CTPAA Sets Theme for FORUM 2004 and Confirms Speakers
In an effort to give cable public affairs professionals the tools and resources to better educate their constituents, the chosen theme of the Cable Television Public Affairs Association's (CTPAA) FORUM 2004 is "Communicating Cable's Value." This theme will be woven throughout the general sessions and break-out panels during CTPAA's 19th annual educational conference, scheduled for March 21 to 24, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. The theme reflects the event's focus on how cable public affairs professionals can effectively communicate cable's value and technologically superior platform to customers, media, and government officials.

FORUM 2004 has already received speaking commitments from several esteemed industry executives including Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner Cable; Susan Packard, President, New Ventures, Scripps Networks; Carl Vogel, President and CEO, Charter Communications; and Robert Sachs, President & CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

"With the ever expanding array of cable services offered across the country, the integration of community outreach and public affairs activities will be vital to ensure customers understand new product benefits and welcome them into their homes," said Peter Kiley, CTPAA president and director of affiliate relations, C-SPAN Networks. "Due to the timeliness of our theme, our speakers and the variety of sessions offered, we anticipate a record turnout next March."

The three-day educational program will feature general and breakout sessions on government relations, media relations, education, community relations, communications and employee relations. General and luncheon sessions will focus on the challenges and opportunities of new product offerings and how they are changing the way the cable industry does business on both an industry and policy level.

At FORUM 2004, CTPAA will recognize the inaugural winners of the Public Affairs Achievement Award, developed to honor individual members for their outstanding contributions to cable public affairs. Awards may be presented in the following categories: community relations, government relations, local programming and media relations.

The volunteer leaders overseeing the structure and content of FORUM 2004 as Co-chairs are Anita Lamont, director, communications, Midwest Division Operations, Charter Communications and Eric Hollresier, senior vice president, ABC Cable Networks Group.

CTPAA will also announce the winners of the 2004 Beacon Awards, honoring excellence in public affairs throughout the cable industry, during a gala ceremony and dinner on Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at FORUM. The Beacon 2004 co-chairs are Stacy Schmitt, director of public affairs, Time Warner Cable, and Maryann Kafer, director public relations, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association.

For information about FORUM 2004 registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.magnetmail.net/Actions/linktosite.cfm?message_id=22727&user_id=CTPPA&recipient_id=2707054&site=http://www.ctpaa.org/forum.shtml.

 The 2004 Public Affairs Achievement Award
Is there a cable public affairs executive whom you have admired and believe should be recognized by the industry? During its September 17, 2003, meeting, the CTPAA Board of Directors approved a new award to recognize and honor individual members for their outstanding contributions to cable public affairs. Known as the Public Affairs Achievement Award, it will be presented annually during FORUM to individual members for their work in the categories of community relations, government relations, media relations or local programming.

The eligibility requirements are:

  • Current member of CTPAA
  • Member of CTPAA for a minimum of three (3) years
  • Worked in public affairs a minimum of five (5) years
  • Supports the goals of the CTPAA
  • Employed by a MSO, Local System, Cable Network, Industry Supplier, or industry nonprofit organization
  • Individuals are eligible to receive the award once for each of the four categories.
  • The current CTPAA President is not eligible for nomination until two years after his or her term in office.

Nominations must include a completed and signed nomination form and a summary of qualifications, no longer than two pages, addressing the criteria below:

  • Show how the nominee has used public affairs concepts and techniques to successfully solve problems or take advantage of opportunities
  • Detail the achievements of the nominee and demonstrate how these have advanced the cable industry
  • List Beacon entry campaigns or initiatives in which the individual had a key role
  • Other awards and forms of recognition the nominee has received for public affairs related activities
  • Service to CTPAA citing offices held or committee positions
  • Up to five (5) letters seconding the nomination of no more than one page each may accompany the nomination

The nomination deadline for the inaugural edition of this annual award is December 31, 2003. For more information about the award or to obtain a nomination form please go to the membership page of the CTPAA Web site.

 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; Deane Leavenworth, vice president, corporate relations & communications, Time Warner Cable; 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.org for reservations.

Comcast Sponsored James McBride's Riffin' & Pontificatin' Music and Literacy Tour
This fall Comcast sponsored James McBride's Riffin' & Pontificatin' Music and Literacy Tour and brought him to community events in many Comcast markets. McBride is a saxophonist, songwriter and author of the books "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother" and "Miracle at St. Anna," the story of four African-American soldiers stationed in Italy during World War II. With more than 1.5 million copies sold, McBride's autobiography "The Color of Water" was on the New York Times Best Seller List for two years. The book describes McBride's past as a dropout and his realization that he was wrong to abandon his education.

