August 26, 2005 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2006 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
Stop Genocide in Sudan: mtvU Kicks Off Second Phase of Campaign
Cox Communications San Diego Rallies Behind Local Little League Team
Discovery Health Takes Total Family Health on the Road
Send Your Application Now for the CTPAA Public Affairs Institute
Time Warner Cable and Turner South Donate Funds to Women's Shelter
Congratulations to Tracy Baumgartner, Suzee Smith-Everhard and Misty Skedgell!
Nominate a Colleague for the Public Affairs Achievement Award
Congratulations to Edna Rohland!
Director of Media Relations, Cox Communications
Thank You Corporate Members!

 Stop Genocide in Sudan: mtvU Kicks Off Second Phase of Campaign
MTV Network's college-targeted channel mtvU has kicked off the second year of its campaign to inform and empower students to take a stand to end the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan and to aid those victimized by the crisis. The campaign is organized in close partnership with STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur) and a multitude of other organizations working toward the same goal.  mtvU and its partners will work closely together on a campaign of on-air, online and on campus events to provide students with a variety of tools and resources to help end the crisis in Darfur.

On August 11, more than 300 youth activists from STAND chapters around the country gathered at the National Student Leadership Conference for Darfur at Georgetown University where they announced the second phase of the partnership with mtvU. STAND and mtvU announced plans for increased efforts in the 2005-2006 school year, including a new Sponsor-a-Camp program that will enable students to support the specific needs of refugees. To kick off the Sponsor-a-Camp program, students set up a model refugee camp and spent the night there.  mtvU also screened its documentary, "Translating Genocide," a film featuring three correspondents chosen by mtvU to travel to Sudan for one week to witness the crisis firsthand.

Photos and videos from mtvU correspondents are also available on the mtvU Web site, as well as in-depth background on genocide, links to connect students to international relief organizations, and up-to-date information on the current situation in Sudan. According to Amnesty International, since February 2003, more than 200,000 people from Darfur have died and 1.8 million have been forced from their homes, many fleeing to refugee camps in Chad.  International Crisis Group estimates that 10,000 more people die each month that the crisis continues.

Another advocacy effort that mtvU is supporting is the Darfur Fast on October 6, 2005. On this day millions of individuals will give up one meal or luxury item and donate the money saved to relief efforts in Darfur. All day, mtvU will air messages from students who are fasting explaining their commitment and encouraging others to participate.

This event is similar to STANDFast, a national day of observation and action that mtvU held on April 7, 2005, the 11th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, to urge the world to prevent Darfur from turning into another Rwanda. For 24 hours, mtvU aired commercial-free programming related to Sudan. Following STANDFast, mtvU and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation presented STAND with a $40,000 Darfur Activism Grant to support new efforts in 2005. The organization has grown from a student group at Georgetown University to a grassroots organization with more than 200 chapters nationwide.

In addition, mtvU intends to educate communities and encourage grassroots activism via sponsoring speeches by Sudanese refugee and Africa expert John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group at churches, synagogues, and campuses around the country. This initiative, titled the "Witness to Genocide" National Speaking Tour, is scheduled for fall 2005 in partnership with the International Crisis Group, the Save Darfur Coalition, the Darfur Peace and Development Organization, STAND and Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Campus events also will feature screenings of "Translating Genocide."

mtvU will continue to encourage action against genocide through PSAs co-produced with Amnesty International. Past PSAs have featured prominent human rights activists like Don Cheadle, star of the film "Hotel Rwanda," and Francis Bok, a former Sudanese slave who now lives in the U.S. and lectures on his experience. The network's Web site will also feature video updates produced by students from STAND chapters about what is happening in Sudan and what college students are doing about it. For more information, contact Alexis Hyder in the mtvU Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs Department at 212-846-5637.
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 Cox Communications San Diego Rallies Behind Local Little League Team
Cox Communications San Diego has partnered with the Vista Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Vista, Calif., and Madison Middle School in Oceanside, Calif., to rally behind the local little league baseball team from Rancho Buena Vista as they compete in the Little League World Series playoffs in Williamsport, Pa., this week.  Cox has set up cablecasts at the Boys & Girls Club in Vista and Madison Middle School and invited the public to come watch the games live on several large screens. Through coordination with ESPN, Cox has been able to air the games in high definition.

