March 9, 2007-About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2007 / Beacon Awards

Inside this Issue:
Features of FORUM 2007
Ready, Set, Communicate! At FORUM 2007
Discovery Channel Teams up with The Nature Conservancy
CTPAA Honors National Parent Teacher Association
NBC Universal Initiative Focuses on Diversity in Television
CTPAA Announces ESPN Good Sports and Joel A. Berger Award Winners
Court TV, Comcast, Project GRAD and Atlanta Public Schools Host Careers in Justice
New Media Relations "Best Practice" on CTPAA Web Site
Thank You, Corporate Members!

 Features of FORUM 2007

FORUM 2007 will feature key cable executives and communications pros who will pass along industry insight and on-the-job tips to help everyone attending be more effective in the workplace.  The opening general session on Monday, March 12 includes:  Mark Coblitz, Comcast Corporation; Laureen Ong, National Geographic Channel; Josh Sapan, Rainbow Media Holdings; Michael Willner, Insight Communications; and moderator Mark Robichaux, Broadcasting & Cable Magazine

Monday's luncheon will feature David Weinberger, co-author of the bestseller The Cluetrain Manifesto and author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, a highly original and accessible reflection on the human impact of the Internet.  Additionally, he is an NPR commentator, technology columnist, weblogging pioneer and a dot com entrepreneur.

Tuesday opens with a general session that includes Kyle McSlarrow of NCTA and Congressman Baron Hill, (D-IN), both of whom will discuss upcoming cable industry policy.  The session will be moderated by CNN State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee.  Tuesday's luncheon speaker is Jill Lublin, CEO, Promise Promotion, who will provide key communications tips and techniques on guerrilla publicity and powerful PR.  The day will conclude with the Beacon Awards Gala, featuring master of ceremony Ben Bailey, Discovery Channel's Host and Driver of Cash Cab.

On Sunday, March 11, be sure to stop by the Silent Auction from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Salon III of The Ritz-Carlton.  With over 50 items, there is sure to be something for every taste!  Proceeds from the Silent Auction will once again benefit the Emma L. Bowen Foundation. 

For a complete program agenda, please visit the CTPAA Web site at or call CTPAA at 202-222-2370.
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 Ready, Set, Communicate! At FORUM 2007

Anxious to hear your colleagues' thoughts on some of the pressing issues affecting the profession and the cable industry?  Ready, Set, Communicate!  Networking for Job Growth will be held during FORUM 2007 on Sunday, March 11, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Plaza II of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.  Take the opportunity during this "speed networking" event to share tips, advice and lessons learned with your colleagues.  About 10 senior leaders in the association will "host" discussion tables.  Each of them will be armed with one or two specific topics/thought-starters to generate discussion at their table.  The table leaders will be asked to share advice from their career experiences, as well as to encourage table mates to share relevant experiences from their own lives and careers.  After 15 minutes, a bell will ring, signaling that participants must switch tables while the table leaders will stay put. 

Confirmed participants include:  Pete Abel, vice president, corporate communications, community and government relations, Suddenlink Communications; Peggy Ballard, vice president, strategic communication, Scientific Atlanta, A Cisco Company; Ellen East, vice president, communications and public affairs, Cox Communications, Inc.; Rosa Gatti, senior vice president, corporate communications and outreach, ESPN, Inc.; Annie Howell, senior vice president, communications, Discovery Networks, U.S.; Peter Kiley, vice president affiliate relations, C-SPAN Networks; Libby O'Connell, senior vice president, corporate outreach, A&E Television Networks; Mike Smith, manager, franchising and government affairs, Comcast Three Rivers Region; and Tom Southwick, senior vice president, corporate communications, Starz Entertainment.
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 Discovery Channel Teams up with The Nature Conservancy

In conjunction with Discovery Channel's series "Planet Earth," the network is teaming up with The Nature Conservancy to launch a multi-platform public outreach campaign aimed at generating awareness and providing resources for people interested in global conservation.  "Planet Earth," is an 11-part series that offers a first-of-its-kind look at the world's most magnificent and compelling locations.  The goal of the new information provided in the series is to bring viewers the majesty of the planet and challenge audiences to learn more about their obligation to care for the environment.

Along with the premiere of "Planet Earth," The Nature Conservancy will launch new, in-depth web content on aimed at educating visitors about the urgent threats facing the places featured in the program and what they can do to help out.  Mutual links at will provide consumers with multiple areas to participate in environmental activities through fun, interactive and educational features.  During the premiere of "Planet Earth" on Sunday, March 25, viewers will be able to take an online tour that will be synchronized to the show, test themselves on trivia about the animals and environments seen on air, chat with other viewers during the show and ask questions of M. Sanjayan, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy.  More than 25 Nature Conservancy chapters from around the country will host private screenings of the program.

