May 6, 2005 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2005 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
2005 Golden Beacon and Beacon Award Winners Announced
CTPAA Elects New Officers, Announces 2005-2006 Board of Directors
National Geographic Channel Encourages Kids to Be Everyday Explorers
ESPN Play Your Way Expands to Include Local Cable System Participation
Topics Education and CTPAA Release Paper Exploring ROI of Public Affairs in Cable
WE: Women's Entertainment Launches WE Empowers Woman
CMT's "One Country" Initiative Aims to Foster Volunteerism & Community Action
Public Affairs Initiatives Guide Now Available Online
Thank You Corporate Members!

 2005 Golden Beacon and Beacon Award Winners Announced
During a gala ceremony the evening of May 3, CTPAA announced the winners of the 2005 Golden Beacon and Beacon Awards, recognizing excellence in cable television public affairs. CTPAA awarded the Golden Beacon, the association's highest honor, to Lifetime Television's Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women. CTPAA also presented 76 Beacon Awards, representing work by MSOs, cable systems, programming networks, cable associations and technology providers aimed at the community, customers, education, employees, government, media or cable association members. A list of the 2005 Beacon Awards can be found on CTPAA's Web site. The Beacon Awards Ceremony was one of many highlights of CTPAA's annual conference, FORUM 2005: Expanding Cable's Connections, held May 1 - 4 at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. Comedy Central's Ted Alexandro was the master of ceremonies for the evening.

CTPAA presented the 2005 Golden Beacon, awarded to a public affairs initiative that has made an impact within the cable industry and enhanced cable's image nationwide, to Lifetime Television's Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign is dedicated to using the power of the media to raise awareness of various forms of violence, such as domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; offering lifesaving information and support; promoting passage of national legislation; and engaging women and men to work together to prevent violence. In an initiative that reaches women in 88 million homes, Lifetime works with more than 40 leading non-profit organizations, affiliate partners, corporations and bi-partisan government officials to create extensive, original, on-air programming, online content and community outreach. The two other initiatives nominated for the 2005 Golden Beacon Award were Nickelodeon's Let's Just Play and The History Channel's Save Our History. The 2004 Golden Beacon was awarded to Comcast and C-SPAN Networks for Students & Leaders.

In addition to the Beacon Awards and Golden Beacon Award, two other highly coveted awards were presented during the ceremony. Time Warner Cable New England is the recipient of the ESPN Good Sports Award for its Top Pop, Maine's Best Dad Contest. The award is given annually to a project that generates outstanding community involvement through education and athletics. Time Warner Cable of New England's Top Pop contest invited students in grades 4-12 to submit an essay describing their Dad and why he should be named one of Maine's Top Pops. Twenty-five Dads were selected by a panel of judges and honored at a luncheon followed by a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game last June. The first 200 essay entries also received two tickets to attend the game. One "Top" student essay from each grade level - elementary, middle and high school - was chosen and the students won a HD television and one year of Digital/HD programming for their fathers.

The winner of the Joel A. Berger Award is the Atlanta Chapter of Cable Positive for its Positively Aiding the Fight Against AIDS. Named after the former publisher of Cablevision magazine, the award annually recognizes an outstanding public affairs initiative that creates AIDS awareness in local communities. The chapter launched in 2003 and has had a very successful start. In the past year, it has raised more than $64,000 to fund HIV/AIDS support and education programs of Cable Positive and AID Atlanta, the Southeast's largest AIDS action organization. Cable Positive's Atlanta chapter has marshaled the resources of the cable industry and gained the active support and sponsorship of 30 cable-related companies.

In 2004, CTPAA created the CTPAA Community Bridges Award to recognize outstanding, non-cable industry partner organizations and individuals that take part in cable public affairs initiatives and are often instrumental to the success of those initiatives. The inaugural winner is Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The cable industry has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs to help them achieve their mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Cable companies have shown public service announcements that promoted the activities of the Clubs, established technology centers and donated other in-kind services as well as cash grants to Clubs locally and nationally. At the local level, cable employees have provided workshops on Internet safety and media literacy, painted and renovated Clubs, mentored disadvantaged children, and provided them with basic necessities for school such as school supplies, clothing and shoes.

