Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

September 7, 2012 - About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:


HISTORY, Time Warner Cable and USA are ACC’s 2012 Golden Beacon Award Nominees

The Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) announced yesterday the three nominees for the association’s highest honor, the Golden Beacon Award. Nominees are:

• Vietnam in HD: Education Outreach and PSA Campaign, HISTORY
• Connect a Million Minds, Time Warner Cable
• Characters Unite, USA Network

ACC will honor the Golden Beacon Award nominees and announce the winner during the Beacon Awards Luncheon and Ceremony on Thursday, September 13, 2012, at the Hilton New York. The ceremony is the concluding event of ACC's annual conference, FORUM 2012: Communicator.2012 The Critical Skills for Today.

"The Golden Beacon is ACC's highest honor, presented each year to a single communications initiative that has had a profound and lasting effect on the industry and its various stakeholders,” said Pete Abel, 2012 Beacon Awards chair and senior vice president, corporate communications, Suddenlink. “Over the past year, three industry programs, HISTORY’s Vietnam in HD, Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds and USA Network’s Characters Unite, have exemplified the cable industry’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve, locally, nationally and globally.”

ACC members who judged the Beacon Awards nominated HISTORY for its Vietnam in HD: Education Outreach and PSA Campaign, created to educate young people about this important chapter in U.S. history and to encourage all Americans to thank our veterans, whether they served decades ago or have recently returned from service. Partnerships with key nonprofits, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), helped extend the reach of the program. HISTORY conducted a tour of four major cities with the VVMF’s Wall that Heals, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall. This campaign also included powerful PSAs and vignettes entitled “It’s Never Too Late to Thank a Vet” featuring HISTORY employees and everyday Americans who gave a simple Thank You to their family and community members who have served. The premiere run of the miniseries Vietnam in HD in the fall of 2011 was seen by an audience of more than 16 million; the education outreach campaign with supporting materials reached over 250,000 teachers and 7 million students. Perhaps most importantly, thousands of Vietnam veterans across the country were touched by this campaign.

In 2009, Time Warner Cable (TWC) decided to focus the majority of its philanthropic resources on a single cause, one that has been identified at the highest levels of leadership in the country as vital to our nation’s future, and one that the company could meaningfully affect. The result was Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), Time Warner Cable’s five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind commitment to connect young people in the wonders of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). To bring CAMM to life, TWC has developed strong national partnerships with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which TWC supports through on-air promotion and grants that help bring robotics programming to new communities, and the Coalition for Science After School (CSAS), the organization behind TWC’s “Connectory”, a free resource that makes it easy for parents and teachers to find informal STEM learning opportunities. In addition, TWC brings the impact of CAMM to its local communities by supporting robotics teams, science museums and other nonprofit organizations that get kids excited about STEM. To date, the public has pledged to connect more than 472,000 young minds to the wonders of STEM.

Characters Unite is USA Network’s public service campaign dedicated to combating prejudice and discrimination while promoting diversity and acceptance. In partnership with leading nonprofit organizations, the multiplatform initiative focuses on a wide range of civil and human rights issues, including racism, hate crimes, bullying, access for people with disabilities, gender discrimination and religious intolerance. In 2012 the campaign included extensive on-air programming such as the documentary “NFL Characters Unite” and specially-themed episodes of USA’s hit series; original Public Service Announcements (PSAs); digital content; and community outreach and high school education programs. While the effort is year-round, USA designated February as Characters Unite Month, a time when the Network shines a brighter spotlight on the importance of tolerance and mutual respect. This year, as the centerpieces of the Month, USA launched the “I Won’t Stand For…” initiative, which included a PSA, pop-up experiences nationwide and an employee activation, to send a message that people from all walks of life can and should no longer stand idly by in the face of bigotry and hate. In February alone, Characters Unite reached 118 million viewers on-air and more than 175,000 people participated in off-air events across the country.

ACC’s Golden Beacon Award recognizes a communications and public affairs initiative that has made an impact within the cable industry, while enhancing cable’s image nationwide. The 2011 Golden Beacon Award recognized MTV for its A Thin Line campaign.

