November 17, 2006-About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2007 / Beacon Awards

Inside this Issue:

Focus on FORUM:  Katina Arnold and Sandra Colony
New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners
Nominate a Colleague for the Public Affairs Achievements Award
Sci-Fi Channel Launches Visions for Tomorrow Initiative
A&E Network and Comcast Sponsor Town Hall
WE Helps to Honor Women in Military
Judge the Beacons
Comic Relief Returns to HBO to Aid Hurricane Katrina Victims
here! to Broadcast Ribbon of Hope Celebration
Cablevision and Rainbow Media Sponsor Holiday Bash
Congratulations Nick Davatzes!
Congratulations to Cox Communications and Discovery Communications!
Job Opening at ESPN
Thank You, Corporate Members!

 Focus on FORUM:  Katina Arnold and Sandra Colony

Editor's Note:  CTPAA is starting a new series of interviews focusing on members' experiences at FORUM, CTPAA's annual three-day conference for cable public affairs and communications professionals.  First up are this year's FORUM co-chairs Katina Arnold, vice president, communications, sales & marketing, international & new technologies for ESPN, Inc. and Sandy Colony, senior vice president of communications for Insight Communications. 

Which FORUM was the first you attended?
Katina:  1998
Sandy: I think I attended my first FORUM back in 1986. I'm not sure of the year, but I thought it was the best conference I had ever attended bar none.

How many FORUMS have you attended?
Katina:  Eight total
Sandy: Honestly, I haven't kept count - but it's a double-digit number.

What makes each one different?
Katina:  Each conference focuses on what's new in the industry and that always changes.
Sandy: It's consistently a challenge to get out of the office to attend as it's just so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Attending FORUM forces me to pull back and look at what is coming down the pike for the industry and I always learn something relevant and valuable.

What was your best takeaway ever from FORUM?
Katina:  You can never know enough about what's going on in Washington.
Sandy: I cannot single out a specific one because every year the workshops are tailored to address current issues facing the industry.

What did you learn at last year's FORUM that helped you in your job in 2006?
Katina:  I was on maternity leave last year and couldn't make it.
Sandy: What always makes FORUM so valuable to me is the mix of big picture strategies and the sharing of very executable deliverables. Last year was no exception. As Insight was moving towards launching VoIP services, I found the workshop on marketing phone services particularly relevant.

What is your favorite FORUM memory?
Katina:  I love the silent auctions. There's always interesting gifts to choose from and you're helping out a good cause.
Sandy: Without a doubt, reconnecting with old friends is my favorite part of FORUM.
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 New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners

New to FORUM this year will be an all-day publicity and PR professional development seminar held on Tuesday, March 13. The seminar is tailored to the specific needs of entry to manager level public relations professionals and their supervisors. The registration fee for the seminar includes admission to FORUM's Tuesday morning general and luncheon sessions.

The program, Public Relations Skills and Techniques: Tools of the Trade, is produced by Scoop Seminars for the Savvy Publicist. It offers public relations techniques, shortcuts and other valuable information for publicists and public relations practitioners.

The registration fee for the seminar is $275 and includes admission to Tuesday's FORUM general and luncheon sessions. For individuals who are already registered for FORUM, the fee for the seminar is $200. The seminar will be lead by Sandi Padnos, president, Scoop Consulting. Padnos has been internationally recognized for her work in strategic marketing, corporate communications and public relations education. For information concerning the seminar, visit

FORUM 2007 will be held March 11-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration forms can be found online at Participants who register prior to December 31, 2006, can save $50 off the general registration fee. If you have already registered for FORUM and would like to sign up for the Tuesday program, please call 202-222-2370 to arrange for the additional payment. To register for the Publicity and PR Seminar, fill out the FORUM registration form and fax it to 202-222-2371. For additional questions regarding the seminar, other FORUM programs or sponsorship opportunities, contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or  
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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 2006 winners were Al Aldridge of Bright House Networks, Paul Jacobson of Adelphia Communications, Libby O'Connell of A&E Television Networks and Meredith Wagner of Lifetime Television.

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 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 nomination deadline for the fourth annual Public Affairs Achievement Award is January 2, 2007.  Awards will be presented during FORUM 2007, held March 11-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. For information on nominations, please visit the membership page of the CTPAA Web site.
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 Sci Fi Channel Launches Visions for Tomorrow Initiative

In order to move its fans from acting as mere consumers of futurism to serving as activists who are positively affecting what lies ahead, the Sci Fi Channel has created its first public affairs initiative, "Visions for Tomorrow."  The campaign is a multi-platform, national public affairs campaign to inspire individuals, organizations, corporations and policy makers to meet the growing challenges of the future and advance the idea that individuals can affect positive change. 