Discovery Channel will contribute on-air television support for a new Nature Conservancy public service campaign during "Planet Earth."  The campaign will support the overall public outreach effort to motivate network viewers and magazine subscribers to learn more about how they can make a difference in the conservation of the planet's precious resources.  Finally, the channel is hosting a live chat with the series producers on Monday, March 26 for Discovery Channel audiences and Nature Conservancy members interested in learning more about the producers' filming experiences.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.  The Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.  For more information on Discovery Channel's partnership with The Nature Conservancy, please contact Krista Ostensen at 240-662-2516 or  
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 CTPAA Honors National Parent Teacher Association

The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) recently announced that the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the winner of the 2007 CTPAA Community Bridges Award.  The association created the CTPAA Community Bridges Award in 2004 to recognize outstanding partners outside of the cable industry.  These organizations and individuals that take part in cable public affairs initiatives are often instrumental to the success of those initiatives.  National PTA President Anna Marie Weselak will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

"Both the cable industry and the PTA are committed to raising awareness of our country's obligations to children and the need to help them succeed in schools," said CTPAA president Mark Harrad, senior vice president, corporate communications, Time Warner Cable.  "In addition to the public service announcements cable airs for the PTA, cable professionals and PTA members present local workshops on media literacy across the country."

For decades the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has taken action for the benefit of all children.  As the largest, volunteer, child advocacy association in the nation, PTA reminds our country of its obligations to children and provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child while providing the tools for parents to help their children be successful students. Working in cooperation with many national education, health, safety, and child advocacy groups and federal agencies, National PTA collaborates on projects that benefit children and that bring valuable resources to its members.

In 1994, the PTA partnered with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Cable in the Classroom to design a program that would help parents learn how to manage media in the home.  Launched as the Family and Community Critical Viewing Project, the initiative trained PTA, cable and community leaders to present local workshops.  Thousands of these workshops have been co-presented by local PTA leaders and cable executives, and many of them have involved public officials such as state attorney generals, mayors and Members of Congress.

The PTA's partnership with cable extends beyond the media literacy workshops.  The PTA produces public service announcements (PSA), and Cox Communications run the PTA's stay-in-school PSAs while Charter Communications' systems have run PSAs in support of PTA fundraising efforts.  Charter's technicians have participated in local PTA meet the community events to discuss their jobs with students.  Members of PTA serve on the Cable in the Classroom's National Education Advisory Board and have served as judges in Bright House Networks' Star Teacher Awards. 

PTA has partnered with several cable networks to help them design public affairs campaigns benefiting school children.  As one of the main partners in Cartoon Network's Rescuing Recess campaign, the PTA is helping the network to champion recess as a vital part of the school day.  The PTA is also a partner in Nickelodeon's Let's Just Play initiative, a multi-platform health and wellness campaign addressing obesity.

CTPAA will honor the PTA during the Beacon Awards® Gala, set for Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.  The Beacon Awards Gala is one of the highlights of CTPAA's FORUM 2007:  "Cable to the Extreme:  Communicating the Possibilities."  FORUM is the cable industry's annual educational event dedicated to the issues facing communications and public affairs professionals.  The 2006 winner of the CTPAA Community Bridges Award was The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
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 NBC Universal Initiative Focuses on Diversity in Television

NBC Universal (NBCU) recently announced the launch of NBC Universal On The Set (formerly Bravo On The Set), a cable exclusive community relations campaign and educational initiative encouraging diversity in television.  NBCU On The Set is an extension of Bravo On The Set and is designed to partner with cable operators nationwide to offer high school students hands-on experience in television production.

The new program will partner once again with the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC) and The Cable Center to help reach a diverse talent pool.  During March and April, operators participating in NBCU On The Set will distribute educator kits to high schools that contain a teacher's Diversity Discussion Guide and materials for students to enter a national essay contest and digital competition.  Twelve winners will receive a weeklong television production internship with NBC Universal in New York City in July. 

During the internship, students will learn the fundamentals of television and work with industry professionals producing video.  The students will gain hands-on exposure to writing, directing, filming, lighting, sound, acting and editing.  Students will create their own on-air spots and video that can be aired on local channels.  In addition, NBCU On The Set will continue to provide grants to high schools to support media arts programs and promote diversity within the field by awarding a $1,000 grant to each school that provides an internship participant to the program.

In addition to the national contest, NBCU On The Set will team up with cable operators in select cities to host a 2-day local workshop.  TV producers will work with 25-30 students who will write and produce PSAs pertaining to diversity in their communities to air on local channels.  The workshop serves as a resource for young adults to gain exposure in television arts and media, and help them discover potential educational opportunities and, ultimately, career paths within the industry.

