January 26, 2007-About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2007 / Beacon Awards


Inside this Issue:

Focus on FORUM: Brian Wirth
FORUM 2007 Rooming Block at The Ritz-Carlton Sold Out
Comcast's Cohen and A&E's Raven to Receive CTPAA President's Award
Second Round of Beacon Judging Completed
Lifetime Raises Awareness on Stalking with Congressional Briefing
Comcast Foundation Gives Grants to Educational Programs
Weather Channel Resolves to Help Everyone Become "Weather-Ready"
Donations Needed for the 2007 Silent Auction
Military Channel Partnership Expands Scholarship Program
New FORUM Seminar Targets Publicists and PR Practitioners
Additional Updates to Best Practices Section of the CTPAA Web Site
Thank You, Corporate Members!

 Focus on FORUM: Brian Wirth
Editor's Note: CTPAA is running a series of interviews focusing on members' experiences at FORUM, CTPAA's annual three-day conference for cable public affairs professionals.  This issue, Brian Wirth, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Time Warner Cable, talks about his experiences at FORUM. 

Which FORUM was the first you attended?

The first FORUM was in Washington in 2001. I had just taken on the public affairs role and I found it to be very interesting to learn about so many great initiatives taking place all around the country by our industry. I have never missed one since.

How many FORUMS have you attended?

I have attended six.

What makes each one different?

Each year you not only learn new ideas and take away new innovative approaches to problems and issues but you also get the reaffirmation that what you are doing at home is on the right track.

What was your best takeaway ever from FORUM?

Each year I am impressed with the sheer number of great Beacon entries and have put many of the ideas and programs to work for us.

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

Submit your Beacon early and often.

What is your favorite FORUM memory?

My first and to this date only Beacon

For a complete listing of all FORUM events, please see the preliminary program at http://www.ctpaa.org/forum_agenda_2007.shtml.

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FORUM 2007 Rooming Block at The Ritz-Carlton Sold Out

The rooming block CTPAA reserved for FORUM 2007 at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C., is currently full.  CTPAA has reserved rooms at the One Washington Circle Hotel, located right next door to The Ritz-Carlton.  The room rate is $229/night from March 10 to March 13.  To make your FORUM 2007 room reservations at the One Washington Circle Hotel, please call 1-800-424-9671 before February 9, 2007, and mention CTPAA in order to receive this discount.

If you have any questions regarding room reservations for FORUM 2007, please call Valarie Bastek at 202-222-2370.
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 Comcast's Cohen and A&E's Raven to Receive CTPAA President's Award

CTPAA recently announced that David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corporation and Abbe Raven, president & CEO of A&E Television Networks, are the recipients of CTPAA's 2007 President's Award. 

Selected annually by the CTPAA President, the President's Award recognizes leaders who, by their guidance and support, advance the role of public affairs in the cable industry.  The award honors individuals who have developed and implemented public affairs initiatives within their companies as well as throughout the cable industry.  This year, CTPAA President Mark Harrad, senior vice president of corporate communications for Time Warner Cable, made the selections.

"David Cohen is a visionary and dynamic leader," remarked Harrad.  "Since joining Comcast in 2002, David has worked closely with Brian Roberts and Steve Burke to successfully guide the company through a time of rapid change and innovation.  His leadership and the organization he has built demonstrate how strong, strategic public affairs efforts can favorably affect the bottom line."

"Abbe Raven and AETN have been longtime leaders in the public affairs arena in the cable industry," Harrad said.  "Whether it's The History Channel's Save Our History or A&E Network's Lives that Make a Difference, Raven and her team have excelled at shining a light on important social issues.  Her formula for success is to maximize AETN's core business strengths by working with everyone from cable operators, to The White House to numerous cultural institutions and grassroots organizations across the country to effectively give back to the communities and viewers they serve."

Cohen and Raven will be honored during the Beacon Awards Gala on Tuesday, March 13 at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., during CTPAA's FORUM 2007, "Cable to the Extreme:  Communicating the Possibilities."  For more information on the President's Award, contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or sjones@ctpaa.org.  
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 Second Round of Beacon Judging Completed

On Thursday, January 25, the second round of judging for the 2007 Beacon Awards took place as CTPAA members from across the country gathered at the NCTA building in Washington, D.C. 37 CTPAA members representing cable operators, programmers and other industry organizations volunteered as final round judges.  These members are senior public affairs executives from 17 different states, 13 different cable systems and 12 different programming networks.    

On Thursday morning, executive director Steve Jones and CTPAA 2007 Beacon Awards co-chair Cindy McConkey, senior vice president, Scripps Networks, welcomed the judges and thanked them for volunteering their time to select the best of the best in cable public affairs.  Beacon judging operations work group members Brian Wirth, vice president, government and public affairs for Time Warner Cable and Maryann Kafer, director of public relations for the Ohio Telecommunications Association, provided an in-depth review of judging procedures.