This year, the campaign will focus on the critical issues of energy and the environment.  To create awareness for the initiative, Sci Fi has created a series of public service announcements featuring young actors who play "children of the future" thanking the current generation for its work in creating that future, ideal world. In addition to the PSAs, Sci Fi has partnered with Topics Education to develop a curriculum around story-telling and scientific inquiry that builds creative reflection and critical thinking skills.  A youth summit on futurism issues called the "Change Academy" will also be created with the intent of challenging young people to propose solutions to contemporary problems.  Finally, a national contest is being planned to inspire students to develop lifestyle innovations in their own communities. 

Assisting the Sci Fi Channel with "Visions for Tomorrow" is an advisory board consisting of scientists, futurists, business leaders, writers, artists and other thought leaders.  The Sci Fi Channel has also partnered with ThinkQuest New York City, a non-profit organization that inspires students to think, connect, create and share work via the Web.  A Web site was created for the campaign to promote the work of organizations that have stimulated positive change across the country.  It will also offer information and opinions on a range of issues with an eye towards helping people identify ways to constructively meet today's challenges.

For more information concerning "Visions for Tomorrow," visit or contact Rachel Cruz at 212-664-6407 or  
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 A&E Network and Comcast Sponsor Town Hall

A&E Network and Comcast teamed up with Drug Free New Bedford and The Partnership for a Drug Free America to host a Town Hall forum for area teens, parents and substance abuse counselors on November 1 in New Bedford, Mass.  A panel discussion followed the screening of A&E's documentary series "Intervention" allowing participants to openly talk about the issue of drug abuse and related challenges facing youth. Tom Coughlin, vice president of Comcast for the Southeastern Massachusetts region and Dr. Libby O'Connell, senior vice president of corporate outreach for A&E Television Networks, opened the program by speaking on the importance of education, prevention and treatment in communities that struggle with substance abuse. The panel consisted of Jeff Van Vonderen, an Interventionist; Ronald E. Teachman, of the New Bedford Police Department; and Carl Alves of Drug Free New Bedford. Comcast and A&E also gave a donation of $2,500 to the Drug Free New Bedford Organization to commend them on their important work towards drug treatment and prevention in the community.

"Intervention" profiles people who are struggling with addictions and the friends and family members seeking to help them.  In its second season, the series confronts addictions such as compulsive gambling and alcoholism.  For more information on the Town Hall, contact Cara Tocci at or 212-210-9083.
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 WE Helps to Honor Women in Military

On Tuesday, November 14, WE joined with several other organizations to support the 13th anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial.   Held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington Cemetery, the event was a joint partnership with the D.C. Chapter of Women in Film, TV and Video;  Comcast; and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation.

 As part of the anniversary celebration, WE presented a screening of its original documentary, "Vietnam Nurses" followed by a panel discussion.  The focus of the panel was women who have served in the U.S. Military as combat nurses.  The discussion featured physician, Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, USAF, retired, the first, female African-American general in the 357-year history of the National Guard; Elizabeth Norman, Ph.D., RN, author of "We Band of Angels," a book about nurses who were POWs in the Philippines during WWII, as well as "Women at War:  The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam 1965-1973;" Diane Carlson Evans, who served as a nurse in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and is the founder and president of the Women In Military Service For America Foundation; Ruth Pollak, co-CEO of the Educational Film Center and a documentary filmmaker who is currently filming "On Dangerous Ground: Combat Nurses of World War II;" and Cmdr. Diane Pickel Plappert, Nurse Corps, USNR, retired.

As part of the fundraiser,  Kim Martin, executive vice president and general manager for WE tv and Ann Woods, director of business operations for Comcast Cable presented a check for $10,000 to the Women In  Military Service For America Foundation.  The donation went toward the general fund of the Foundation.  For more information on the Women In Military Service for America Foundation, please visit  
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 Judge the Beacons

Wondering what it takes to win a Beacon Award?  CTPAA is inviting its members to judge the 2007 Beacon Awards and get a glimpse at what makes a public affairs initiative a winning entry.  Serving as a judge for the 2007 Beacon Awards will give you insight into various public affairs initiatives and leave you with many thoughts for your own organization.  You may come away with an idea for a new campaign or for a future Beacon Award entry.  First round judging will be held all day January 10 and 11 in Washington, D.C. with a welcome reception hosted by NCTA the evening of January 9. 

To volunteer, fill out a judging form and return it to Michelle Butler via fax at 202-222-2371 or email at  
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 Comic Relief Returns to HBO to Aid Hurricane Katrina Victims

Following an 8-year hiatus, Comic Relief will return to HBO on November 18 to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Comic Relief, a non-profit organization, was created in 1986 to help raise funds for those in need.  Part of The Comedy Festival, the event will also be aired on TBS and will be hosted by Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams.  The three-hour concert features other well-known comedians such as Ray Romano, Rosanne Barr, and the cast of HBO's "Entourage." During the telecast, viewers will be prompted to contribute to the effort via phone and Web information.  All proceeds will assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in recovery efforts.