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MTV Launches Fantasy Election ’12 Game to Reach Millenials

MTV announced from the Republican National Convention the launch of “Fantasy Election ’12.” The signature element of MTV’s “Power of 12” campaign, the game gives young people a new way to hold candidates accountable and rewards them for getting involved in the 2012 elections. Similar to Fantasy Football, “Fantasy Election ‘12” enables users to draft a team of candidates pursuing the presidency or Congress, earning and losing points based on how their players behave in the real world. Players can also earn bonus points for getting informed on political issues, by engaging and participating in the electoral process and by testing their political knowledge.

Thousands of people will win prizes for playing “Fantasy Election ’12,” with the first daily prizes set to be given away in early September. One grand prize winner will win a “Fantasy VMA Weekend” that includes a trip for the winner and three friends to attend the 2013 MTV “Video Music Awards,” along with $25,000 cash. Other top prizes include $10,000 cash, big screen TVs, home theatre systems, ultrabook laptops, and more. MTV will give away over 3,000 total prizes between early September and the Election, with dozens of people winning iTunes gift cards, discounts to, exclusive MTV content and other prizes on a daily basis.

Scoring in “MTV Fantasy Election ’12” is based on two things: how candidates behave and what players of the game do. Candidate performance is determined by objective data, provided by a range of non-partisan organizations, in five key areas: constituent engagement, honesty, transparency, civility, and public opinion. In addition to earning bonus points by reading news articles on POLITICO and BuzzFeed Politics, young people who “check-in” on their mobile devices to in-person town hall events or on-air political debates via foursquare and GetGlue will gain extra points. Players can also earn bonus points by signing up for an election day reminder from Rock the Vote, and points can be gained by sharing the game and getting friends involved, or by participating in a series of daily challenges that include questions from MTV’s “Rapper or Republican” and “Democrat or Diva” series.

To create a league, players will need between five to 12 participants. From there, each player will build a “dream team” of candidates by either hand-selecting politicians, or choosing the “pre-ranked” option. Players can create leagues until October 20, 2012. Candidate drafts happen automatically on Saturday of each week, and the first round of official game play will kick-off on Monday, September 10th, 2012. Each week, players can add, drop or trade candidates based on performance.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is the principal funder of the Fantasy Election ’12 game, providing a $250,000 grant. Building on MTV’s nearly 20-year Emmy and Peabody Award-winning political legacy with "Choose or Lose," MTV’s “Power of 12” campaign is built specifically to reflect the Millennial generation and changes in the economic and political climate, and is designed to empower them to have a major impact on Election Day and beyond. Forty-five million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in the 2012 election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country.

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Top Cable and Communications Executives to Address the Critical Skills for Today: Communicator.2012 at ACC’s FORUM 2012

Top cable communicators Ellen East, Shirley Powell, Misty Skedgell, Leigh Woisard and Michael Powell, interviewed by CableFAX Daily’s Mike Grebb, as well as communications experts Gary Sheffer and Maril MacDonald will address the skills that a communicator.2012 needs to succeed today during ACC’s FORUM 2012: Communicator.2012 The Critical Skills for Today, held September 12-13 at the Hilton New York. CNN’s Dana Bash will be featured as the moderator of Thursday’s election panel, It’s a Mad, Mad Political World. A complete agenda for FORUM 2012 and registration information can be found at

“This year FORUM will touch on the communications functions that every cable communicator needs in their tool box of skills,” said Steve Jones, executive director, Association of Cable Communicators. “Topics will look at external, internal, policy communications and even story-telling techniques. We’ve recruited speakers with expertise on the critical communications issues facing ACC members.”

