry needs strong community relations, skilled media relations, and strategic public relations that support business objectives. CTPAA believes creating the Board of Advisors is an excellent opportunity to work in tandem with key cable executives to ensure positive outcomes for industry issues as well as to better serve the individuals who make up the associationís membership.


 FORUM 2003 and Beacon Photographs to be Posted Online

Next week, CTPAA will post on its Web site digital pictures taken during FORUM 2003, held March 30 ñ April 2, 2003, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. There will be links to the photographs from the home page, the FORUM page and the Beacons page. The photographs are from several of FORUM key events such as the Silent Auction, General Sessions, and the Beacon Ceremony. The portraits of the Beacon winners with their awards will be posted as well.

Members may order copies of these photographs directly from the photographer Arnold Adler. A 4" X 6" is $4, a 5" X 7" is $15, and a 8" X 10" is $20 plus shipping charges. A Photography Order Form will be posted in Microsoft Word format. It can be printed out, completed and mailed to Adler. When ordering photographs, please be sure to include the Image Number listed below each photograph.

If members would like an electronic version of any of these photos, please contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org or at (202) 775ñ1082. Let her know what event the picture is from and the image number. She then will email the electronic file of the photograph to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Butler.


 A&E Networks Sponsored "We the People" Forum

The History Channel and A&E Networks underwrote "We the People," a White House Forum on American history, civics, and service at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC on May 1. The forum was co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the USA Freedom Corps, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of a larger initiative for American children to better understand United States history.

More than 300 educators, students, lawmakers, historians and policy professionals were present, including First Lady Laura Bush, Mrs. Lynne Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, and historians David McCullough and Robert Remini. A&E Television Networks participants included Abbe Raven, EVP and general manager, A&E Network; Roger Mudd, anchor for The History Channelís Save Our History series, and Dr. Libby OíConnell, VP educational alliances for A&E Television Networks.

The forum included recognition of the winners of the national "Idea of America" contest. Targeted to high school juniors, the first annual contest was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities to encourage literacy in American history among high school students. The grand prize winner was seventeen-year-old Morghan Transue of Kendall Park, New Jersey. She received a gold medal and $5,000 for her essay on the Supreme Courtís landmark 1803 decision Marbury v. Madison, which elevated the Supreme Court to equal footing with the presidency under the Constitution.


 Member Profile: Kathryn Falk

At her very first job as a day camp counselor at Village Green Day School in Great Falls, Virginia, Kathryn Falk learned that it was hard to keep everyone happy but it was well worth trying. Itís a lesson that many cable public affairs professionals can relate to.

Kathryn Falk is the vice president for government affairs for Cox Communications in Fairfax County, Virginia. During a typical day, she may work on new product launches, relationship management with government officials, and community outreach efforts. The most challenging aspect of her job is keeping her key constituents continually informed about upgrade progress and plans. Prior to joining Cox, Falk was the president of the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association (VCTA) for five years.

"Having worked at the VCTA, I thought I knew cable, but being in a system is a whole different world," said Falk. "In just the short time I have been in cable, the 1996 Telecom Act passed and the whole world changed. Remember, the Act did not address cable modems because it was unclear if they were a viable technology and just 7 years later they have changed our customers lives for the better and changed our business. Now new product launches are almost routine here at Cox NOVA. Since I joined in September, we have launched high definition television, several new channels, and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and have several exciting new product launches planned."

As cable companies deploy additional services, Falk believes that the customerís relationship with their cable company becomes more important everyday. During her years in cable, Falk has developed a broad definition of cable public affairs.

"In cable, every employee is in the Public Affairs business, whether you are at a cocktail party, a little league baseball game, a fundraiser, community event or even talking with a customer at work. We all represent the company each time weíre in public," said Falk.

Falk brings to her cable career years of experience working with the government. For five years, she was the vice president of the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA). Before that, she was the assistant director for congressional and public relations for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and a staff assistant for former United States Senator Dennis DeConcini.

"My former supervisor at NECA, an older gentleman near retirement, who pushed me forward into jobs I thought I could not do, gave me tasks that I thought were way out of my league and challenged me to do more. That and going to Randolph-Macon Womanís College were big turning points in my life." Falk added, "My best mentors, however, were my parents who always told me I could do anything."

The appeal of the cable industry for Falk came from the people who worked in it.  "I had friends who worked in the cable industry and noticed that the women I thought most highly of were in cable or moving to cable," said Falk.

The people Falk looks up to today are some of the former or current leading ladies of cable: Torie Clarke, Gerry Laybourne, and Ellen East. One of the reasons Falk joined CTPAA in 1998 was to meet some of these people she had admired from afar.

Falk enjoys playing with her DVR, and her favorite cable channels include Fox News, MTV and TLC. As a break from cable, Falk enjoys painting, golfing, spending time with her nieces and nephew and traveling. Her favorite vacation spot is Nantucket, and her favorite places to unwind include any ocean; The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia; The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia; and Saratoga, New York. 


 CTPAA Committee Volunteer Opportunities

CTPAA is recruiting volunteers for the Board, FORUM, and Beacon Committees. FORUM Committee Members will help determine the Agenda and promote FORUM 2004 to the industry. Beacon Volunteers manage the complete 2004 Beacon Awards process from promotion of the deadlines to judging the entries to the Beacon Awards Gala. The three Board Committees develop association programs and include Create a Favorable Environment for Business Growth, Provide Professional Development Resources and Recognition, and Strengthen CTPAAís Effectiveness. For more information on the FORUM or Board Committees, contact Steve Jones at (202) 775-1083 or at sjones@ctpaa.org. For information on the Beacons, contact Michelle Butler at (202) 775-1082 or at mbutler@ctpaa.org. To volunteer, complete the volunteer form and fax it to CTPAA at (202) 955-1134.