Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

April 13, 2012 - About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards


Inside This Issue:


Career Connections Profile: Anthony Surratt

My job and what it entails:
Group Vice President of Corporate Communications for Time Warner Cable. I’m in the NYC corporate office, overseeing employee communications (we have 51,000 employees), corporate social responsibility, philanthropy and executive communications, and work on corporate reputation and issues management. I’m part of an amazing department led by Chief Communications Officer Ellen East, and I oversee a group of 12 wonderfully talented people.

Cable work history:
Started at Cox Enterprises in Atlanta in 1993 (working for Ellen) and moved to the cable company, Cox Communications, in 1995 (again, working for Ellen). I was involved in every PR function at Cox in my years there. Left in 2008 to join TWC (yep, working for Ellen – I think there’s a pattern emerging here).

Work history B.C. (before cable):
Internal communications at two manufacturing companies.

ACC history and involvement:
I must have joined around 1995. I’ve been on every committee, mainly Beacon Awards and FORUM. I’ve been on the board for several years and am Vice President now.

Favorite ACC member benefit:
I love FORUM and think it’s a worthwhile and educational event. Of course, I also have to mention Beacon Awards and the Mentor Program (with a shout-out to my wonderful mentee, Allison Watters).

First job out of college:
I worked at a manufacturing plant in rural North Carolina. My office, which I shared with four people, was in a trailer outside the large, loud manufacturing plant, which made fiberboard for furniture. I did employee communications, which back then (early ‘90s) involved mainly writing a newsletter. I was the lone communications person, so I flailed a bit, even though in retrospect I learned a lot. When I moved to my second job, at Southwire Company in Carrollton, Ga., I really benefitted from being on an established communications team.

What I’m working on today:
It changes day-to-day, certainly, but on top of my list today are: 1) developing plans for our upcoming corporate social responsibility report; 2) coordinating with a nonprofit partner on a fundraising dinner honoring our CEO Glenn Britt; and 3) about 27 things you’d call “misc. team management.”

Best thing about my job:
Working with smart, talented people and walking to work.

How my job has changed in the past year:
I think social media have changed all of our jobs dramatically. Communicating with customers, employees and others is so different now than just months ago. The risks are greater, but so too are the potential rewards from a communications standpoint. It’s certainly not dull.

If I could change one thing about my job:
I was going to say I’d make all 14 million TWC customers and millions more potential customers fall deeply in love with us, but then I guess I’d be out of a job.

Biggest professional accomplishment:
Michelle Butler will hurt me if I don’t say winning the Golden Beacon Award with my former Cox colleagues.

Worst professional mistake (at least the worst I will admit):
Oh, there are plenty. This one probably isn’t the worst, but it’s one I’ll own up to: Years ago, interviewing for a job, I sent my thank-you letter to the department head with whom I’d just interviewed. I misspelled her first name and so mangled her last name I don’t know how the letter even got to her. But it did. She must have taken pity on poor, stupid me because I actually got the job.

Best lesson I’ve learned in my career:
Do your job and do it well. If you do, the advancement and rewards will come (although they probably won’t be on your schedule and might take different form than you’d imagined). The key is staying focused on what you can control – i.e., doing your job the best you can.

Advice for newer communications pros:
Your career might develop on a different path than you thought it would, but keep an open mind. The key is continuing to grow at whatever you’re doing and at all stages of your career.

Graduated from Anderson University in Indiana; majored in communications (print journalism and PR).

Husband Todd and two dogs, Ginger (the best pound dog ever) and Annabelle (a rescued Dachshund with one tooth in her mouth).

Favorite cable channel(s):
HGTV, TV Land and AMC

Grew up in southwest Virginia and called Atlanta home for nearly two decades.

What I’m passionate about (besides family, job and the cable industry):
Art and interior design.

Editor’s Note: Career Connections member profiles will be a new, regular feature in CPR Facts. If you would like to participate or suggest someone for a profile, please contact Michelle Butler.

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Earn the Recognition You Deserve by Entering the 2012 Beacon Awards

Are you an award-winning cable communicator? Earn the recognition you deserve for your stellar cable communications work by entering the 2012 Beacon Awards. This year the deadline for entries is Friday, May 4.

The Beacon Awards honor excellence in cable communications and public affairs by recognizing the best cable communications campaigns and tactics of the past year. Beacon Awards finalists and winners achieve peer, industry and local market recognition for their exemplary work while setting a standard for their colleagues to emulate.

It is easier than ever to enter the 2012 Beacon Awards! ACC has simplified the entry process, the categories and the entry form. Your Beacon Award entry must include a one-and-a-half to two-page project summary (shorter than in 2011), completed entry form and payment, all of which you may email to ACC. You may choose to supplement your entry with up to three files of your strongest support materials and three minutes of video highlights.  The 2012 Beacon Awards Call for Entries details further how to submit an entry.

Again, the deadline to enter the 2012 Beacon Awards is May 4, 2012. Entries must represent work executed and results achieved between May 13, 2011, and May 4, 2012. If you have questions, visit the Beacon Awards frequently asked questions section on the ACC Web site or contact Michelle Butler.

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More than 67,000 to Participate in Comcast Cares Day

More than 67,000 Comcast and NBCUniversal employees, their family members and friends are expected to volunteer at 670 projects in 39 states and Washington, D.C., on April 21, 2012, for the 11th annual Comcast Cares Day. This Golden Beacon Award winning initiative is one of the largest single days of corporate volunteering in the nation since its inception in 2001.