Each year, CTPAA's President selects, and the CTPAA Board approves, the President's Award recipients, honoring individuals for the development and implementation of public affairs initiatives within their own companies and throughout the cable industry. The 2005 recipients were Bill Bresnan, chairman and CEO, Bresnan Communications; Paul FitzPatrick, executive vice president and COO, Crown Media Holdings; and Char Beales, president and CEO, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).

CTPAA received hundreds of Beacon entries this year - evidence of the strong and continuing commitment by the cable industry to public affairs. Finalists and winners were selected after an extensive two-phase judging process in Washington, DC, at the NCTA headquarters in January and February. 
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 CTPAA Elects New Officers, Announces 2005-2006 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of CTPAA elected Anita Lamont, Director, Field Operations, Charter Communications as President and a member of the Executive Committee during the organization's recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The Board elected three other individuals as officers and members of the Executive Committee. They are Christine Levesque, Executive Vice President, Communications, Marketing, and Government Affairs, Gemstar-TV Guide as Vice President; Mark Harrad, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Time Warner Cable as Secretary; and Peggy Ballard, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Scientific-Atlanta as Treasurer. Peter Kiley, Vice President, Affiliate Relations, C-SPAN Networks, remains on the Executive Committee in the role of immediate past president.

The CTPAA Board appointed four individuals, each serving a two-year term, to the Board of Directors. They are: 

Sandy Colony, Senior Vice President, Communications, Insight Communications
Jennifer Mooney, Group Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Relations, Bright House Networks
Anthony Surratt, Executive Director, Public Relations, Cox Communications
Misty Skedgell, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Sixteen other individuals continue to serve on the CTPAA Board. They are:

Portia Badham, President, Badwyn Communications
Mary Dixon, Vice President Advocacy & Public Affairs, Lifetime Television
Alyssa Donelan, Vice President, Media Relations, NBC Universal Cable
Rosa Gatti, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Outreach, ESPN, Inc.
Paul Jacobson, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Adelphia Communications
William Jasso, Vice President, Public Affairs, Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio
Maryann Kafer, Director, Public Relations, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Scoot MacPherson, Executive Vice President, Corporate & Government Affairs, Courtroom Television Network
James Maiella, Jr., Vice President of Media Relations, Cable and Communications, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Libby O'Connell, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Outreach, A&E Television Networks
Bret Perkins, Vice President of Government Affairs, Comcast Cable Communications
Steve Raddock, Senior Vice President, Production & Marketing, The Meetrics Group
Todd Schoen, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Marketing & Ad Sales, Fox Cable Networks
Jean Margaret Smith, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Administration, Nickelodeon Networks
Thomas Southwick, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Starz Entertainment Group
Rob Stoddard, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, NCTA
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 National Geographic Channel Encourages Kids to Be Everyday Explorers
This past Monday at FORUM 2005, National Geographic Channel (NGC) President Laureen Ong announced that NGC will launch a new initiative, Everyday Explorer, to encourage kids to explore the world around them.  Ong also shared disturbing survey results that reveal that 87% of young Americans cannot find Iraq on a map and 11% cannot find America. NGC feels that in a world where kids interact through video games and text messaging, it is important to encourage them to explore the real world in order for them to excel. This fall, NGC and its partners, Fox Cable Networks and the National Geographic Society, will work with local cable systems to bring hands-on exploration to schools.

NGC's Everyday Explorer will bring the network's "Dare to Explore" philosophy into schools by inspiring kids to open their eyes to the world around them, beginning in their own communities. The campaign will include lesson plans, giant maps of the world for participating schools, a Web site with materials for teachers, parents and students, high-speed internet content and local events in select markets featuring National Geographic explorers.

Too often programs that actually get students out of the classroom are the first ones that are cut when budgets tighten. Everyday Explorer aims to correct this growing problem by raising awareness of the positive benefits of experiential learning and providing schools with the resources to keep it in school curriculum.

Everyday Explorer will provide participating schools with exclusive online curriculum developed in association with the National Geographic Society, focusing on local habitats and culture. Local cable systems will have the opportunity to partner with NGC to provide schools with access to this Web information through their affiliate Web site. Students will develop mapping and navigation skills, learn about orienteering and navigation, explore local ecosystems, and discuss cultural diversity. In November, during National Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic will donate giant versions of their most up-to-date maps to participating schools.