McBride developed the "Riffin' and Pontificatin' Tour," a school program that he and his band take to schools to encourage at-risk youth to stay in school and to pay attention to the arts. The Comcast markets McBride visited from September 1 to October 9 included Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, Doylestown, Pa.; Fort Myers, Fla; Hartford, Conn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; St. Paul, Minn.; Tupelo, Miss.; and Washington, D.C.  For more information, contact Reg Griffin at 678-385-5100

 SCTE Launched First Spanish Language Certification Testing
Spanish-speaking workers from Comcast Cable and Cox Communications took the first Spanish-language version of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Broadband Premises Specialist (BPS) Certification exam on November 6 at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. The Spanish-language certification testing is part of SCTE's OperaciŪn EspaŅol, a workforce development and diversity program targeted to cable's growing population of Spanish-speaking engineers and technical professionals.

"By offering certification testing in Spanish, we're giving installers and technicians whose first language is Spanish a better opportunity to earn certification that may better position them for promotions and pay increases. Information gathered on bilingualism shows that Spanish-speaking individuals may be conversational in English, but they often study and test better in Spanish," said John Clark, president and CEO of SCTE.

As part of SCTE OperaciŪn EspaŅol, the Society also offers Spanish-language books and manuals; a Spanish SCTE Web site; a Spanish listserv for problem-solving; a Spanish Speakers Bureau; technical sessions in Spanish at industry trade shows; and Interval and SCTE Monthly, two of SCTE's member publications, in Spanish. For more information, contact Kimberly Maki at 610-524-1725, ext. 221.

 Atlanta's ESPN Zone's Sports Gear Drive Benefits Local Boys and Girls Clubs
Atlanta's ESPN Zone partnered with the Atlanta Falcons, Comcast, and FalconsVision to host a special distribution party to present sports equipment and a financial contribution to metro Atlanta's Boys and Girls Clubs. The donations were collected as part of the Play Your Way sports gear drive, ESPN's national sports fitness initiative encouraging youth to be more active. U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, Atlanta Falcons players, and executives from ESPN corporate outreach presented the sports gear to the Boys & Girls Club youth.

Surgeon General Carmona was the featured speaker for the event, and talked to the Boys and Girls Clubs about preventing obesity and staying active. In his speech, he asked the kids to be "junior Surgeon Generals" and help him keep U.S. citizens "healthy and safe by exercising, eating healthy, and telling friends and family how to live a healthy life." In addition, Falcons linebacker Chris Draft and wide receiver Jimmy Farris talked with the youths about physical fitness and the importance of exercise and eating right.

FalconsVision aired television spots promoting the launch of the national campaign in the Atlanta market, and Comcast supported the local sports gear drive through on-air cross-channel promotion. ESPN, Inc. plans to launch Play Your Way sports gear drives in the seven other ESPN Zones nationwide in 2004. ESPN Zones are sports themed dining venues, and locations include Anaheim, Calif.; Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Nev.; New York, and Washington, DC.

 Court TV Celebrates "International Day of Tolerance"
Court TV held a global Webcast entitled, "We Are Family: Educating Our Children for a Safer World" in celebration of the "International Day for Tolerance" on Monday, November 17th, at the United Nations. This special program was part of Court TV's Public Affairs Initiative, Keep America Safe, which includes Choices and Consequences, the Safety Challenges series, and new neighborhood and educational initiatives.

Court TV partnered with the United Nations Department of Public Information, the Anti-Defamation League, Operation Respect, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and the We Are Family Foundation. Cable in the Classroom helped Court TV create awareness of this event. The Webcast was hosted by Al Roker and featured live performances by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary and songwriter/producer Nile Rodgers of Chic. The leaders of each partner organization gave presentations, and Mrs. Nane Annan, wife of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, opened the event with welcoming remarks. Mattie Stepanie, a 13-year-old best selling author, poet, and peacemaker, whose story of living with muscular dystrophy has encouraged millions of people, also spoke at the event. In addition, the program also included videos of workshops held in New York City elementary, middle and high schools using activities in the We Are Family: Educating our Children for a Safer World Resource Guide.

 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!

Join and support CTPAA by becoming a corporate member. For information on how your organization can become 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=22727&user_id=CTPPA&recipient_id=2707054&site=http://www.ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

2003 Golden Benefactors

A&E Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
Cox 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
The Outdoor Channel
Outdoor Life Network
Oxygen Media
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
Terayon Communication Systems