March 24, 2006 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2006 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
CTPAA & NCTA to Host Brunch Featuring State Public Affairs Networks at National Show
2006 Golden Beacon and Beacon Award Winners Honored
Pause Parent Play Campaign Discussed at FORUM 2006
Cartoon Network's New Campaign Sets Out to Rescue Recess
GSN Launches Initiative to Help High School Students Get Into College
Public Affairs Initiatives Guide is Now Live
Thank You Corporate Members!

 CTPAA & NCTA to Host Brunch Featuring State Public Affairs Networks at National Show
On Sunday, April 9, CTPAA members are invited to attend a brunch at The 2006 National Show in Atlanta that will focus on state public affairs networks. The brunch will feature a panel discussion of leaders from the National Association of Public Affairs Networks (NAPAN), an organization dedicated to supporting the establishment and expansion of noncommercial networks in order to provide citizens with access to unbiased information about state government deliberations and public policy events. Panelists will relate the strengths of state public affairs networks and the issues involved with managing them.

State public affairs networks are one of the great unsung successes of the cable and television industries. These independent networks do for state government and public policy what C-SPAN has done for Congress and the federal government, making the process of governing visible and accessible to all. Representatives from NAPAN will relate how many states have used "the C-SPAN model" – or something close to it – to build thriving state public affairs networks.

The brunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room B-201 of the Georgia World Congress Center. CTPAA and NCTA have partnered to present this event in conjunction with The National Show, NCTA's 55th Annual Convention and International Exposition, April 9-11. CTPAA members do not need to be registered for the National Show to attend the brunch. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Kelly McGrew at
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 2006 Golden Beacon and Beacon Award Winners Honored
During a gala ceremony the evening of March 21, CTPAA honored the winners of the 2006 Golden Beacon and Beacon Awards™, cable's highest award for public affairs excellence. CTPAA awarded the Golden Beacon, the association's highest honor, to Court TV's Unexpected Heroes. CTPAA also presented 73 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 all the 2006 Beacon Awards can be found on the CTPAA Web site.

The Beacon Awards ceremony was one of many highlights of CTPAA's annual conference, FORUM 2006: "Cable at the Crossroads: Shaping Change in a Competitive World," held March 19-22 at the JW Marriott, Washington, D.C. John Salley, co-host of FSN's Best Damn Sports Show Period, was the master of ceremonies for the evening.

The 2006 Golden Beacon, awarded for a public affairs initiative that has made an impact within the cable industry and enhanced cable's image nationwide, was presented to Court TV's Unexpected Heroes. This multi-platform campaign honors local heroes though programming specials, awards ceremonies and PSAs. The most recent programming specials featured heroes that emerged from Hurricane Katrina. Court TV also held an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., to honor "Heroes of Hurricane Katrina." The honorees, who were selected by the cable operators in the Gulf Region hardest hit by the hurricane, Cox, CableOne, Comcast and Mediacom, were flown to Washington, D.C., along with their families, and honored at an Unexpected Heroes Breakfast by their Congressional representatives. Two other initiatives were nominated for the 2006 Golden Beacon Award, the BET SOS Telethon and VH1 and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – A Partnership. The 2005 Golden Beacon was awarded to Lifetime Television's Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women.

In addition to the Beacon Awards and Golden Beacon Award, two other highly coveted awards were presented during the ceremony. Cox Communications, Baton Rouge was the recipient of the ESPN Good Sports Award for its Football, Food and Families. The award is given annually to a project that generates outstanding community involvement through education and athletics. Football, Food and Families was a unique, multi-media campaign to help feed the hungry in the Baton Rouge area. Cox partnered with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Louis DeAngelo's Pizzeria Company and local high schools to combine the excitement of high school football with its effort to "Kick Hunger." Cox used 220,000 "Kick Hunger" schedule cards, one-stop Internet information and a snappy TV commercial that featured local high school students to develop an effective and one-of-a-kind campaign. The campaign collected more than 32,000 pounds of nonperishable food items.

The winner of the Joel A. Berger Award was VH1 for its VH1 and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis – A Partnership initiative. Named after the former publisher of Cablevision magazine, the award annually recognizes an outstanding public affairs initiative that creates AIDS awareness in local communities. In July 2004, VH1 teamed up with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to create an unprecedented collaborative public education campaign designed to raise awareness about, and inspire action in, the fight against global AIDS. Working on the premise that the Global Fund is the world's "war chest" in the fight against the spread and devastation of HIV/AIDS in developing nations, VH1 created a series of provocative awareness spots. These public service announcements were part of a larger campaign, which continued in 2005 and included online resources and programming to educate viewers about the growing concerns currently surrounding this global pandemic.

The 2006 winner of the CTPAA Community Bridges Award was The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. CTPAA created the Community Bridges Award in 2004 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 Partnership for a Drug-Free America is a non-profit coalition of professionals from the communications industry. Using a national drug-education advertising campaign and other forms of media communication, The Partnership exists to help kids and teens reject substance abuse by influencing attitudes through persuasive information. The cable industry proudly does its part to spread the Partnership's message by airing its public service announcements and hosting town hall meetings in communities across the country to build dialogue among community leaders, government officials, medical experts, and families.

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 2006 recipients were Tom Rutledge, chief operating officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation, and Debora Wilson, president of The Weather Channel, Inc. 