In addition, Everyday Explorer will work with select cable systems to organize local events, such as a scavenger hunt at a local park, a field trip to a local zoo or a National Geographic explorer school visit. NGC will also introduce special exploration-focused, family-friendly programming every Saturday morning for kids to watch with their parents. NGC and its partner local cable systems will air PSAs reminding viewers that kids who explore, excel. For more information on Everyday Explorer, contact Chris Albert at 202-912-6526 or
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 ESPN Play Your Way Expands to Include Local Cable System Participation
Disney and ESPN Media Networks expanded its public affairs initiative ESPN Play Your Way to include customizable, local cable system participation. The announcement was made Tuesday at FORUM 2005 by Rosa Gatti, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Outreach, ESPN.

ESPN Play Your Way encourages imaginative, recreational play by providing kids ages 7-12 a fun, exciting and challenging solution for inactivity. The initiative encourages creativity in developing original games with original rules that are physically active. A fully customizable program that can be tailored to the unique needs of local systems, the new ESPN Play Your Way affiliate public affairs campaign will also consist of local markets events featuring prominent community sports figures.

Additionally, Disney and ESPN Media Networks will offer local cable systems a dynamic new tool kit with customizable options for easy implementation. The tool kit includes a whole new look, from a new kid-friendly ESPN Play Your Way logo to practical suggestions on how to motivate community organizations to take part and sustain the program and involve local business partners.

ESPN Play Your Way addresses a critical issue identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Almost nine million children and teens are overweight, triple the proportion in 1980. Childhood and adolescence are pivotal times for preventing sedentary behavior among adults by maintaining the habit of physical activity throughout the school years.

ESPN Play Your Way, developed through research and pilot programs in conjunction with DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, enjoys the support of many non-profit and sports organizations. The initiative has been embraced by many organizations including PE4LIFE and the National Association of Sports and Physical Education (NASPE).

Disney and ESPN Media Networks is currently set to produce 17 public affairs events related to "ESPN Play Your Way" and "Learning Together!" this year. The "Learning Together!" public affairs program encompasses all four networks that are a part of Disney ABC Cable Networks Group - ABC Family, Disney Channel, SOAPnet and Toon Disney - with five different programs, each designed to improve children's learning and personal growth through increased family involvement. The five programs are: Disney Channel's "Imagineer That!" and "Stanley's Great Big Story Time Adventure" from Playhouse Disney, SOAPnet's "Talk it Over Soaps," Toon Disney's "Passport To Reading" and ABC Family's "Here to Volunteer." Tool kits and event guides for each of the different initiatives are also available to all affiliates of Disney and ESPN Media Networks via the affiliate Web site.
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 Topics Education and CTPAA Release Paper Exploring ROI of Public Affairs in Cable
Topics Education released a white paper entitled "The ROI of Public Affairs," the first in a three-part series of original papers on public affairs and its impact on the cable industry. Published in partnership with CTPAA, this paper focuses on demonstrating the value of public affairs and establishing a universal understanding of that value within the practitioner's organization.

The paper highlights existing research pointing to the value of the public affairs function and argues for an approach to shared understanding and measurement. Some of the major points include:

  • Public affairs has a clear impact on an organization's reputation in the eyes of customers, members of the organization, and the community at large, and this reputation leads to measurable advantages in a number of areas.
  • While there is no hard data demonstrating a direct cause-and-effect model between reputation and stock price, there is a clear correlation between the two.
  • 96% of CEOs recognize that corporate reputation is critical to achieving strategic business objectives and evidence indicates that an executive team that understands the role of the public affairs department and invests in it will see real benefits from that commitment.
  • If upper management does not see the value in public affairs, practitioners must work to educate them by focusing on the function's strategic value as it relates to business.
  • Measurement should never be used in an attempt to validate the function; if there is a common understanding of the strategic value of public affairs, then measurement has a vital role in benchmarking and improvement.

