Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

December 20, 2013 - About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards 

Inside This Issue:

  March 21, 2014 - Beacon Awards® Entry Deadline 

On Thursday December 19 the association announced the 2014 entry deadline for the Beacon Awards® is March 21, 2014. The Beacon Awards have been cable’s highest recognition of communications and public affairs excellence since 1989.

The Beacon Awards Ceremony will be one of the highlights of ACC’s annual conference, FORUM 2014, June 3-5 in Atlanta at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

"Cable communicators make vital contributions to the bottom line of their companies and industry by telling cable's story, building constructive relationships with stakeholders, promoting products and services, and improving the quality of life for the customers and the communities they serve," said Pete Abel, 2014 Beacon Awards chair and senior vice president, corporate communications, Suddenlink Communications. "The Beacon Awards recognize the best of this work."

The 2014 Beacon Awards continue the ease-of-entry format first introduced in 2011. Entries may be submitted via email and have been designed to cut down on the amount of time to complete the entry process. Entrants need only to submit a project summary of up to two pages, a completed entry form and payment. However, individuals may continue to submit their entries by mail or via a delivery service or send hard copies of supplemental supporting materials.

All Beacon Award entries must represent work executed and results achieved between March 23, 2013, and March 21, 2014. More information may be found at:
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  Lustgarten Foundation Raises $1.95 Million 

The annual Holiday Rock & Roll Bash 13 held Thursday December 5 in New York’s Hard Rock Café generated a record $1.95 million to support The Lustgarten Foundation and its fight to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. Because the event is underwritten by Cablevision, AMC Networks and The Madison Square Garden Company, 100% of all funds raised during the event will go directly to fund pancreatic cancer research.

More than 1,300 cable industry executives and their guests attended the Holiday Rock & Roll Bash 13. Since its inception in 2001 the event has raised approximately $17 million for the Foundation to fund research on America's fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. For additional information call the Foundation office at 516-803-2304 or go to
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  Atlanta to Host FORUM: June 3-5, 2014 

Earlier this week the association announced it will hold the annual educational conference, FORUM 2014, in Atlanta, June 3-5, at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in the heart of downtown. Two Atlanta-based communications professionals will co-chair the conference: Misty Skedgell, senior vice president of corporate communications, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and Mallard Holliday, executive director of public affairs, Cox Communications, Inc.

“Atlanta is a great hub for cable operations, programming and technology and thus the ideal location for our industry’s communications professionals to gather for our annual conference,” said Association of Cable Communicators president Anthony Surratt, group vice president of corporate communications at Time Warner Cable.

Cisco, Cox, Turner, Weather, Comcast, Up and Arris are a few of the companies serving the cable industry that are based in or have significant operations in the Atlanta area. Other factors influencing the association’s choice of Atlanta were its flexible and frequent air travel options and convenient access to other major cities in the South and along the East Coast that are home to a large portion of the membership.

Downtown Atlanta offers visitors a wide range of diversions just steps away from the Omni Hotel including world class restaurants, World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, CNN studios, College Football Hall of Fame, Skyview Atlanta and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Additionally, by June 2014 the city’s new street car system will provide easy and fast access throughout downtown.

The Omni Hotel at CNN Center, 190 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, is holding a block of rooms for FORUM 2014. Reservations may be made by contacting the Omni at 800-962-6664 and reference: Association of Cable Communicators. Room rates are $159/night plus tax for up to four individuals sharing a single room. All members are encouraged to join Omni’s Select Guest program (free) prior to your stay to enjoy complementary Internet access, morning beverage, pressing (up to two items), shoe shine, newspaper and customized room preferences.

FORUM is ACC's redesigned national conference for cable communications and public affairs professionals who have responsibilities in corporate communications, government affairs, public relations, customer communications, social media, publicity and other communications disciplines. FORUM also includes ACC’s annual Beacon Awards® Gala. FORUM attracts cable industry professionals ranging from entry-level communicators to senior executives. For additional information go to
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  Volunteers Wanted for FORUM and Beacon Committees 

Are you interested in connecting with your fellow cable communicators? ACC needs volunteers for the FORUM 2014 and 2014 Beacon Award Committees. Get involved and help put your stamp on ACC programs to meet the needs of cable communicators.