Comic Relief has been at the forefront of activism for those who have fallen on hard times.  In 1992, $2 million was raised in a single night for victims of Hurricane Andrew. Founded by comedian Bob Zmuda, the Comic Relief organization launched its first cable special on HBO in 1986 and has raised more than $50 million since then for various causes.  For more information on Comic Relief, visit  
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 here! to Broadcast Ribbon of Hope Celebration

In conjunction with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as well as Television Cares, here! Networks will be taping and broadcasting the 10th Annual Ribbon of Hope Celebration on November 29, 2006. The Ribbon of Hope Celebration aims to celebrate and promote "television with a conscience."  The annual Ribbon of Hope Celebration will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with previous HIV/AIDS program honorees including "60 Minutes II," "20/20," "E.R." and "Angels in America."  Awards will also be presented to various corporations, non-profits or individuals who fully understand the power of the media, especially television, and use it to further their own commitment to the causes of awareness, prevention and treatment.  This year, Ribbon of Hope will present a Special Award for Breast Cancer Awareness to "The L Word" for its breast cancer storyline and related awareness campaign, the first-ever award presented by Ribbon of Hope honoring a program outside of the area of HIV/AIDS.

The event will be taped live by here! and offered free of charge to here!'s 50 million subscribers and to every visitor on here! Video, the network's broadband portal.  This will be the first time Ribbon of Hope will be televised as it coincides with the 25th year of the AIDS pandemic.  For more information on the Ribbon of Hope Celebration, contact Jonathon Aubry at 310-806-6382 or  
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 Cablevision and Rainbow Media Sponsor Holiday Bash

In an effort to assist The Lustgarten Foundation in raising funds and awareness for the battle against pancreatic cancer, Cablevision and Rainbow Media will once again host the Lustgarten Holiday Rock & Roll Bash on Thursday, December 7 at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York City. Created in 2001 with the assistance of Cablevision, Rainbow Media and Madison Square Garden, the Rock and Roll Bash is currently in its sixth year and has helped raise millions of dollars to support pancreatic cancer research.

The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a not-for-profit organization established in August 1998 to advance the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. The Foundation was named for Marc Lustgarten, Vice Chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The Foundation concentrates on stimulating the scientific community to conduct the research necessary to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

For individual reservations to the Bash or more information on The Lustgarten Foundation, please call 516-803-2304 or visit For information about corporate sponsorships, please contact the event office at 516-803-2354. 
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 Congratulations Nick Davatzes!

Congratulations to Nick Davatzes who was honored at the White House on November 9th with the National Humanities Medal for his contributions to the humanities.  Mr. Davatzes is the founder of The History Channel, the A&E Network, the Biography Channel and the Save Our History program.  He also served as co-chairman of the board of directors for Cable in the Classroom and was one of its founders.  Additionally, Mr. Davatzes served on the CTPAA Board of Advisors from 2003-2005.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 2006 National Humanities Medal was awarded to nine individuals and one institution for work that deepens the nation's understanding of humanities, broadens citizens' engagement with humanities or helps preserve and expand America's access to important humanities resources.  For a list of all the honorees, visit
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 Congratulations to Cox Communications and Discovery Communications!

Several CTPAA corporate members were honored at the 22nd Annual Women in Cable Television (WICT) Foundation Benefit Gala on November 15 in Washington, D.C. All of the organizations participated in WICT's PAR Initiative, that examines and ranks companies in the cable telecommunications industry according to pay equity, advancement opportunities and resources for work/life support. Cox Communications was the recipient of the 2006 Forerunner Accolade for the Best Operator for Women in Cable. Discovery Communications received the 2006 Forerunner Accolade for the Best Programmer for Women in Cable.

Other companies receiving top awards included Scripps Network for the Best Company for Women in Cable-Pay Equity, Oxygen Media for the Best Company for Women in Cable-Advancement Opportunities, and NBC Universal for the Best Company for Women in Cable-Resources for Work/Life Support.  For a full report of rankings, visit  For more information on the WICT 2006 PAR Initiative Survey, contact Melissa Northern at 703-234-9812 or  
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 Job Opening at ESPN

ESPN is looking for a corporate public relations professional who will have responsibility as a first point of contact with the cable industry trade press. The focus of the job will be creating messaging and managing outreach of ESPN affiliate information to the trade press on all aspects of ESPN's domestic networks and other brands including programming and production, marketing and promotional initiatives and technical/new media developments. The ideal candidate will bring five years public relations experience including existing relationships with the trade press, a strong understanding of the cable industry and outstanding communications skills. Good general sports knowledge and interest a strong plus.  For more information, contact Katina Arnold at  
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 Thank You, Corporate Members!

Join and support CTPAA by becoming a 2007 corporate member. For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at or at 202-222-2373. 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
Smithsonian Networks
The Weather Channel

Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
AZN Television
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
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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