For more information on NBCU ON The Set, contact Vanthan Khel at 201-735-3591 or  
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 CTPAA Announces ESPN Good Sports and Joel A. Berger Award Winners

The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) announced the winner of the 2007 ESPN Good Sports Award and Joel A. Berger Award.  Time Warner Cable – Nebraska Division will receive the ESPN Good Sports award, given annually to a project that generates outstanding community involvement through education and athletics, for its initiative "High School Football on Demand."  Cable Positive will receive the Joel A. Berger Award for its campaign "Join the Fight: Weapons of Mass Instruction."  Named after former publisher of Cablevision Magazine Joel Berger, this award is presented to a cable industry public affairs campaign that achieves exceptional results in the area of AIDS awareness.

Last fall, small town rivalries and Nebraska's love affair with high school football helped Time Warner Cable's Nebraska Division bring life to its local-on-demand channel through High School Football on Demand. At the same time, the initiative generated unparalleled excitement and publicity for small-town athletes, marching bands, and student videographers alike.  In rural Nebraska, where high school football games are often the pinnacle of the week, Time Warner selected key match-ups throughout its service area, and rolled into town each Friday night to cover the games for its newly launched Nebraska on Demand channel. Instead of cutting away to commentary about the game at half-time, Time Warner shot the marching band half-time performances and included a marching band feature story, complete with director and student interviews, as part of its coverage. Views of the Nebraska on Demand channel increased more than 75% by the end of the season.

In Cable Positive's Join the Fight: Weapons of Mass Instruction campaign, celebrity activists were shot in black and white and discussed the weapons they use in the fight against HIV and AIDS: their "minds", "hearts" and "voices". The campaign ran on cable systems and networks across the country from World AIDS Day 2005, through World AIDS Day 2006.  During the campaign, Cable Positive's Web site,, recorded more than 3 million hits as a direct result of the public service spots—making it the most successful interactive public service campaign in Cable Positive's history.

CTPAA will honor the 2007 ESPN Good Sports Award and Joel A. Berger Award winners during the Beacon Awards® Gala, set for Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.  
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 Court TV, Comcast, Project GRAD and Atlanta Public Schools Host Careers in Justice

On February 27, Court TV, Comcast, Project GRAD USA, Project Grad Atlanta and Atlanta's public schools partnered to bring selected Atlanta high school students Court TV's Career's In Justice, an initiative that aims to inspire high school students to pursue careers in justice and law enforcement.  Panel participants included Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia Anne Elizabeth Barnes, Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, Assistant Chief of the Atlanta Police Department Alan J. Dreher and Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. 

Court TV anchor Jack Ford moderated the discussion between the panelists and 150 students from participating schools.  The panelists answered questions from the students and shared personal stories of milestones, mentors and experiences that led to their current careers.  The panelists also provided firsthand accounts of their current roles and responsibilities in justice and law enforcement.  During the panel, Court TV also announced a program for three $10,000 scholarships to be awarded to one student from each participating high school to pursue a career in law and justice. 

Careers in Justice uses Court TV's programming to depict real life experiences from professionals in justice and law enforcement to educate students about the rewarding careers that await them in the fields of law and law enforcement.  The program uses the power of television programming and the influence of community leaders to help today's youth realize their future potential.  For more information on Careers in Justice, visit or contact Karma Bambara at 404-827-2021.
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 New Media Relations "Best Practice" on CTPAA Web Site

CTPAA recently completed further updates to the Best Practices portion of the Resources and Education page on the CTPAA Web site.  A section titled "Media Relations" has been added and includes strategies for getting your message in the media, tools to help you achieve greater company goals through the media and a review of the basic tools and tricks of the trade.  Extensive examples from successful cable communications campaigns are cited.

Developing relationships with reporters and media outlets is crucial in helping an organization get its message in the media and ultimately helping the organization achieve company goals.  In Project X Box, Time Warner Cable promoted the full functionality of its high-speed Internet service by showcasing live, online gaming at the top ranked CBS affiliate in Beaumont, Texas, during a 40 minute demonstration.  X-Box game systems were installed at the station and at an employee's home.  During the program, the Time Warner Cable team competed against the morning show.  The demonstration led to a greater understanding of Time Warner Cable's advanced services, increased sales, and helped Time Warner Cable establish a working relationship with the media. 

The best practices and tips are compiled from a number of different areas in cable communications and 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 communications or 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, Improving Government Relations, 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 or 202-222-2372.
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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
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
AZN Television
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
Gospel Music Channel
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
Suddenlink Communications
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
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