This paper uses existing surveys, data and industry research combined with public affairs expertise to present a guide to review, assess and evaluate the impact of public affairs for decision makers. For a complete copy of this paper, visit the Topics Education Web site. This is the second collaboration between CTPAA and Topics Education. Last fall, CTPAA and Topics Education conducted a survey on the impact of technology in industry public affairs campaigns and published the results in a paper entitled "Uncovering the Role of Technology in Public Affairs."
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 WE: Women's Entertainment Launches WE Empowers Woman
WE: Women's Entertainment launched WE Empowers Women, its first-ever public affairs initiative, at FORUM 2005.  WE General Manager Kim Martin explained that this new initiative will create various projects and programs that foster and celebrate the intelligence, strength, confidence, diversity and leadership of women, both in the workplace and at home. Through this new infrastructure, WE will proactively seek opportunities to build mentorship, education and health programs designed specifically to address and support the modern lives of women and their families, while also representing the network's viewers with a strong and active voice on relevant and meaningful issues.

WE Empowers Women named Girls Inc. as the first benefactor in a series of ongoing financial partnerships that will be announced. Throughout its 140-year history, Girls Inc. has shown a strong commitment to a woman's crucial formative and developmental years, by creating programs that instill confidence and further broaden educational opportunities. The new partnership between WE Empowers Women and Girls Inc. will focus on promoting their shared mission, expanding various Girls Inc. local and national programs and launching a series of new initiatives.

Leading WE Empowers Women will be Sandy Dukat, who will serve as the initiative's designated spokesperson. Dukat is a decorated member of the US Disabled Ski Team since 2002 and embodies many of the leadership qualities of the WE viewer. Her honors include two Bronze medals in the 2002 Paralympics; three Bronze Medals in the 2004 World Championships; and won the Gold Medal at the 2005 World Cup race in Slalom. Her current goal is to win the Gold Medal at the 2006 Paralympics in Torino, Italy.

In addition, WE Empowers Women named Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, President and CEO, Women in Cable and Telecommunications; Suzanne Keenan, Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Comcast Cable, and Dave Andersen, Senior Vice President Communications, Charter Communication, Inc. as its first Advisory Board Members. Members will meet regularly to provide input and guidance on various matters pertaining to the Public Affairs Initiative and ensure the cable industry is deeply involved in its success.

The network has instituted new, one-minute, on-air editorials, where various women leaders and celebrities will be invited to address and communicate valuable issues related to women. Finally, WE has commissioned a series of surveys, which will be released throughout the year, exploring the modern attitudes and needs of women. For more information on WE Empowers Women, please go to
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 CMT's "One Country" Initiative Aims to Foster Volunteerism & Community Action
Country Music Television (CMT) announced a new, pro-social initiative, "One Country," a campaign designed to promote volunteerism and inspire viewers to take action in their communities to bring about positive change. "One Country" will celebrate selfless, everyday heroes, from non-profit organizations to individuals, all impacting the communities where they live and work. CMT's campaign will include PSAs featuring country music stars that will recognize every day people doing extraordinary work. A special programming series will tell stories of volunteers who help build affordable housing, replenish food banks, support American military families, or serve their communities in many other ways. CMT will also offer partnership opportunities for local cable systems to spread the message of community action across the country. For more information visit or contact Cindy McLean at
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 Public Affairs Initiatives Guide Now Available Online
The latest edition of the Public Affairs Initiatives Guide (PAIG), a joint production of CTPAA and NCTA, is now live online.  Originally launched in March 2001 and updated annually, PAIG is a full-scale, searchable on-line database of fresh information about successful public affairs initiatives conducted by cable companies; systems; networks; hardware, software or new technology suppliers; local cable channels; associations, and other related organizations at both the national and local levels. PAIG can be an important tool for those seeking new public affairs ideas, or for those investigating partnership opportunities.

To check out PAIG live online, visit NCTA's web site.  The database will be updated regularly, so please use the submission form available on NCTA's web site to submit new initiatives, and to update initiatives already listed. Please contact Allison Shelton in NCTA Communications & Public Affairs with any questions or comments. She can be reached at 202-775-3629 or
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 Thank You Corporate Members!
Join and support CTPAA by becoming a 2005 corporate member. For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at or at 202-775-1083. For membership details, go to

Golden Benefactors
A&E Television Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
Cox Communications
Disney & ESPN Cable Networks
MTV Networks
NBC Universal Cable
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Discovery Networks
Lifetime Television
The Weather Channel

Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
Cable Telecommunications Association of New York
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
Gemstar-TV Guide
GSN. The Network for Games
Hallmark Channel
Insight Communications
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
The Outdoor Channel
Outdoor Life Network
Oxygen Media
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
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