The Rancho Buena Vista (RBV) Little League All-Star team is representing the West region in the tournament where they are competing against 16 teams from around the world. Undefeated in the tournament thus far, the team has advanced to the Little League United States Championship scheduled for Saturday, August 27, and Cox plans to continue events this weekend. More than 100 people came to viewing parties held August 20 and 21, and attendance grew throughout the week as word spread around the community.  Cox added the Madison Middle School viewing party on Tuesday because that is where ten of RBV's twelve players go to school. For more information, contact Joe Gabaldon at
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 Discovery Health Takes Total Family Health on the Road
This summer, Discovery Health Channel is traveling around the country to teach families how to lead healthy lives. Its Total Family Health initiative consists of an interactive mobile tour in the form of a 53-foot tractor trailer, backed up by a strong online presence on the Discovery Health Web site and several television specials. The network is partnering with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on this initiative.

On August 5, Discovery Health's mobile tour began its eight-week journey to fairs and festivals across the country to educate families about the full range of health issues for living healthy lives, including fitness, nutrition, finance, parenting, and preventative health care. Designed to share positive health information through hands-on experience, the "big rig" features educational and entertaining activity kiosks and visits from health advisors. Daily activities include taped segments with Discovery Health Channel personalities including nutrition expert Pamela Peeke, M.D., and Discovery Health's senior medical contributor Mehmet Oz, M.D.. Families are encouraged to take advantage of giveaways, games, and free health information and demonstrations. The truck's welcome area features quizzes conducted by an emcee and guest speakers from area health organizations. Visitors can also try out the NeXfit "exergaming" fitness bike to see how they would perform against seven-time Tour De France champion Lance Armstrong.

The Total Family Health Web site features health quizzes, self-assessments and information tailored to men and women's health and relationship advice. Additional information will be provided through quarterly television specials highlighting a health issue common to all families, such as obesity, raising children, and personal financial health. For more information contact Tahli Kouperstein at
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 Send Your Application Now for the CTPAA Public Affairs Institute
Space for the second annual CTPAA Public Affairs Institute is beginning to fill up. To have the best chance to secure a place in the 2005 Institute, send in your application soon. This three-day, graduate level program held in partnership with The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management will extend your views on issue management, message development and the strategic role of public affairs. It is scheduled for November 14-16, 2005, in Washington, D.C., at the Watergate Hotel. Visit the CTPAA Web site for more detailed information including an electronic version of the 2005 Institute brochure and a video of past attendees reflecting on their experiences.

The Institute is specifically targeted at mid to senior level public affairs executives who are willing to challenge themselves to develop the enhanced skill sets necessary in today's competitive marketplace. Successful candidates will be notified in mid-October. Tuition for the program is $3,000 and includes lodging and most meals. Contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or for additional information.
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 Time Warner Cable and Turner South Donate Funds to Women's Shelter
Time Warner Cable's Charlotte Division and Turner South donated $1,000 to the United Family Services' Shelter for Battered Women in Charlotte, N.C., in honor of the first house renovated by the regional network's new Home Makers series. In addition, Time Warner and Turner South invited the public to attend a "sneak-preview" visit of the renovated house before the show aired. Home Makers is a new series that follows a team of female contractors, designers and carpenters as they work to transform a condemned eyesore into a neighborhood showpiece. For its first season, Home Makers renovated a dilapidated boarding house in NoDa, a historic neighborhood in Charlotte, N.C. The house was built in 1905, providing a number of structural challenges for the show's team of experts to overcome. By collecting a $2 donation at the door of the "sneak-preview" tour, Turner South and Time Warner were able to raise an additional $1,200 for the women's shelter. For more information, contact Jessica Graham at
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 Congratulations to Tracy Baumgartner, Suzee Smith-Everhard and Misty Skedgell!
Congratulations to three CTPAA members who were selected to be part of Class XII and Class XIII of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, the flagship executive leadership program of Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT). They are Suzee Smith-Everhard, director community relations and televideo, Cox Communications and Misty Skedgell, vice president of corporate communications, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., in Class XII and Tracy Baumgartner, vice president of public relations for the west division of Comcast, in Class XIII. Additionally, CTPAA member and Betsy Magness alumna Kiera Hynninen, senior vice president of marketing, National Geographic Channel, will serve as co-chair for Class XIII.