Cable communicators who attend ACC’s jam-packed, content-filled, two-day annual conference will learn:

  • The New Model for Corporate Communications from General Electric's Gary Sheffer, vp, corporate communications & public affairs
  • What it Takes to be a Chief Communications Officer from Four CCO's including Ellen East, Shirley Powell, Gary Sheffer and Pamela Rucker Springs
  • The Evolution of Engagement from Maril MacDonald, CEO, Gagen MacDonald
  • How to Manage Your Execs from Misty Skedgell, svp, TBS, Inc. and Leigh Woisard, vp, Cox Communications
  • A Q&A on Washington Policy and Politics featuring Michael Powell, CEO, NCTA interviewed by CableFAX Daily's Mike Grebb
  • The Journalists' Point of View (II) from David Bauder, Anthony Crupi, Michael Grebb, Marisa Guthrie and Andrea Morabito
  • The Dish on Election Year Politics from Political Pros Arik Ben-Zvi, John Feehery, Karen Finney and Bruce Haynes moderated by Dana Bash, Senior Congressional Correspondent, CNN
  • How to Tell Your Story and Control Your Message from Donald Forbes, senior director, corporate communications, Bright House Networks
  • The Best of the Best Cable Communications Efforts of the Last Year at the 2012 Beacon Awards Ceremony

FORUM is ACC's redesigned, engaging, two-day (including the Beacon Awards® Gala), national, educational conference designed for cable communications and public affairs professionals who have responsibilities that incorporate communications, government affairs, public relations, customer service, publicity or any combination of these duties. Delegates range from front line employees to senior executives who share innovations, explore industry trends and discuss technological advances affecting the full spectrum of communications and public affairs issues. During FORUM, cable industry professionals strengthen their communications and public affairs skills, share best practices, and understand how communications and public affairs impact their organizations.

The full conference registration fee is $1000 and includes a ticket to the Beacon Awards luncheon program on Thursday starting at 12:45 pm. Individual day registration rates for either Wednesday (9/12) or Thursday (9/13) are $550. Additionally, individual tickets for the Beacon Awards luncheon are available for $150 per person.  You can register online or on-site. For information on FORUM, contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or

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Discovery Education Joined NASA and Musician for Premier of Song from Mars

NASA partnered with and Discovery Education to host an educational event at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to share findings about Mars with students and premiere a new song by broadcast from the surface of the red planet via the Curiosity Rover. Members of the team that successfully landed the rover on Mars explained to students the mission and the technology behind the song’s interplanetary transmission. then premiered “Reach for the Stars,” a new composition designed to inspire young people everywhere to reach for their dreams and to embrace STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education and careers in the field.

During the event,’s Foundation and Discovery Education, provider of digital resources to K-12 classrooms proven to impact student achievement, announced a youth engagement initiative to bring STEAM education to life for millions of students nationwide. The $10-million classroom program,, features NASA assets such as the Mars Curiosity Rover and is designed to inspire and cultivate the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators. The program is possible by the financial contributions of the Foundation and its partners and is executed by Discovery Education.

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Reserve a Table at the Beacon Awards Ceremony

Celebrate cable communications excellence at the 2012 Beacon Awards Luncheon and Ceremony (link) by reserving a table today. Concluding FORUM 2012 on September 13 at the Hilton New York, the Beacon Awards Luncheon gives you the opportunity to see the best cable communications campaigns and meet fellow communications professionals all while celebrating the value of your work to the industry. Table reservations are available to FORUM registrants at $2,000 for a table of eight people. For luncheon guests only, tables are $3,500 and include eight tickets to the luncheon. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at 202-222-2372 or

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Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes Partner with Los Angeles Lakers

Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are partnering with the Los Angeles Lakers on a series of community clinics that take place around Southern California this summer and fall. The clinics, dubbed Los Lakercitos Basketball Clinics, include basketball instruction, prizes and promotional items for the pre-selected participants. The first clinic of the series was held in late July with children from the Hawthorne Parks and Recreation Youth Basketball League. Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes previously partnered with the LA Galaxy on a similar clinic series.

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Editor’s Note

This is a special, FORUM 2012 edition of CPR Facts. The next CPR Facts will be published on Friday, September 21.

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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

Sard Verbinnen & Company

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