December 29, 2006-About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2007 / Beacon Awards

Inside this Issue:

Focus on FORUM: Mike Smith
FORUM 2007: Register by the End of the Year and Save $50
WWE Brings Tribute to Troops Overseas
January 2, 2007 Deadline for the Public Affairs Achievement Award
Independent Film Channel Supports Start the Music Up Campaign
New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners
Current TV Helps Host "Seeds of Tolerance" Video Competition
CTAM Focuses on Holiday Giving
Enter the 2007 Public Affairs Programming Awards
Donations Now Being Accepted for the FORUM 2007 Silent Auction
Virginia Chapter of WICT Donates to Dress for Success
Thank You, Corporate Members!

 Focus on FORUM: Mike Smith

Editor's Note: CTPAA recently 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, Mike Smith, Director of Government and Public Affairs for Comcast Tri-State System, talks about his experiences at FORUM. 

Which FORUM was the first you attended?

1992 in Denver.

How many FORUM's have you attended?

 I believe every one since '92 except for '02.

What makes each one different?

The creativity members use from year to year in creating new ways to use cable's assets to help the communities we serve. Also, the fresh faces and newbies who come into our industry offer different perspectives/perceptions of cable each year.

What was your best takeaway ever from FORUM?

I can't think of a particular one, but there have been a lot of relationships built and ideas planted that resulted in honing my skills and presenting more effective community affairs programs.

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

To be flexible. My job function shifted in '06.

What is you favorite FORUM memory?

 Launching the Silent Auction on a hope and realizing that CTPAA members would support it and the non-profits for which we raise money.
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 FORUM 2007: Register by the End of the Year and Save $50

The Super Saver registration deadline for FORUM 2007 is December 31.  In order to receive the $50 discount, registration forms must be received by this date.  After this date and prior to February 23, 2007, the registration fee for FORUM will be $675.  After February 24, 2007, the registration fee is $775. 

FORUM 2007 will be held March 11-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration forms can be found online at Forms may be faxed to 202-222-2371 or mailed to CTPAA at P.O. Box 75007, Washington, D.C., 20013.  If you have any questions regarding registration for FORUM 2007, please call 202-222-2370 or email  
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 WWE Brings Tribute to Troops Overseas

In order to continue its support for American troops overseas, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) returned to Iraq and Afghanistan with its fourth annual "Tribute to the Troops" program.  As part of the "Tribute to the Troops" tour, wrestling superstars such as John Cena and "The Undertaker" as well as members of the WWE crew went to the front lines to distribute gifts, sign autographs, take pictures with service men and women and perform a live television event.  "WWE Tribute to the Troops:  Christmas in Baghdad" aired from Camp Victory in Baghdad on December 25 and featured matches taped outside Baghdad amid 3,000 members of the military services.

In recognition of WWE's continued efforts to support troops overseas, the Office of the Secretary of Defense awarded WWE with the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award.  Additionally, Vince McMahon, Chairman of WWE, received a Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award medal for enhancing the morale and welfare of more than 15,000 Service members through his work with WWE. 

Since 2003, WWE has produced "Tribute to the Troops" with WWE Superstars performing for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2004, the USO of Metropolitan Washington presented WWE with the first ever "Legacy of Hope" award for their extensive support for troops and for the USO's Operation Care Package program.  For more information on "Tribute to the Troops," contact Gary Davis at 203-353-5066.  
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 January 2, 2007 Deadline 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, Ph.D. 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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 Independent Film Channel Supports Start the Music Up Campaign

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) recently began a partnership with Southern Comfort as the national distribution partner for a series of short films telling the personal stories of New Orleans musicians. The films are part of Southern Comfort's "Start the Music Up" campaign, an integrated entertainment initiative designed to raise money for the Southern Comfort Music Fund that supports the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

The "Start the Music Up" films were shot on location in April leading up to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Each film focuses on a different artist and incorporates live performances with personal interviews and footage from New Orleans. Featured artists include Big Sam's Funky Nation, Cowboy Mouth, Gravy, Hazard Country Girls, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes & Theresa Andersson.

