December 1, 2006-About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2007 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:

Focus on FORUM:  Dan Ballister
New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners
Hallmark Channel Announces National Cards for Troops Campaign
Nominate a Colleague for the Public Affairs Achievement Award
Comcast and CN8 Launch Fugitives On Demand
E! Entertainment Television Expands Play a Part Initiative
Judge the Beacons
CMT One Country Launches Power of One Campaign
Donations Now Being Accepted for CTPAA's 2007 Silent Auction
Cablevision and Rainbow Media Sponsor Holiday Bash
Thank You Corporate Members

 Focus on FORUM:  Dan Ballister

Editor's Note:  Last week, CTPAA began a new series of interviews focusing on members' experiences at FORUM, CTPAA's annual three-day conference for cable public affairs professionals.  This week, Dan Ballister, vice president of communications and public affairs for Bright House Networks, talks about his experiences at FORUM. 

Which FORUM was the first you attended?

My first FORUM was held in Denver in 1992. It was during my first week with Time Warner Cable-San Diego. I got to accept our President's Award for "A Salute to Teachers."

How many FORUMS have you attended?

I've attended about 13 FORUM's in 14 years.

What makes each one different?

The different speakers and the issues our industry is facing that particular year always make FORUM interesting. Even an old dog like me can learn something new each year.

What was your best takeaway ever from FORUM?

Realizing how lame some of my Beacon entries were after attending a "How to win a Beacon" workshop in 1994. It helped me win my first in 1995!

What did you learn at last year's FORUM that helped you in your job in 2006?

I was reminded that we have to continue to focus on community projects that truly impact our customers and to always think about how our work can benefit the bottom line.

What is your favorite FORUM memory?

Getting into a live auction bidding war with my friend Bill Jasso during a FORUM luncheon a few years ago. I crawled on my hands and knees across the floor to Bill's table and pushed his arm up to outbid me. As I walked back to my table....I bid again!
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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 $275 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 seminar fee of $275 includes admission to Tuesday's FORUM general and luncheon sessions. It also includes a seminar workbook that normally sells for $295.  For individuals who are already registered for FORUM, the fee for the program 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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 Hallmark Channel Announces National Cards for Troops Campaign

In conjunction with its original movie "The Christmas Card," the Hallmark Channel announced a campaign designed to show support for military troops overseas by sending holiday cards to individual servicemen and women. 

The "Cards for Troops" campaign stems from the plot of the movie where a career soldier in Afghanistan is encouraged after receiving an anonymous holiday card. As part of the campaign, visitors to can send greeting cards to troops overseas by using a holiday card available on the Web site. Hallmark Channel will also distribute over 10,000 network-designed cards at Lincoln Financial Field before the commencement of the 107th Army-Navy Classic in Philadelphia on December 2.  Game spectators are encouraged to send members of the military a message on the card and place it in bins located throughout the stadium.  All cards will be mailed to individual servicemen and women overseas.

Complementing its "Cards for Troops" campaign, the Hallmark Channel also announced a partnership with "America Supports You," a Department of Defense program that highlights the support of Americans for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. Since it launched in November of 2004, "America Supports You" has welcomed over 234 member organizations and more than 32 corporate sponsors.  As a result of this new partnership, the network has committed to a number of activities in support of military members and their families.

Over the past week, the cast of "The Christmas Card" visited patients at both Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Center while in Washington, D.C.  In addition, the cast attended a preview screening for over 400 military families at Fort Belvoir Military Base in Fairfax County, Va. The cast of the movie and Hallmark employees donated their time to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that sends needed supplies including tolietries, snacks, books and DVDs as well as letters to troops deployed overseas.  Hallmark and Operation Gratitude were able to assemble over 17,000 care packages.

Operation Gratitude is a California-based non-profit organization that supports U.S. Service Members in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Guantanamo Bay, Kosovo and military ships all over the world. For more information on "Cards for Troops," contact Pam Slay at 818-755-2480 or Sheri Goldberg at 818-755-1225.
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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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 Comcast and CN8 Launch Fugitives On Demand

Comcast and CN8, The Comcast Network recently teamed up with the Maryland Department of State Police to work together to track down some of the state's most wanted fugitives and bring them to justice.  "Fugitive Files ON DEMAND" is the first public service programming that utilizes video on demand to expose dangerous fugitives and enhance public safety. Comcast Digital Cable customers will have the ability to access police files featuring photographs and short descriptions of each fugitive. If viewers recognize a fugitive or have information regarding the fugitive, they can call the appropriate law enforcement authorities via phone numbers provided on-screen.

