May 19, 2006 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
Third Annual CTPAA Public Affairs Institute Will Be Held September 24-27
CTPAA Regional Seminars on Grassroots & Media Relations Topics
Cable Industry Commits to Readiness Plan for Hurricanes, Other Disasters
Comcast Foundation Awards High School Scholarships & Grant to California Latino Organization
BET Scriptwriting Contest Provides Medium for Youth to Reflect on HIV/AIDS
Cox & Superstation WGN Rebuild Boys & Girls Club in New Orleans
HGTV Awards $1 Million in Grants to Historic Restoration Projects
Court TV Panel Explores Independent Judiciary
AIDS Documentary Available for On Demand Platforms
Help Plan CTPAA Programs by Joining a Committee
Thank You Corporate Members!

 Third Annual CTPAA Public Affairs Institute Will Be Held September 24-27
The third annual CTPAA Public Affairs Institute will take place September 24-27, 2006, at The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This three-day, graduate level program was developed to enhance the professional abilities of public affairs professionals in the areas of strategic issue management, communication, message development and public policies facing the cable industry.

New for 2006, The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) staff is working directly with cable executives and others in Virginia, Texas and Arizona to develop industry franchising case studies for the program. Specifically these case studies will review the political and public policy environments in each state and the strategies, both successful and unsuccessful, the different parties utilized during the debate over modifying each state's franchising statutes.

"We are extremely pleased to be developing specific cable industry case studies in this year's program. The Institute, from the start, has been designed for cable professionals to give them a practical understanding of the strategic communications necessary to survive in this industry's very competitive and changing marketplace. The executives attending this year will again be taught by some of the best practitioners in the field," said Dr. Steven Billet, director, masters in legislative affairs, GSPM.

The Institute, developed in close consultation with the GSPM, draws from their world-renowned instructors and curriculum. It is specifically targeted at mid to senior level public affairs executives who are willing to challenge themselves to develop the enhanced skill sets necessary to meet the challenge of today's and tomorrow's competitive marketplace.

"As a past graduate of this three-day course," said Mark Harrad, CTPAA president and senior vice president for corporate communications, Time Warner Cable, "I can't recommend the Institute enough to the senior public affairs officers in our industry. The courses are designed for executives with management responsibilities and this year many of the case studies will center on industry issues, adding to the return attendees can expect from their three-day commitment."

The CTPAA Public Affairs Institute will educate participants from across the country through the industry case studies and focusing on five core areas: strategic issue management, community relations and grassroots politics, strategic crisis management, effective lobbying principles at all government levels, and maximizing the impact of political contributions. CTPAA will immediately begin reviewing applications for the September program and is already receiving inquiries from a number of cable professionals.

Each day will explore one or more different management issues through the case studies. Integrated with each case study will be workshops and group activities that reflect the GSPM's emphasis on practical policies, instead of theoretical approaches, by providing concrete examples and stimulating discussion. Participants in the Institute will leave with enhanced practical skills completely transferable to their daily work.

The CTPAA Public Affairs Institute is just one of the programs CTPAA offers its more than 650 members. To date, 44 cable industry executives have successfully completed the Institute's program, with participants coming from local cable systems, programming networks, multiple system operators and industry associations. Tuition is $3,100 by August 1st or $3,600 after that, and includes most meals, hotel sleeping room fees and a Tuesday evening networking/fun event. For additional information on the CTPAA Public Affairs Institute, please contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or visit the CTPAA Web site.
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 CTPAA Regional Seminars on Grassroots & Media Relations Topics
This summer, CTPAA will produce and host educational sessions to enhance the skills of cable professionals. Sessions are planned for the New England Cable Telecommunications Association's (NECTA) 2006 Annual Convention & Exhibition in Newport, R.I., and the SC/NC/GA/TN Joint Summer Meeting in Hilton Head, S.C. CTPAA is currently exploring opportunities for additional sessions.

Consisting of two components, one with a focus on grassroots and a second that looks at media relations techniques, these seminars will be conducted either independently or bundled together into a full day program. The sessions are underwritten by CTPAA with the twin goals of strengthening the effectiveness of individual members and supporting educational opportunities at the local level.

On Monday, July 10, during NECTA's conference, CTPAA will host a session on both grassroots communications and media relations. Ed Grefe, adjunct professor at The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and an instructor for CTPAA's Public Affairs Institute, (LINK) will guide attendees through a strategic assessment of grassroots functions and performance, building grassroots support, and critical factors for successful grassroots programs.