IFC began airing the films on December 18. The films will run for three months on IFC TV and will be posted on the network's Web site. IFC will also run on-air promotions directing viewers to its own site to learn more and view the stories. For more information on the "Start the Music Up" campaign, visit
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 New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners

New this year at FORUM 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 fee for the seminar is $275 and 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 seminar is $200. The seminar will be lead by Sandi Padnos, president, SCOOP Seminars. 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 by 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                                                                                                                                         Back to Top

 Current TV Helps Host "Seeds of Tolerance" Video Competition

Current TV teamed up with the Third Millennium Foundation to kick off the "Spread Tolerance Campaign" with an event honoring the winners of the "Seeds of Tolerance" video competition.  The competition invited aspiring filmmakers to produce short videos illuminating a story about respecting diversity or unlearning intolerance.  The winner, Lucas Krost, received a $100,000 prize from Current TV for his film about the United States prison system, "One Nation Under Guard."  The film will be shown on Current TV's Web site,, and on Current TV, where films from all six finalists will be featured. 

The "Spread Tolerance Campaign" is a new initiative of the Third Millennium Foundation with the goal of reaching a global audience to enlighten, inform and educate on the subject of intolerance.  The Third Millennium Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 2000 as an initiative for unlearning intolerance in the new millennium.  The foundation makes grants all over the world and focuses on childhood education and human rights with an emphasis on supporting social entrepreneurs among global youth.  For more information on the "Spread Tolerance Campaign," visit  
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 CTAM Focuses on Holiday Giving

Chapters of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) sponsored several events during the holiday season to raise funds for non-profit groups. CTAM New York held its annual Holiday Gala, collecting toys for Toys for Tots. CTAM in the Carolinas also collected donations for Toys for Tots by teaming up with local WICT and NAMIC chapters.

The New England chapter of CTAM attracted 80 individuals to their Holiday Event with a raffle raising almost $800 for The Boston Pediatric and Family AIDS Foundation. In Georgia, the CTAM chapter raised $4,500 for Cable Positive through a holiday party held with WICT and NAMIC. Finally, CTAM Texas also partnered with their local chapter of WICT to hold a 2006 holiday fundraiser that featured a silent auction benefiting the Austin Street Centre in Downtown Dallas. For more information on CTAM's 2006 fundraising, contact Diana Cronan at 703-837-6575 or                                                                                                                                         Back to Top

 Enter the 2007 Public Affairs Programming Awards

CTPAA has once again teamed up with CableWorld magazine to present the 4th Annual Public Affairs Programming Awards.  The awards highlight important public affairs programming on cable television and will be presented during FORUM 2007 in Washington, D.C. 

To be eligible for an award, programs must have run on a cable channel or a regional cable channel during the 2006 calendar year.  Programs may include PSAs, documentaries, specials or an episode of a recurring series that highlights public affairs issues.  Three copies of each entry must be submitted on DVD (preferred) or VHS and be accompanied by a press kit or short statement explaining the entry. Entries will be judged by a panel of representatives from CTPAA, NCTA and CableWorld magazine.

Winners and honorable mentions of the 4th Annual Public Affairs Programming Awards will be featured in an article in CableWorld magazine.  Winning clips will be posted on  For more information on the awards, view the Call for Entries or contact Seth Arenstein at 301-354-1782.
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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 featured at the front of the bid book.

To make a donation, please fill out the donation form 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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 Virginia Chapter of WICT Donates to Dress for Success

The Virginia chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) recently held a Holiday Luncheon in Richmond, Va., to benefit Norfolk Dress for Success.  The chapter donated over 40 articles of clothing and presented a check for $1,000 to Dress for Success to help the organization continue its mission to build support and career development tools for disadvantaged women. 

Founded in New York City in 1997, Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help clients find a job and remain employed. Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when she finds work. Since 1997, Dress for Success has served almost 300,000 women around the world. For more information on Dress for Success, visit  
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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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