The judges reviewed the entries that advanced to the final round to determine which ones will be finalists and 2007 Beacon Award winners.  To advance to the final round, entries must have scored 89 points or higher (out of 100) during the first round of judging held January 10 and 11.  CTPAA will announce the finalists in early February and the winners during the 2007 Beacon Awards gala on March 13, the final event of FORUM 2007.

Thanks to all 37 volunteers who participated as a second round Beacon Award judge earlier this week:

Chris Albert, National Geographic Channel
Jeff Alexander, Comcast
Trent Anderson, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Peggy Ballard, Scientific Atlanta, A Cisco Company
Jerilyn Bliss, Scripps Networks
Sara Brady, Bright House Networks
Christine Bragan, Rainbow Media Holdings
Chelsye Burrows, Starz Entertainment Group
Janice Caluda, Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Brian Dietz, NCTA
Marty Dominguez, C-SPAN
Sol Doten, Fox Cable Networks
Juliet Gilliam, ESPN, Inc.
Edward Goldstein, Charter Communications, Inc.
Russell Howard, National Geographic Channel
Scott Hults, EWTN Global Catholic Network
Janice Janik, Smithsonian Networks
Maryann Kafer, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
William Kettleson, Comcast
Sharon Kleinpeter, Cox Communications
Nancy Larkin, FSN New England
Teresa Lee, Comcast
Nick Leuci, Comcast
Sonya Lockett, BET
Peter Lyden, III, Comcast
Kelsey Martinez, Fox Cable Networks
Cindy McConkey, Scripps Networks
Jonathon McGee, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Joseph Murphy, TelVue Corporation-TVTN
Laura Nelson, VH1
David Pierce, NCTA
Misty Skedgell, Turner Broadcasting System
Helen Soulé, Cable in the Classroom
Anthony Surratt, Cox Communications
Craig Watson, Charter Communications
Teresa Wiedel, AZN Television
Brian Wirth, Time Warner Cable
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 Lifetime Raises Awareness on Stalking with Congressional Briefing

On Wednesday, January 24, Lifetime Television teamed up with The Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus and The National Center for Victims of Crime to host a Congressional briefing in commemoration of the 4th annual National Stalking Awareness Month.  Part of its "Stop Violence Against Women" campaign, the briefing discussed the nature of stalking, the impact of stalking on victims and the new tools that stalkers use to intimidate and terrorize their victims.

In addition to conducting the Congressional briefing titled "Stalking and Technology:  High-Tech Terror," Lifetime is reproducing and donating 1,000 copies of "Stalking:  Real Fear, Real Crime" to the National Center for Victims of Crime.  The materials support the Center's hundreds of requests for the training video produced in 2004 through a collaborative effort between the two groups.  Lifetimetv.com will also feature the latest facts, statistics and resources on stalking, including ideas on how to raise awareness about stalking in your community.

Lifetime's "Stop Violence Against Women" campaign is designed to help stop all forms of violence against women, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.  The initiative has been honored with a Governor's Emmy Award and includes extensive on-air programming, online content and community outreach.  For more information on "Stalking and Technology:  High-Tech Terror," contact Geralyn Lucas at 212-424-7066 or lucas@liftimetv.com.
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 Comcast Foundation Gives Grants to Educational Programs

The Comcast Foundation recently granted $25,000 to the National Puerto Rican Coalition's (NPRC) "College to Career" program, a series of seminars and training sessions designed to equip students with workforce skills. The seven-week curriculum educates students on topics not typically covered in the classroom, such as corporate hiring, interview processes and the economic buying power of the Latino community. At the completion of the training sessions, students visit Comcast's corporate headquarters to team up with Comcast employees and experience a day of work, meeting top company officers and managers who offer an inside look at Comcast's business goals.

"College to Career" was first launched at Lehman College in the Bronx in September of 2006.  The program is open to college students age 18-24 majoring in business, finance, accounting, economics or marketing.  The program will be expanded to Rutgers University in June 2007.

In addition to the grant made to NPRC, the Comcast Foundation also awarded the Neighborhood Leadership Initiative $90,000 on behalf of "Looking for Angola," an inter-disciplinary project that explores the history of slaves and Seminoles who escaped to the Tampa Bay Area.  The grant will support educational programs in three Florida county school systems for the next three years.

Visit the Comcast Foundation's Web site to learn more about these projects as well as many other projects the Foundation has funded.
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 Weather Channel Resolves to Help Everyone Become "Weather-Ready"

The Weather Channel recently announced a weather safety and preparedness initiative, "WeatherREADY," a new effort to persuade people to take action to be safe and prepared.  A survey conducted by the Weather Channel revealed that, while most people agree it is important to be prepared for catastrophic events, only 22 percent feel they are "very prepared."  "WeatherREADY" builds on The Weather Channel's existing safety initiatives for preparedness during severe weather and against the damaging rays from the sun, expanding on helping people prepare for and stay safe during threats they may face during emergencies and everyday lifestyle situations.