Comcast Cares Day volunteers will work on projects such as painting a health clinic, landscaping a school playground or delivering new books and computers to a library. In California 17 schools impacted by budget cuts will receive volunteer makeovers, and local elected officials will be on hand to help with planting shrubs, repainting walls, building picnic tables and bookshelves, repairing fences, weeding flower beds, power-washing playgrounds, replacing bark and performing landscaping projects. Throughout Western Washington and Spokane, volunteers will improve more than a dozen locations for partner nonprofits and schools such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Cascade High School, Eastside Audubon Society, El Centro de La Raza, Fife Parks Department, Habitat for Humanity of Grays Harbor, Metro Parks STAR (South Tacoma Activity and Recreation) Center, Northeast Community Center, Northwest Harvest, Rebuilding Together of Thurston County, Salvation Army, Tacoma Urban League, Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation, and Wing Luke Asian Museum.

The Comcast Foundation will provide grants to local community partner organizations across the country on behalf of each volunteer who participates on Comcast Cares Day. The grants will help Comcast’s community partners continue their mission of serving the community throughout the year. By the conclusion of Comcast Cares Day 2012, the initiative will have donated more than 2.5 million hours of service since 2001 and awarded more than $11 million in grants to community-based partners. For more information on Comcast’s volunteer and community investment initiatives, visit

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2012 ACC Cable Communications Institute June 20-22 in New York City

Mark your calendar to attend ACC’s 7th Cable Communications Institute, June 20-22, 2012, in New York City. Produced in cooperation with the Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the Institute will be held at Syracuse’s Lubin House in New York City adjacent to Central Park on 61st Street.

This graduate-level program is designed for executives who would like to expand their knowledge base and advance their capabilities. Cable industry executives from programming networks, cable systems, industry suppliers and related organizations are invited to register to enhance their expertise on the overall role and impact of communications and public affairs within an organization.

The Communications Institute is ACC’s signature professional development event for cable communicators. “Becoming more effective communicators is a never ending process. At the Institute, we explore state-of-the-art communications in today’s world,” said ACC President, Rosa Gatti, senior vice president, communications counsel and corporate outreach, ESPN, Inc.

The upcoming Institute will review multiple communications techniques, incorporating employee communications, technology tools, social responsibility and public affairs activities. Participants will enhance practical skills that are completely transferable to their daily work during this 2.5 day program.

Space is limited to the first 25 qualified applicants. Tuition for the 2012 Institute is $2,100 per individual on or before June 8, 2012. On June 9 and after, the fee is $2,300. Tuition covers all instructional materials and most meals. Travel and housing expenses are not included in this fee. For additional information or to register, contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or via email at Information on the program may also be found by visiting

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Bright House Networks Expands its Community Service Day Program

Bright House Networks has expanded its Community Service Day, an employee volunteer initiative in Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California. Launched in Tampa in 2005, the Bright House Networks’ Community Service Day program enables employees to volunteer in their community during work hours.

The program gives all full-time employees one regularly scheduled workday each calendar year to volunteer and part-time employees four hours per calendar year to volunteer. They serve at afterschool programs, public schools, and arts and cultural, civic, environmental and community service organizations. In 2011 more than 200 Bright House Networks executives served on the board of directors for more than 230 organizations.

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ACC Offers Trial Membership—Six Months Free

Now is the best time to encourage your peers to join ACC. The association has a “test drive” trial membership initiative that allows prospective members to participate in the association’s various programs and professional development activities on a trial basis for six months free and without further obligation.

With the “test drive” membership, prospective members can join the organization without paying any up-front fees, and experience all the benefits ACC has to offer, including a comprehensive Web site, online chats, webinars and ACC Briefs on key topics of interest for six months. To continue benefits and access to ACC programs after the trial period ends, new members simply pay half of the first year’s dues, or $100 to complete the year. The “test drive” program has been expanded and now runs through December 31, 2012. For more information, check out the registration form online or contact Michelle Butler at or 202-222-2372.

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Cable Networks Light It Up Blue for Autism

Cable partnered with Autism Speaks to Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 to help raise awareness and shine a bright light on autism as a growing public health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently reports approximately one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. Cable networks ran a 15-second PSA about autism, and some turned their logo and branding blue for the day as well.

Participating networks include: AMC, Animal Network, BIO, Bravo, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, Food Network, Fuse, FX, Fox Movie Channel, FX Movie Channel, H2, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime Movie Network, Military Channel, MSG Nets, MTV, MTV2, MTVU, Spike, Style, Sundance Channel, TV Land, Velocity, VH1, VH1 Classic and WE TV. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright (the former CEO of NBC Universal), the grandparents of a child with autism.

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Thank You, Corporate Members!

For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a 2012 corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to

Golden Benefactors
A+E Networks
AMC Networks Inc.
Bright House Networks
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Cox Communications
ESPN, Inc.
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Friends & Associates
Cable ONE
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Crown Media Family Networks
C-SPAN Networks
Discovery Communications
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Midcontinent Communications
NBC Universal TV Networks Distribution
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment
Suddenlink Communications

PR Newswire/Multivu
Sard Verbinnen & Company

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