The Maryland Department of State Police will identify the fugitives to be featured on the network through its ongoing efforts with local law enforcement agencies.  Each criminal chosen to be profiled is wanted by the Maryland State Police and has a warrant out for his/her arrest for violent crimes including murder, assault, rape and gang violence.  Each video segment will feature introductions by Elena Russo, "Comcast Newsmakers" host, and a Maryland State Police spokesperson.  Fugitive Files segments are available under the "Get Local" folder through the ON DEMAND menu and profiles will be removed as fugitives are captured.  For more information on "Fugitive Files ON DEMAND," contact John Lamontagne at 410-513-3433 or
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 E! Entertainment Television Expands Play a Part Initiative

In an effort to expand its pro-social initiative "Play a Part," E! Entertainment Television recently teamed up with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) to work together to expand public awareness of environmental issues and provide examples of simple ways individuals can help improve the environment.

As part of the collaboration, E! broadcasted the 16th Annual Environmental Media Awards, featuring "green carpet" celebrity arrivals, celebrity environmental tips and a sneak peek inside the post party bash.  An extensive EMA Public Service Announcement campaign is also set to air, featuring celebrities challenging viewers to "Play a Part" by adopting simple changes to their daily routine that will positively impact the health of the environment.  The PSAs will air throughout the year on E! and THE VINE @ E! Online.  Additionally, E! will join EMA and 9900 Wilshire, a luxury, environmentally friendly residential property, to host the first-annual "Green" Golden Globes party.  The post-Golden Globes bash aims to be the best and most eco-friendly after party.

EMA was founded in 1989 with a mission to mobilize the entertainment industry in a global effort to inspire people into action by encouraging the use of environmental messages within film, TV and music entertainment, as well as utilizing "celebrity" for positive role modeling.  For more information on E!'s partnership with EMA and the "Play a Part" initiative, contact Nicole Goesseringer at 310-822-4775 or
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 Judge the Beacons

Anxious to see what your public affairs colleagues have been up to since last year's Beacon Awards?  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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 CMT One Country Launches Power of One Campaign

CMT's pro-social initiative, CMT One Country, recently launched "The Power of One" campaign, focused on motivating one million volunteers across the United States by the end of 2007. The initiative was created in support of the Hands On campaign of the Hands On Network, which targets the mobilization of 6.4 million volunteers and 100,000 volunteer leaders over the next two years.

Through CMT's One Country Web site, interested viewers across the country will have the opportunity to register as a volunteer and search the extensive VolunteerMatch network of opportunities throughout the United States.  The first 1,000 viewers to register will receive 20% off purchases at and in January 2007, a rewards program will launch to motivate registered users to volunteer on a regular basis.

In addition to mobilizing volunteers through its Web site, the Power of One campaign will also run public service announcements and special One Country programming across CMT's many properties.  PSAs will run throughout 2007 on CMT, CMT Pure Country, CMT Loaded and as well as on CMT Cross Country mobile marketing vehicles. Through two of its programs, CMT has been able to donate and raise money for Habitat for Humanity, one of its non-profit partners.  On November 16, during a special broadcast of CMT's Top Twenty Countdown, Reba McEntire and host Lance Smith presented Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of the Nashville area Habitat for Humanity, a check for $54,000.  The check reflects the dollars needed to completely build one Habitat home for a deserving family.  Additionally, on November 18 CMT presented "CMT Giants: Reba" with proceeds from the event also benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

"The Power of One" campaign will benefit all five of CMT One Country's partners, which also include America's Second Harvest, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Hands on Network and United Service Organizations.  Led by Advisory Board members President Jimmy Carter, Maya Angelou and General Colin Powell, CMT One Country aims to offer tools to help anyone start making a difference immediately.  The initiative was launched in the fall of 2005 to promote civic participation and inspire CMT viewers to take action and bring about important changes in their communities. For more information on "The Power of One," contact Natasha Powell at 615-335-8412 or
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 Donations Now Being Accepted for the FORUM 2007 Silent Auction

For more than a decade, the Silent Auction has been the highlight of FORUM's opening reception. This year's auction, to be held Sunday, March 11, 2007, will again benefit the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media. The Foundation offers minority youth the support, education and skills needed to obtain jobs in the media industry. Over the past eight years, CTPAA members have raised and contributed more than $90,000 to the Foundation through the auction.

CTPAA is currently accepting donations for the Silent Auction. Popular items in the past have included iPods and MP3 players, HDTVs, gaming systems, jewelry, children's items, vacation packages, tickets to shows or sporting events, DVD sets, and dinner with cable executives or celebrities. Platinum level donations, valued at $1,000 and up, will be given special emphasis and will be featured at the front of the bid book.

To make a donation, please fill out the donation form found on the FORUM page of the CTPAA Web site and fax it to 202-222-2371 or mail it to CTPAA. Donation forms must be received by February 23, 2007, to guarantee listing in the bid book. Items may arrive separately on or before March 5, 2007, and should be shipped to CTPAA at 25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20001. For more information, contact Valarie Bastek at 202-222-2370 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. The evening will include the music of JD &The Straight Shot, led by Cablevision president and CEO Jim Dolan, as well as a performance by the world famous Radio City Rockettes, with all proceeds benefiting the Lustgarten Foundation.  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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 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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