Register Now for FORUM 2004 - Your Public Affairs Educational Event
It is not too late to register for FORUM 2004! The theme of FORUM 2004 is "Communicating Cable's Value." It 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. Through carefully chosen general sessions, breakouts and special luncheons, FORUM 2004 will address many considerable ways to leverage communication about cable's advantages to your advantage. The conference is scheduled for March 21 to 24, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.  On site registration is also available on the ballroom level of the hotel.  For information about FORUM 2004 registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit

 Reserve a Table at the 2004 Beacon Ceremony

CTPAA is offering reserved tables for the 2004 Beacon Ceremony on March 23, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC. A reserved table for registered FORUM attendees is $1,500. For dinner guests only, a reserved table at the Beacons Ceremony is $3,000 (includes 10 tickets). For more information, contact Michelle Butler at 202-775-1082 or

 CTPAA Master Course: Media Training Workshop
Be sure to add CTPAA's Master Course (additional $155 registration fee required)  Media Training Workshop along with your registration. This hands-on workshop will include an opportunity for participants to be videotaped in a mock media interview. It will provide real world experiences on building ongoing relationships with the media, responding to media inquiries & requests, preparing a spokesperson for a media interview, effective & ineffective responses to high-pressure media situations, how to respond and manage issues, and determining who should manage what issues. Margie Elsberg, who is a 25-year veteran of the Washington press corps, of Elsberg Associates will conduct the workshop Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:30 pm in the Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC, the site for all FORUM 2004 events.

 CTPAA Members Elect Seven Public Affairs Pros to the 2004-2005 Board of Directors
The CTPAA membership elected seven members for two-year terms as members of the Board of Directors. Five of the seven are new to the association's board. The newly elected board members are:

Peggy Ballard, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
Paul Jacobson, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Adelphia Communications
Mary Dixon, Vice President, Public Affairs, Lifetime Television
Todd Schoen, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Marketing and Ad Sales, ABC Cable Networks Group
Tom Southwick, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Starz Encore Group

Returning to the Board via the election process are:

Anita Lamont, Division Director of Communications, Charter Communications
Steve Raddock, Vice President, Communications & Production, Cabletelevison Advertising Bureau (CAB)

"As our industry faces new challenges and ever-stronger competition, the role of cable's public affairs professionals -- and the contribution CTPAA makes to their ongoing efforts -- takes on added significance," said Peter Kiley, CTPAA president and director of affiliate relations, C-SPAN Networks. "Each of these industry leaders will make substantial contributions to the operation and direction of the association, furthering the impact of cable's public outreach and business objectives."

 Congratulations to Bridget Baker, Ellen East and Dena Kaplan!

CTPAA members Bridget Baker, senior vice president, Cable Distribution, NBC Cable Networks; Ellen East, vice president, communications and public affairs, Cox Communications, Inc.; and Dena Kaplan, senior vice president, marketing, Game Show Network are being honored at the Women in Cable & Telecommunications' (WICT) Wonder Women Luncheon. Held Tuesday, March 30th at the Marriot Marquis in New York City, the luncheon celebrates 13 of the most influential women in broadband and cable. Multichannel News and the New York Chapter of WICT are the sponsors of the Wonder Women Luncheon. Individual tickets are $125 and a table of ten is $1,500. For more information or to register, contact Sandy Friedman at Reed Business Information at 646-746-6520 or

 Cox Takes ESPN Good Sports Award and MTV News Wins Joel A. Berger Award

The 2004 ESPN Good Sports Award will be presented to Cox Communications for its Everyday Heroes initiative, and MTV News is the winner of the 2004 Joel A. Berger Award for its MTV News Now: Sex, School & Scandal program. Both awards will be given out during the 2004 Beacon Awards Gala at FORUM 2004.

Cox Communications is the recipient of the ESPN Good Sports Award for its Everyday Heroes initiative. The award is given annually to a project that generates outstanding community involvement through education and athletics. Cox Arizona partnered with the Arizona Interscholastic Association to create the Everyday Heroes Awards Gala. A formal event broadcast live on Cox9 from the historic Orpheum Theatre, Everyday Heroes featured CNN's Daryn Kagan, live performances from talented high school students, and the presentation of nearly $40,000 in scholarships and prizes. Everyday Heroes honored administrators, teachers and students for demonstrating character and honor in outstanding achievement both on and off the field. The Everyday Heroes Gala, with attendance of more than 1,000 people, honored character in achievement at the high school level in a way that is unprecedented locally or nationally, while strengthening Cox's position among educators, elected officials and the community. Additionally, Everyday Heroes generated sponsorship revenue, television and print media coverage, and endorsements from Arizona's Governor and other community leaders.

The winner of the Joel A. Berger Award is MTV for its MTV News Now: Sex, School & Scandal program, which premiered on World AIDS Day in 2002. Named after the former publisher of Cablevision magazine, the award annually recognizes an outstanding public affairs initiative that creates AIDS awareness in local communities. MTV News Now: Sex, School & Scandal focused on the impact that one person's actions had on an entire community. Through the stories of eighteen-year-old Nikko Briteramos and twenty-year-old Prairie Blacksmith, MTV News explored the personal impact of having unprotected sex, as both subjects are learning to cope with living with HIV. MTV News also investigated the legal ramifications as Nikko was arrested and later charged with knowingly exposing his partners to the HIV virus, which is a crime in South Dakota. For this program, MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago traveled to Huron, South Dakota, to explore the consequences of those actions while at the same time educating MTV's viewers on the dangers of unprotected sex - and the need for them to take control of their own sexual health.

