November 18, 2005 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2006 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
Nominate a Colleague for the Public Affairs Achievement Award
Comcast Uses On Demand Programming to Encourage People to Stop Smoking
Court TV Honors Unexpected Heroes from Hurricane Katrina
Submit Nominations for 2006 Board Elections
Cable in the Classroom Game Teaches Science Through Broadband Technology
The Independent Film Channel Launches IFC's Film School
Save $50 - Register for FORUM 2006 by December 31
The Outdoor Channel's Safari Adventure Fights AIDS and Hunger in Africa
Judge the 2006 Beacon Awards
Thank You Corporate Members!

 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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 Comcast Uses On Demand Programming to Encourage People to Stop Smoking
Comcast has joined the Pennsylvania Department of Health's "Quit for Love" anti-tobacco campaign and has begun airing inspirational stories of individuals who gave up smoking for a loved one on Comcast ON DEMAND. Comcast's "Quit for Love" initiative was created as a virtual outreach effort to encourage and support people to overcome their addiction to smoking. Comcast invited viewers to visit the  Comcast Spotlight Quit for Love Web site and submit their story of how they quit for their loved ones or how they convinced a loved one to quit. Each person who submitted a story was sent a "Quit for Love" wristband and entered into a prize drawing. So far 1,500 wristbands have been sent out, and Comcast plans to continue sending them as they receive more stories.

Five personal stories were selected to be taped and are currently available for viewers in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh to watch ON DEMAND in the Comcast Spotlight section under Health. One story features Downingtown native Scott Neuhaus who quit smoking four years ago for his son, Daniel. Playing in the yard, three-year-old Daniel looked up at his father who was smoking on the porch. He asked him if he could smoke like him someday. Scott, a smoker of 11 years, threw out his half-smoked cigarette and hasn't lit up another since. Comcast is hopeful that these stories will inspire viewers to give up the very unhealthy habit. For more information, contact Comcast Spotlight by calling Isaac Parker at 610-784-2518 or Nicole Bottino at 610-784-2508.
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 Court TV Honors Unexpected Heroes from Hurricane Katrina
Court TV honored local heroes from eight different cities with a focus on Hurricane Katrina heroes at the 10th Annual Unexpected Heroes Awards breakfast in Washington, D.C. These awards celebrate acts of bravery and courage and those who go above and beyond the call of duty to keep their communities and America safe. Court TV anchor Catherine Crier hosted the breakfast, and honored guests included Ethel Kennedy, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), and Congressmen Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), and Gene Taylor (D-MS).

Ernie Allen, president & CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, was honored for on-going efforts to reunite hundreds of children with parents and family members after Hurricane Katrina. Tom Jones, ambassador at large for Habitat for Humanity, was recognized for the organization's work through Operation Home Delivery to rebuild homes and provide safe housing in communities devastated by recent hurricanes.

Court TV also honored the New Orleans chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), the nation's largest community orgnaization of low and moderate income famlies working together for social justice and stronger communities. The organization's head organizer, Stephen Bradberry, accepted the award for ACORN's Hurricane Survivors Association and its efforts to provide immediate relief and to work to locate displaced residents and bring them home.

The network also honored residents of hurricane-ravaged communities who displayed heroism in their efforts to save family members, friends, or complete strangers, and to rebuild their communities. Sergeant Joshua Russell, a Mississippi National Guardsmen who lost his life during hurricane recovery operations, was honored for rescuing an elderly couple. Joseph Todd, a La Place, La., resident and dispatcher for Cox Communications took his boat to search for survivors in rising flood waters and was one of the first boats to reach Charity Hospital where he helped doctors and patients evacuate the flooded hospital. A Pascagoula, Miss., native Dennis Lawson, a technician for Cable ONE, was honored for his non-stop work to restore his system and provide aid to his associates. He kept morale high despite the fact that he had lost his home and was living with his family, including his special needs son, in the cable system offices. For more information, contact Carole Shander at
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 Submit Nominations for 2006 Board Elections
In March 2006, CTPAA will confirm a new group of individuals to serve on the Board of Directors. Members are encouraged to submit individuals for consideration by the Nomination's Committee for the upcoming Board of Directors elections. All submissions should include a short statement outlining the individual's qualifications for the CTPAA Board. Submissions should be sent to Steve Jones, CTPAA executive director, at All potential candidates will be forwarded to the Nomination Committee for review. The submission deadline is December 16, 2005.
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 Cable in the Classroom Game Teaches Science Through Broadband Technology
Cable in the Classroom (CIC) has launched Windward: Outsmart the Weather in a Race Around the World, a new Internet game to teach real-world science skills to middle school students and to showcase the educational power of broadband technology. Windward was created in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Discovery Education and The Weather Channel and takes players on a virtual race around the world with challenges like tricky currents and severe weather along the way. Players enter their zip code when they begin so their entire session is branded with the logo of their local cable system.