"WeatherREADY" will use on-air, online, radio, new media and mobile messaging to spread the messages of the campaign.  Joining The Weather Channel in on-air sponsorships are The Clorox Company, Hyundai and State Farm Insurance.  Clorox will be the exclusive sponsor of the "WeatherREADY" Health section while Hyundai will sponsor the Driving Safety section.  State Farm Insurance will be the sponsor for the Severe Weather Safety section.

On-air content will include new and highly relevant seasonal safety and lifestyle facts and tips.  Online components include the launch of a "WeatherREADY" Web Site that includes a tool to assist families in preparing their own Family Preparedness Plan.  Public service announcements will be bannered as "WeatherREADY" and direct consumers to the Family Preparedness plan.  Similar PSAs have also been designed for The Weather Channel's radio network, mobile and desktop applications.  Public service announcements will also run on Weatherscan, the network's all-local weather network, and will offer preparedness and safety tips.  An education initiative has also been created, offering safety curricula and simulations.

In the future, The Weather Channel is planning to hold "WeatherREADY" fairs at selected venues across the country, where a Weather Wall will be displayed with participants' videotaped on-camera preparing their own forecasts and dispensing personal safety advice.  A "WeatherREADY Challenge" will be extended to officials at major cities in a competition to determine their weather readiness status.

For more information on the "WeatherREADY" initiative, contact Kathy Lane at 770-226-2102 or klane@weather.com.  
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 Donations Needed for the 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.  

New to the Silent Auction this year is the option to sponsor a prize by giving a cash donation of $1,000.  The Silent Auction committee will then use your donation to create a gift for the auction with your approval. 

To make a donation, please fill out the donation form and fax it to 202-222-2371 or mail it to CTPAA, P.O Box 75007, Washington, D.C., 20013. Donation forms must be received by February 23, 2007, to guarantee listing in the bid book. Please include a description of your item for 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 services@ctpaa.org.
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 Military Channel Partnership Expands Scholarship Program

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) and the Military Channel announced a partnership to expand the Association's Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program.  This year, the Military Channel is sponsoring the initiative, allowing NMFA to provide additional scholarships to a larger number of deserving military spouses and bring added exposure and visibility to the program. 

NMFA's Joanne Holbrook Military Spouse Scholarships are awarded to military spouses to obtain professional certification or to attend post secondary or graduate school.  Scholarships normally range from $500 to $1,000 and may be used for tuition, fees and school room and board.  Spouses of Uniformed Service members (active duty, National Guard and Reserve, retirees and survivors) of any branch or rank are eligible to apply online from now until March 15.

For more information on the scholarship program, visit www.nmfa.org/scholarship or contact Michelle Joyner at 703-931-6632, ext. 331.
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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 http://www.scoopseminars.com/tools/.

FORUM 2007 will be held March 11-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration forms can be found online at www.ctpaa.org/forum.shtml. 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 sjones@ctpaa.org
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 Additional Updates to Best Practices Section of the CTPAA Web Site

CTPAA recently completed further updates to the Best Practices portion of the Resources and Education page on the CTPAA Web site.  "Partnering Internally" has been edited to include Beacon finalist summaries from 2005 and 2006 such as Charter Communications' All Digital Launch in Long Beach and Signal Hill, California, and Cox Communications' Dish Attack and dish win-back program. 

The best practices and tips are compiled from a number of different areas in cable public affairs and are drawn from past Beacon Award finalists as well as member input.  These "best practices" can be useful during the planning or development of a public affairs initiative, or could serve as examples of new initiatives to launch or provide methods to overcome challenges within a community.  Other areas covered in the best practices pages include Measuring Results, Cable's Competition, Contributing to the Bottom Line, Effective Partnerships, Employee Support and Customer Satisfaction and Partnering Internally.

To access the Best Practices page of the CTPAA Web site, enter the Resources and Education page and click on the Best Practices link.  You will then log in using your email as your user name and your last name as your password (all in lowercase letters). 

For more information about Best Practices or to discuss future topics, contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org or 202-222-2373.
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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 sjones@ctpaa.org or at 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to www.ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

Golden Benefactors
A&E Television Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
Comcast
Cox Communications
ESPN Media Networks
MTV Networks
NBC Universal Cable
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Benefactors
Discovery Networks
Lifetime Television
Smithsonian Networks
The Weather Channel

Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
AZN Television
BET
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
CableLabs
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
GSN. The Network for Games
Hallmark Channel
HBO
Insight Communications
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola
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
Versus
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