For the second half of the session, Margie Elsberg of Elsberg Associates will discuss techniques to enhance media relations. Elsberg, a former print and electronic journalist, previously has conducted a number of training sessions for CTPAA, including a master course at FORUM 2006. During NECTA, she will show attendees how to build better relationships with the trade and consumer press, be a valuable resource for the media, and work with the media to minimize potentially damaging or negative news coverage. The program, at the Newport Marriott Hotel, is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will include a networking luncheon. The cost for the session is $40. For more information on NECTA's 2006 conference, please call 781-843-3418 or visit

CTPAA will sponsor a seminar focusing entirely on grassroots communications with instructor Ed Grefe on Tuesday, August 1 from 9:00 to 11:00 am, during the Joint Summer Meeting of the South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee cable associations. This seminar is complimentary and will take place at the Westin Resort on Hilton Head Island. For more information on the Joint Summer Meeting, visit For more information or to register for either CTPAA session described above, or to express an interested in hosting one of the above sessions in your local area, please contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1081 or 800-210-3396. 
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 Cable Industry Commits to Readiness Plan for Hurricanes, Other Disasters
Responding to the need for comprehensive emergency readiness, especially as the hurricane season approaches, NCTA announced an industry-wide operational and educational initiative, "Cable: Ready," to help strengthen the nation's cable infrastructure to deal with natural disasters and other emergencies. This initiative is being launched to coincide with the upcoming National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 21-27, and is intended to support and complement efforts at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop recommendations to improve communications continuity and recovery in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season.

Top cable companies have pledged to review and assess their emergency preparedness plans and continue ongoing efforts to coordinate emergency activities with first responders, government agencies, and other service providers. Cable programming networks and local cable systems are also educating their viewers and members of their communities about emergency preparedness. For example, Comcast has teamed up with The Weather Channel to create a "Hurricane On Demand" service, short features on the company's video-on-demand platform that inform customers on a range of topics, including how to prepare for a hurricane, prepare for an evacuation, secure your home, and steps to take in the storm's aftermath.

The Central Florida Division of Bright House has partnered with local utilities companies in staging several "town hall" style meetings throughout the region to inform residents about preparation, response and restoration plans and procedures. Bay News 9, a regional 24-hour news channel in the Tampa Bay area operated in partnership with Bright House, has produced a "Hurricane Preparedness" DVD that is being distributed to all new customers and at hurricane preparedness educational events throughout the region. The channel also has designed a "weather activity" book for children, a school-based curriculum focusing on weather and hurricanes, and a "hurricane guide" which will appear as a special newspaper supplement and will be distributed at local sporting events.

The Weather Channel is conducting a broad range of activities to prepare for hurricane season, such as sending staffers "on the road" to storm-prone areas to hold day-long community events to educate and prepare people for emergencies. Viewers are provided weather tracking and preparedness materials; guidelines for creating personal, family, and business plans for severe weather; special materials for children to help them better understand weather developments; and information about products aimed at ensuring home safety.

For more information on the cable industry's efforts to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season and other disasters, visit NCTA's Web site or contact Rob Stoddard or Brian Dietz at 202-775-3629.
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 Comcast Foundation Awards High School Scholarships & Grant to California Latino Organization
The Comcast Foundation, the cable company's chief source of charitable support, recently awarded scholarships for its annual Leaders and Achievers Scholarship program, as well as a grant to the Latino Issues Forum (LIF) in California.

A total of $1.73 million in scholarships was awarded to 1,728 students in 34 states and the District of Columbia for the 2006 scholarship program. The Comcast Foundation recognized students based on community service, leadership skills, positive attitude and academic achievement. Each student receives a $1,000 scholarship. Since 2000, Comcast has awarded $5.8 million in scholarships. For more information, visit Comcast's Web site.

In California, the Foundation gave the LIF a $150,000 grant to bolster technology use, community advocacy and civic participation of Latino-serving community organizations. A statewide public policy and advocacy institute, LIF will utilize the grant to launch a project that will assess the technology needs of non-profit community organizations in an effort to close the technology gap in this sector.

Thanks to Comcast's support, the LIF Online Civic Engagement and Education Project (OCEP) will be launched in Fresno County, a community with a 40 percent Latino population. The program will assess the technology needs of organizations serving Latinos and will identify free or low-cost resources to fulfill these needs. Additionally, the project will provide free or reduced-cost access to technical assistance for 35 Latino organizations and will promote broadband access for the Latino community. For more information, contact Bryan Byrd at
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 BET Scriptwriting Contest Provides Medium for Youth to Reflect on HIV/AIDS
Twenty five years ago the world was confronted with HIV/AIDS, and today's youth are the first to grow up without knowing a time when the disease didn't plague our world. BET is offering the first generation born into the era of AIDS the opportunity to express what that means to them. Through its Rap-It-Up public education initiative, in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation and Scenarios USA, BET has created a story and scriptwriting contest titled "What's the REAL DEAL on Growing Up in the Age of AIDS?. Youth ages 13 to 18 are encouraged to answer this question with a chance to see their words come alive as a short film that will air on BET.

A committee comprised of young people, experts on HIV/AIDS, and film professionals, will judge scripts submitted by the contest deadline, June 13. The contest winner or winners will work directly with a noted film director on all aspects of production from casting to shooting and editing for the film.

