2004 Beacon Awards Deadline Just Two Weeks Away
The 2004 Beacon awards deadline November 21, 2003, is just two weeks away. There is still time to compile an award-winning Beacon entry. CTPAA has several features on the Beacon pages of the CTPAA Web site to assist members who are preparing their entries. There are links to Frequently Asked Questions , short descriptions of the 2003 Beacon Award winners, and 2001 - 2003 Beacon Finalist project summaries. The project summary is the core of every Beacon entry and details the planning, implementation and results of a successful cable public affairs initiative. These posted project summaries from past Beacon finalists may serve as a good model when preparing a Beacon entry. The summaries are posted in the members-only section of the CTPAA Web site, which requires the member to log in. A prompt will ask for the member's user name (the member's email in lowercase letters) and password (the member's last name all in lowercase letters).

CTPAA will announce the winners of the 2004 Beacon Awards during a gala ceremony and dinner on Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at FORUM 2004, the cable industry's annual educational conference dedicated to the issues facing public affairs professionals. FORUM 2004 will be held March 21-24, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. For more information on the 2004 Beacon Awards, contact Michelle Butler at 202-775-1082 or via email at mbutler@ctpaa.org.

CTPAA Sponsors Western Show Panel "Avoiding Tech Speak"
The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) is sponsoring a technology communications panel and luncheon during the Western Show on Thursday December 4, noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Anaheim Marriott hotel. The panelists are: Angie Branham-Britt, senior director, marketing, communications, & public affairs, Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector; Dawn Chmielewski, multimedia reporter/columnist, San Jose Mercury News; Deanne Leavenworth, vice president, corporate relations & communications, Time Warner Communications; Patti Rockenwagner, vice president, communications, Comcast, Southern California; and Stewart Schley, principal, Stewart Schley Editorial Services. TechTV's Michaela Pereira, anchor of "Tech Live," will moderate the session.

The panel "Avoiding Tech Speak" will examine the new and high tech services cable is or will soon offer and how public affairs professionals can effectively communicate these products to a variety of audiences. The ultimate objective of the panel is to insure customers and others fully understand the entire range of cable products, services, benefits, and applications. To do this effectively, cable systems, programming networks and technology providers must employ multiple methods to reach out to and communicate with their customers.

CTPAA invites members and the press attending the Western Show, members in the region, and individuals with an interest in public affairs to register for this FREE luncheon and program. Seating is limited. Please contact CTPAA at 800-210-3396 or via email to services@ctpaa.og  for reservations.

 Joseph Stunzi Named Winner of Discovery Channel's "Young Scientist Challenge"
Discovery Communications, Inc. and Charter Communications of Athens, Georgia, named the winner of the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge (DCYSC). Joseph Stunzi, 13, of Watkinsville, GA, was named "America's Top Young Scientist of the Year," winning $100,000 in scholarships and prizes and beating out 39 other top middle school science students.

Joseph was selected from more than 7,300 entrants. Forty finalists were chosen, each earning special prizes and awards. The finalists were judged based on their scores from oral presentations of their projects at science fairs across the country and from their participation in a two day series of aviation related challenges at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC.

Joseph's science project was entitled "The Effect of Cell Phones on Pacemaker Patients' Hearts." Joseph hypothesized that cell phones would increase heart rates, and he tested the effect of both analog and digital cell phones on patients, recording an EKG each time. Joseph concluded that digital phones affected participants more than analog phones, and that pacemakers implanted after 2000 were less affected overall.

The DCYSC awards ceremony was held on October 22, 2003, at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Since its creation in 1999, DCYSC has been the nation's leading science competition for middle school students. The DCYSC honors America's top middle school student who demonstrates skills in leadership, teamwork and scientific problem solving and also is an effective science communicator. The contest was developed in response to evidence that academic achievement and interest in science dramatically declines as students grow older, especially in the middle school years.  For more information about the DCYSC, contact Pat Lute at 240-662-2901.

 WICT Foundation Releases Results of First PAR Initiative
The Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) Foundation released the results of the first PAR (pay equity, advancement opportunities, and resources for work/life support) Initiative study in the cable industry. WICT released five lists: Best Operators for Women in Cable; Best Programmers for Women in Cable; Best Companies for Women in Cable Pay Equity; Best Companies for Women in Cable Resources for Life/Work Support; and Best Companies for Women in Cable Advancement Opportunities.  The PAR Initiative was conducted in partnership with Working Mother Media and supported by a grant from the Walter Kaitz Foundation.