CTPAA received 456 Beacon entries this year, a 22% increase from the 2005 awards and 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, D.C., at the NCTA headquarters in January. For the complete list of Beacon Award winners, visit the CTPAA Web site.
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 Pause Parent Play Campaign Discussed at FORUM 2006
On Tuesday, March 21 during a luncheon at FORUM 2006 in Washington, D.C., CTPAA members heard from Mark Rodgers, chief of staff for Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), regarding a national coalition called Pause Parent Play. Rodgers lauded the cable industry for its parental controls but said the industry needs to do more to make media control easier for parents.

Pause Parent Play is a campaign designed to give parents the tools to make it simple to control what their kids watch, hear and play - from TV and movies to video games and music. This coalition of corporations, entertainment companies and family groups, in consultation with U.S. Senate leaders, encourages parents to: Pause - take a minute to think about the media that is available and how their kids might react to it; Parent - decide what is appropriate for their own kids, talk with them, and use the options at their disposal to help them; and Play - enjoy the media with their kids.

The Pause Parent Play Web site is a one-stop resource for parents to obtain the tools they need to take control of the media their kids access. It features links to, suggestions for family friendly programming, and information on television and movie ratings. Other sections focus on video games and music.

Pause Parent Play brings together representatives from the movie, music and cable industries, retailers that sell entertainment products, video game and computer game publishers, media companies and family and parenting groups. In addition to Santorum, three other U.S. Senators serve as informal advisors: Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Current partners include NCTA, Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, NBC Universal, News Corp., Microsoft, Wal-Mart and others. For more information or to find out how your company can get involved, visit
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 Cartoon Network's New Campaign Sets Out to Rescue Recess
Cartoon Network has joined the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to champion recess as a vital part of the school day and a necessary component in a child's social, emotional and educational development. The network's new campaign, Rescuing Recess, aims to promote the value of recess and to connect educators, parents and students as advocates for bringing back or keeping recess in schools. Despite research that proves the benefits of unstructured break time for young students, nearly 40 percent of elementary schools in the U.S. have either eliminated or are considering eliminating recess. In many cases this is due to budget cuts or increased focus on academic performance.

However, research has shown that kids actually perform better when they are given a break in the school day. Recess allows kids to learn to interact with their peers, gives them an opportunity to blow off steam so they can concentrate more fully when they get back into the classroom, and provides much-needed exercise that many do not get. Cartoon Network's campaign will promote this and other benefits of recess with volunteer resources, recess kits, PSAs and a grant program.

To kick-off the multi-year campaign, kids across the country are being asked to write letters to their local and state officials in support of recess. Using an online template, kids can express their views on why break time is important. At the conclusion of the letter writing campaign, Cartoon Network will award more than $300,000 in grants to the top participating PTA units in the country. A $50,000 grant will be awarded to the state with the highest participation in the letter writing campaign. In total, Cartoon Network will commit more than $1.3 million to help save recess.

Rescuing Recess is part of Cartoon Network's overarching GET ANIMATED campaign to encourage kids to lead active, healthy lifestyles and to learn to become advocates for issues they believe in. For more information, contact James Anderson at Cartoon Network at
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 GSN Launches Initiative to Help High School Students Get Into College
Based on the success of its Get Schooled Tour, GSN. The Network for Games is launching The GSN National Vocabulary Championship, a new public affairs initiative. With a sense of fun and gaming spirit, the network will assist students across the country with their biggest game to date: college admission. This program will help students improve their vocabulary, prep them for SATs and entrance exams, give them an edge in college admissions and reward the best with scholarships.

To promote this new initiative across the country, GSN will partner with affiliates, a test prep company, national educator organizations and local high schools. The network will produce and distribute PSA spots with a celebrity championing the contest's mission and encouraging students and parents to get involved. It will also send out kits with print and online creative, a guide and tips on how to support the National Vocabulary Championship.

GSN will partner with the Department of Education to host local, city-wide vocabulary championships in eight key markets. They will enlist teachers or school counselors to act as coaches in school and will provide them with The Box Set, all the materials necessary to host school-wide vocabulary competitions that will determine who advances to the city-wide championship.

GSN's efforts will culminate in February 2007 with the GSN National Vocabulary Championship in Washington, D.C. Eight local champions and twenty at-large contestants will win a scholarship and a trip to the nation's capitol where they will compete for a four-year college scholarship and the title of the National Vocabulary Champion. For more information, contact Bonnie O'Donnell at
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 Public Affairs Initiatives Guide is Now Live
The latest edition of the Public Affairs Initiatives Guide (PAIG), a joint project of CTPAA and NCTA, is now live on NCTA's Web site. Originally launched in March 2001, and updated annually in conjunction with CTPAA's FORUM, PAIG is a full-scale, on-line searchable database with information about public affairs initiatives conducted by cable companies, systems and networks at both the national and local levels. PAIG is a useful tool for those researching or seeking successful public affairs ideas and partnership opportunities that can be replicated in their own communities or by their own organizations. PAIG can also serve as a useful demonstration of the cable industry's commitment to public affairs and the communities it serves.

Be sure to visit NCTA's Web site at to check out PAIG. CTPAA would like to thank members who submitted initiatives for PAIG. The database will be regularly updated; the submission form available on the site can be used to submit new initiatives, and to provide updates on initiatives already listed. Please contact Allison Shelton in NCTA Communications & Public Affairs at 202-775-3629 or with any questions or comments.
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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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