The object of the game is to safely complete the journey and beat the world record of 71 days achieved on May 3, 2005, by Dame Ellen MacArthur of Great Britain, a 28-year-old yachtswoman who encountered icebergs, mountainous seas, extreme weather and a near-collision with a whale on her solo circumnavigation. To supplement their learning experience, players have access to a multimedia library of materials from CIC's partners about sailing, weather, and navigation including videos, graphs, nautical music and literature. During each of the four legs of the game, players will face two challenges. To overcome these challenges or avoid hazards, players will reference tools available at their fingertips including a laptop in the sailboat's "cockpit" with educational resources and guidance via email from expert sailor and marine navigator Bill Biewanga. Players may also invite others to race against them.

Windward also features parent and teacher resources to offer ideas for using the game at school or at home. The game is the third in a series of free, online learning modules from Cable in the Classroom. The other two modules are eLECTIONS: Your Adventure in Politics, created in 2004, and Shakespeare: Subject to Change, developed in 2003. All three games are available on CIC's Web site.
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 The Independent Film Channel Launches IFC's Film School
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) has launched IFC's Film School, a national, public affairs initiative that integrates filmmaking techniques into high school English Literature classes to engage students and provide tools for increased media literacy. IFC and Topics Education, an education outreach consulting firm, designed and developed Film School with input from The National Council of Teachers of English, Media Rights, the American Film Institute and Listen Up.

IFC's Film School curriculum is a unique series of units that tie film, film critique and film production directly to existing English classroom requirements, national English/language arts standards, and national technology standards. With this free curriculum, students will learn various aspects of filmmaking including screen writing, film production, and critique. Upon the completion of the course, students are encouraged to create original works of their own. Teachers and students can register at for Film School materials.

In January 2006, IFC will announce a student film competition that invites students who have made films as a part of their participation in the film school curriculum to upload their films to where they can be reviewed and voted on by viewers nationwide. Top ranking films will be featured on IFC and distributed to local cable affiliates as VOD offerings. IFC Film School can be adapted to MSO needs.

IFC's public affairs initiative is a grassroots extension of the network's Film School, a 2004 docu-drama reality series from acclaimed filmmaker Nanette Burstein in which New York University film students compete for a coveted filmmaking award that could lead to the launch of a high-profile directing career. For more information on IFC's Film School, contact Heather Ross at 212-324-4748.
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 Judge the 2006 Beacon Awards
CTPAA invites its members to choose the best of the best cable public affairs initiatives of the past year by being a 2006 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 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C., with a welcome reception hosted by NCTA on the evening of January 10. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at 202-775-1082 or
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 The Outdoor Channel's Safari Adventure Fights AIDS and Hunger in Africa
The Outdoor Channel and the Safari Club International (SCI) will take one member of the U.S. military on a once in a lifetime safari adventure to help fight AIDS and hunger in Africa. Operation Freedom Safari will give the lucky military person the opportunity to travel with famed sportsman Jim Zumbo, host of "Jim Zumbo Outdoors" on the Outdoor Channel, and SCI members Eric and Oksana Sparks to the couple's ranches in Botswana in August of 2006. The Sparks' ranches are located in the Tuli Block of southeastern Botswana, a country in southern Africa, and are home to free-roaming elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, and other native animals.

Any enlisted person who has served or is serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is invited to enter by completing the statement "I have always wanted to go on a safari in Africa because..." in one page or less and sending it along with their contact and service information to SCI or submitting it online at

Additionally, the hunting group will be joined by one member of SCI who will earn a spot on the hunt by outbidding other attendees at the fundraising auction at SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention in January. All money raised from the auction will go directly to programs to fight AIDS in Botswana, and all game taken during the hunt will feed local villagers.

Both the auction winner and the enlisted person will appear in Safari magazine and highlights from their hunt will air on "Jim Zumbo Outdooors." Their safari adventure prize covers all expenses including travel to and from Africa, all meals, clothing, and equipment for the duration of the hunt. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Mike Hiles at MPH PR at
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 Save $50 - Register for FORUM 2006 by December 31
Register for FORUM 2006 by December 31, 2005, and save $50 on the advance registration rate of $650 and save $150 from the final registration (after March 3, 2006) rate of $750. The theme for FORUM 2006 is "Cable at the Crossroads: Shaping Change in a Competitive World" and it will be held March 19-22, 2006, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. The JW Marriott was also the host hotel for FORUM in 2001.

FORUM 2006 co-chairs are Bret Perkins, vice president of government affairs, Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. and Craig Watson, vice president of communications, Charter Communications Western Division. Visit the FORUM page of the CTPAA Web site for information about conference registration, hotel reservations, and sponsorship opportunities.
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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
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
Oxygen Media
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
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