Over 250 women have taken part in this nationally recognized leadership program, lauded for its record of increasing the presence of women among the industry's executive ranks. This year, the twelfth for the Institute, will feature several enhancements including an increased focus on cable specific topics and the addition of a second class. The curriculum begins in October with a weeklong immersion at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., and continues with three additional seminars throughout the remainder of the program year ending in May 2006.
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 Nominate a Colleague for the Public Affairs Achievement Award
Is there a cable public affairs executive whom you have admired and believe should be recognized by the industry? If so, nominate him or her for the Public Affairs Achievement Award. Presented annually during FORUM, the award recognizes and honors individual members for their outstanding contributions to cable public affairs in the categories of community relations, government relations, media relations or local programming. The 2005 winners were Rosa Gatti, ESPN, Inc. for media relations; Bonnie Hathaway, Time Warner Cable, for community relations and Ivan Johnson, Cox Communications, for government relations. The nomination deadline for the third annual Public Affairs Achievement Award is January 3, 2006.

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 Cable System, Cable Network, Industry Supplier, or Industry Nonprofit Organization
  • Individuals are eligible to receive the award once for each of the four categories.

The 2006 Public Affairs Achievement Awards will be presented during FORUM 2006, March 19-22, 2006, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. For information on how to nominate someone or to obtain a nomination form, please go to the membership page of the CTPAA Web site.
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 Congratulations to Edna Rohland!
Congratulations to CTPAA member Edna Rohland, community affairs manager for Bright House Networks, who was recently honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Lakeland, Fla., Metro Chapter with one of their Women of Distinction Awards. This prestigious award is given to women who exhibit achievement, integrity, professionalism and community spirit. Rohland was honored for her dedication to community service and her accomplishments in education, literacy and mentoring over the past 20 years. In addition to heading up education efforts at Bright House Networks, Rohland also serves on the Citrus County Education Foundation Board, the Junior Achievement Board, the Polk County/Polk Works First Jobs First Wages Committee, the School to Work Executive Council, and the READ Polk Board. She chairs the Hernando County Literacy (HEART) Coalition, is a member of the Adult Graduation Planning Committee, and a certified literacy trainer for ProLiteracy America.
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 Director of Media Relations, Cox Communications
Cox Communications, Inc., in Atlanta, is seeking a Director of Media Relations. Responsibilities include creating, planning, budgeting and implementation of external communication strategies and initiatives. This person will be accountable for collaborating with fellow Director of Media Relations on all aspects of relations with national trade, consumer and business media. This includes acting as a company spokesperson, as well as extensive message development, writing and dissemination, and executive media coaching. This person will develop strategy for and manage all aspects of national media relations efforts including: building and maintaining relationships with reporters; writing press releases and building press kits; developing and proactively pitching story ideas; facilitating media interviews; providing rapid response to competitors' news announcements; maintaining and enhancing the Web site press room; and tracking and measuring the effectiveness of efforts. This person also will develop positioning, key messages and strategic communication plans and materials for company and industry issues including video franchising, cable/telecommunications regulation, the digital transition and Retransmission Consent. Qualifications include a minimum of eight years experience in communications, public relations or related field, and a college degree in journalism, public relations, communications or related discipline. Excellent verbal communication, writing and project management skills are required. Candidates must possess the ability to multi-task under extreme deadline pressure in fast-paced environment. Qualified, interested candidates may contact Amy Cohn at
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 Thank You Corporate Members!
Join and support CTPAA by becoming a 2006 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 Media 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
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
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
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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