 Comcast, Discovery Networks, and John Hopkins University Hold "Space Academy"

Comcast, Discovery Networks, and The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab gave more than 100 middle school students from Annapolis Middle School, Catonsville Middle School and St. John the Evangelist School in Silver Spring, Maryland, the opportunity to study space missions and interact with local space scientists and engineers. The "Space Academy" was held Friday, March 5th, at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland.

Participating students focused on Space Weather and demonstrations on how the weather in space affects life on earth. The program will teach students what creates the brilliant light shows seen in the sky (auroras) and how events in outer space can affect weather on earth.

The "Space Academy" series take students behind the scenes of actual space missions and introduce them to engineers and scientists who execute some of NASA's coolest projects. Space Weather focuses on two NASA missions: TIMED and Polar.

TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics, and Dynamics) is studying the influences of the sun and humans on the least explored and understood region of Earth's atmosphere-the mesosophere and lower thermosphere/iconosphere-considered the gateway between Earth's environment and space. Polar is gathering images of the aurora and studying Earth's interaction with the solar wind in addition to the physical processes that transfer particles and energy into and through Earth's magnetosphere.

Comcast, The Discovery Channel, and The John Hopkins Appled Physics Lab created and sponsor the Space Academy series. For more information, contact Meredith Olsen at

 Debbie A. Smith Selected to be Executive Director, Walter Kaitz Foundation

Debbie A. Smith, a finanical services executive with professional experience in minority affairs, national business policy, and trade association management, has been selected to serve as the executive director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation. Smith will join the Foundation full-time effective April 5. Her duties will include day to day management of the Kaitz Foundation, including the awarding of Foundation funds in support of cable industry diversity efforts, leadership of the annual Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner in New York City, revamping and supervising an industry diversity Web site, and developing a new cable industry national supplier diversity program.

Smith's appointment as executive director completes the transition plan approved last fall by the Kaitz Board and the Board of Directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). Under this plan, the Kaitz Foundation will operate under the administative backing of NCTA.

 MTV Networks Joins CTPAA As a Golden Benefactor Corporate Member

MTV Networks is the CTPAA's newest corporate member at the Golden Benefactor Level. For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member in 2004, please contact Steve Jones at or 202-775-1083. For membership details, go to

 Cable Industry Launches Consumer Education Initiative

The cable industry announced a comprehensive, new, consumer outreach campaign designed to increase awareness about tools and resources cable provides so that families can control programming that comes into their homes and make educated and responsible decisions about television viewing.

The multimedia initiative - a response to calls for more information about television viewing choices from FCC Chairman Michael Powell, key Members of Congress, and many American television viewers - is titled Cable Puts You in Control. It reflects the cable industry's commitment to provide American families a wide variety of programming choices, technology that enables customers to block channels or programs they find unsuitable for family viewing, and resources on media literacy to help families better understand the entertainment and information they receive through media today.

Robert Sachs, President and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications (NCTA), detailed the initiative in letters to FCC Chairman Powell and Congressional leaders including chairman and ranking members U.S. Representatives Barton, Dingell, Upton and Markey, and U.S. Senators McCain, Hollings and Burns; and other members of the U.S. House and Senate Commerce Committees.

Elements of Cable Puts You in Control include:


A new website will be fully operational by April 1. It will be devoted to empowering parents and caregivers to better supervise family television viewing by providing them with information about how to manage their family's television and media use. Created and maintained by Cable in the Classroom (CIC), the cable industry's education foundation, the site will serve as a clearinghouse for information about responsible viewing, including:

  • A description of cable technology that allows viewers to block channels
  • Viewing tips for parents and caregivers
  • A sample description of the children's and family programming available on cable
  • Media literacy information and resources, and contact information for organizations that promote and provide educational tools for it
  • Other cable industry resources related to managing television viewing

Public Service Announcements

A series of public service announcements (PSAs) are in development to educate parents about the tools available to help them manage and control the programming that comes into their homes. Produced by industry-based companies, these PSAs will encourage subscribers to call their local cable operator or to visit the initiative's Web site for more information.

NCTA anticipates completion and distribution of the PSAs by early April and will make them widely available to cable operators and cable networks. Many cable networks and cable systems have committed to airing these or similar PSAs in a variety of dayparts, including prime time, and the PSAs also will be posted to the initiative's Web site.

Customer Communication Materials

A portion of the effort to broaden awareness of cable's parental control tools will include direct communication with the approximately 70 million customers who subscribe to basic and digital cable services. A variety of "template" customer communication materials - including bill stuffers, pamphlets, employee training materials and scripts for various communication channels - will be developed in a Cable Puts You in Control toolkit and provided to the NCTA member operating companies that serve approximately 90 percent of all U.S. cable households.

Media Literacy Workshops: MediaWise Families Roadshow

Cable in the Classroom and the National PTA will conduct a series of free workshops around the country for parents that will address concerns about the exposure of children to inappropriate content on television. PTA members and local cable company representatives will help parents learn about the TV ratings system, the V-chip, and the various channel-blocking devices available from their local cable company. In addition, parents will learn how media literacy skills can help their children become critical and discerning viewers, questioning the messages and values in a TV program, commercial or material found online.

In addition, Cable in the Classroom and National PTA will release in April a new report providing guidance and ideas to help parents of children ages 2-11 select and use media with their families in developmentally appropriate ways. The report will be distributed free of charge through the PTA and CIC Web sites as well as by individual PTA chapters and local cable companies. Seventeen operators and forty-three programmers have committed to air cable PSAs.

PO Box 33697, Washington, DC, 20033-0697