In comparison to the national average in terms of women in the workplace and in executive management positions, the cable and telecommunications industry is lagging behind other industries. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women represent 42% of the national workforce, but only 38.7% of the workforce in the cable industry. Nationally, 42% of executives are female whereas only 29% of executives in cable are female. In addition, women of color make up 13% of employees at cable companies, but unfortunately are almost absent from senior management positions.

WICT also named the winners of the 2003 Forerunner Accolades, given to The Weather Channel for the Best Programmer for Women in Cable and Cox Communications for the Best Operator for Women in Cable.  For more information about the WICT Par Initiative, contact Melissa Northern at mnorthern@wict.org.

 Cox Communications Donates $5 Million in TV Ad Time to Hispanic Anti-Drug Campaign
Cox Communications will make a $5 million donation of television advertising space to a national campaign to help Hispanic parents raise drug-free teens. This new initiative is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.  It includes new advertising, community and media outreach and online and print bilingual resources. Cox's donation will include a specific focus on Hispanic audiences through Spanish-language public service ads. According to the Campaign, research shows that among eighth graders, Hispanics tend to have the highest rates of past-year drug use for illegal drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and heroine. One in 10 Hispanic youth ages 12-17 reports using illicit drugs in the past month. Because Hispanics represent the largest, fastest-growing, and youngest ethnic group in the United States, the need for tailored youth drug prevention efforts is critical. Cox's donation extends the company's ongoing partnership with the Campaign that has included community events, anti-drug programming and special communications in its 23 markets reaching 6 million customers nationwide.  For more information contact Rachel Lemaitre, Office of National Drug Control, at 202-395-6618.

 NCTA Launches Faster Forward Media Campaign
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has launched in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area a multi-media advertising campaign to highlight the cable industry's progress in delivering more choice, quality and value to American consumers through the deployment of advanced broadband services. Entitled "Cable: Faster Forward," the campaign includes TV, newspaper and radio advertising as well as outdoor advertising, Web site banners and a dedicated Web site. The Web site banners are available to run on cable customer-facing or corporate Web sites and may be obtained by contacting Pam Ford, NCTA's assistant director, communications, at 202-775-3629. The Faster Forward campaign will conclude in mid-November.

 The Golf Channel Hosts National Championship of its Drive, Chip & Putt Junior Golf Skills Competition
On October 25, 61 boys and girls competed in the national championship of The Golf Channel's Drive, Chip & Putt Junior Golf Skills Competition at Falcon's Fire Golf Club in Kissimmee, Florida. These children were the finalists of more than 25,000 participants who had competed in 100 communities across 39 states and Canada. This competition provides a free and friendly opportunity for boys and girls to compete in a fun series of events designed to develop and test their golf skills, regardless of skill level or exposure to the game. For more information, contact Matt Friedman at 407-355-4034.

 Job Opening: Director of Media Relations
October Strategies is looking for a talented writer/media type with at least three years experience in a professional public relations/communications position to serve as their new director of media relations. The candidate should be a good fit for the company's virtual team culture and its straight forward, strategic approach to communications. Geographic location is flexible. For more information, contact LaRae Marsik at larae@octoberstrategies.com.

 Judge the 2004 Beacons
CTPAA invites its members to choose the best of the best cable public affairs initiatives of the past year by being a 2004 Beacon Awards judge. To volunteer, complete the Beacon judge form and send it to CTPAA. As a Beacon judge, CTPAA members will learn what cable public affairs professionals across the country are accomplishing and will walk away from the experience with dozens of new ideas. The first round of Beacon judging will be all day January 14 and 15 in Washington, DC, with a welcome reception hosted by NCTA on the evening of January 13. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at 202-775-1082.

 Thank You Corporate Members!
Welcome to our two newest corporate members, Outdoor Life Network and The Outdoor Channel! For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member in 2004, please contact Steve Jones at sjones@ctpaa.org or at 202-775-1083. For membership details, go to http://www.magnetmail.net/Actions/linktosite.cfm?message_id=21729&user_id=CTPPA&recipient_id=6872048&site=http://www.ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

2003 Golden Benefactors

A&E Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
NBC Cable Networks
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

2003 Benefactors

ABC Cable Networks Group
Lifetime Television
MTV Networks
The Weather Channel

2003 Friends & Associates

Bresnan Communications
Cable Telecommunications Association of New York
Comedy Central
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Discovery Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Game Show Network
Hallmark Channel
Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association
Insight Communications
International Channel
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Oxygen Media
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
Terayon Communication Systems