BET's partners help the network inform young people about HIV/AIDS in order to stop the spread of disease. Since 1998, BET has partnered with The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit research and communications organization focused on health care issues. This is the first year BET has partnered with Scenarios USA, a non profit working to foster leadership, advocacy and self-expression in teens through writing and film. BET's award-winning Rap-It-Up initiative also fights the epidemic through educational programming, community events, and teen forums. For more information on Rap-It-Up and the scriptwriting contest, visit BET's Web site or contact Lyntina Townsend at
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 Cox & Superstation WGN Rebuild Boys & Girls Club in New Orleans
Cox Communications and Superstation WGN have partnered to rebuild a New Orleans Boys & Girls Club destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Filmed for Superstation's HomeTeam program, a reality show helping deserving individuals achieve the American dream of owning a home, the rebuilding project was completed with help from the New Orleans Saints football team, AmeriCorps and other local volunteers. HomeTeam will highlight the rebuild in a two-part episode starting on Sunday, May 21.

In each episode of HomeTeam, hosted by former Apprentice competitor Troy McClain, a deserving family is given a 10% down payment and one full year of mortgage payments for their first home. This unique episode will feature the reconstruction of the Boys & Girls Club, a 7,500 square feet concrete building that was badly damaged by flooding. The club is a vital part of the community, providing educational programs and recreational activities for boys and girls ages 6 to 18. For more information, contact Stephanie Davis at
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 HGTV Awards $1 Million in Grants to Historic Restoration Projects
For the fourth year, HGTV's Restore America grant program has awarded $1 million in grants to community organizations to revitalize neighborhoods in cities across the country. Eleven cities will benefit from grants this year, bringing the total number of restoration projects funded by HGTV since 2003 to 47.

HGTV's Restore America grants support the restoration of historic structures for residential use. Projects receiving grants range from the rehabilitation of single-family homes in Cleveland, Ohio, to the transformation of a Montana hospital into low-income apartments. In Buffalo, N.Y., a 1930s automobile factory will be restored and made into artists' lofts, and in Little Rock, Ark., the high school former President Bill Clinton graduated from will be converted into loft-style apartments. Grants were awarded in the amount of $50,000 to $100,000, with the highest award going to a rebuilding project in the Holy Cross District of New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward.

In addition to receiving funds, these projects will be featured in PSAs and online content on HGTV's Web sites. HGTV partners with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to select grant recipients. For details on Restore America and the 11 restoration projects, visit HGTV's Web site or contact Amy Gibson at HGTV at 865-560-4639.
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 Court TV Panel Explores Independent Judiciary
Court TV highlighted the need for judicial independence during a panel discussion featuring high-profile leaders that was held at the George Washington University on May 11. Recorded for the network's In Pursuit of Justice public affairs campaign, the timely panel titled "A Conversation on Judicial Independence" was hosted by Court TV anchor Catherine Crier and featured a candid conversation with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Crier also moderated a discussion among five notable leaders and experts on U.S. courts: former FBI Director Judge William F. Sessions; former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley; professor and author of a new book on judicial independence, Charles Geyh; former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley; and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr.

Members of the panel reflected on tensions between the Congress and the judiciary that have escalated in recent years into threats to reduce the judiciary's budget, limit its jurisdiction and attempt to impeach judges on the basis of decisions. In addition to discussing threats, the panel also offered solutions to the current conflicts between the three branches of government and criticized the decline of civic education in U.S. schools.

Joining Court TV to sponsor the event was the American Bar Association and the Constitution Project. More than 250 students, professors, lawyers, professionals and members of the media attended the event. It will air on Court TV this fall. Programming like this panel is an integral component of Court TV's In Pursuit of Justice campaign, designed to introduce citizens to dialogue on important issues and to then inspire them to act. For more information, contact Scoot MacPherson at
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 AIDS Documentary Available for On Demand Platforms
NCTA and Cable Positive have joined with PBS and WGBH Boston to make Frontline's documentary "The Age of AIDS" available to local cable systems to air through their on-demand platforms for two weeks immediately following the national broadcast debut of the program on PBS, May 30-31. This wide-ranging documentary chronicles the 25-year history of HIV and AIDS and global efforts to confront the disease.

PSAs promoting the program also will be made available to local cable systems via a satellite feed on Friday, May 19 from 2:30 to 2:45 p.m., eastern daylight time. For details on the satellite feed, contact NCTA's Communications and Public Affairs department at 202-775-3629. The spots feature U2 frontman Bono, former President Bill Clinton and pioneer AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho. For more information on the collaboration, contact Michelle Castro at Cable Positive at 212-459-1504.
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 Help Plan CTPAA Programs by Joining a Committee
Do you want to become more involved in CTPAA by helping to plan FORUM 2007, the Beacon AwardsTM or other association programs? Sign up today for a CTPAA committee. The association is recruiting volunteers for the FORUM and Beacon Committees and the three Board Committees. FORUM Committee Members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2007 to the industry. Beacon Committee volunteers will plan the complete 2007 Beacon Awards process from promotion of the deadlines to the judging process to the Beacon Awards Gala. The three Board Committees develop association programs and include Create a Favorable Environment for Business Growth, Provide Professional Development Resources and Recognition, and Showcase the Role and Value of Industry Public Affairs. To sign up, visit the CTPAA Web site. For more information on FORUM or Board Committees, contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or at For information on the Beacon committee, contact Michelle Butler at 202-775-1082 or 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
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
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
Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco Company
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
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