FORUM Committee Members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2014 to the industry. Beacon Award volunteers manage the complete entry process from promotion to judging to the Beacon Awards Gala.

For more information on the committees, go to ACC’s Web site. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact ACC by emailing or calling 202-222-2373. You can also print out a volunteer form and fax it to ACC at 202-222-2371.
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  Nickelodeon and the USPS Team Up for SpongBob Mailpants 

Nickelodeon and the United States Postal Service recently launched “SpongeBob MailPants,” an educational letter-writing program that uses SpongeBob SquarePants to show kids the fun of writing, sending and receiving mail this holiday season. Through Jan. 4, 2014, kids can get special postage-paid, customized SpongeBob postcards at more than 25,000 Post Office locations nationwide to connect with their loved ones using the United States Postal Service.

In addition to the postcards, 30 mailboxes are being wrapped in a custom SpongeBob design in cities, including Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas; Hollywood, FL; Kirkwood, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; and Washington, DC, adding a blast of color and comedy to sidewalks this winter.

“This program is a great way to inspire kids to write and send cards and letters because it’s done with the fun, positivity and humor of the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants,” said Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer and president of consumer products for Nickelodeon. “SpongeBob MailPants is a terrific partnership between Nickelodeon and the Postal Service, and we’re thrilled that kids and families across the country can go to their local Post Office for some SpongeBob-inspired holiday cheer.”

“We’re excited to partner with Nickelodeon. This is a great, fun way to teach kids to write postcards. What better way to encourage kids to experience the excitement of sending personal correspondence than teaming up with SpongeBob, who is adored by children of all ages,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer at the United States Postal Service. “And the timing is perfect. A postcard is a terrific way to send a holiday thank you.”

Kids, parents, and teachers who want to learn more about letter writing and the “SpongeBob MailPants” program can visit to find a step-by-step, interactive video tutorial that guides kids through the process of writing a letter and provides printable practice sheets. The site also includes customizable and printable SpongeBob stationery that will be updated with new imagery throughout the program as well as writing-themed SpongeBob video clips. For additional information contact Maggie Wang at or 212-846-6381.
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  Cox Teams with USA Network in Anti-Bullying Campaign 

In today’s digital world, bullying does not just take place in the schoolyard or hallways. Increasingly, harassment and intimidation are taking place online. The first step to curbing this trend is open communication, especially among our youth.

This is the impetus for the Cox’s Take Charge! of Online Bullying campaign, a year-long focus for Cox during 2014. Events will held in various cities including roundtables with high school students from across the country, and co-hosted with USA Network’s Characters Unite, where youth will talk about the impact of cyberbullying on their lives and steps they can take to curb the trend. Characters Unite was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network’s Characters Welcome brand, and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to combating prejudice, discrimination and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance, on-air, online and in communities around the country.

The average family uses five Internet-enabled devices at home, and not all of these devices have parental controls like computers. Therefore, children today have a greater chance of being exposed to some form of bullying during their adolescence. Fortunately, there are resources available to help prevent bullying and provide support for those confronted by it, such as the resources available through Take Charge!

Take Charge! is a community outreach campaign developed by Cox to empower parents and caregivers to manage their children’s access to mass media content. Now in its tenth year, this initiative strives to increase customers’ awareness and use of the parental controls and filtering tools already available on cable, Internet and wireless services. For additional information contact Mallard Holliday at or 404-843-5981.
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  Food Network and Time Warner Cable Cook Up Science 

As parents and children gather around an over-stuffed Thanksgiving table, it would be easy to assume that every five-course feast is simply the product of its core ingredients. Carrots and celery, turkey and mashed potatoes, and the list goes on and on. But grandma’s love and a pinch of salt alone don’t make the pie dough rise. This year, Time Warner Cable in partnership with the Food Network’s Chef Anne Burrell, invited America’s kids to the grown-up’s table and engaged family members of all ages to understand the math and science behind each much anticipated recipe.

On Wednesday, November 27, Burrell participated in a White House “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout, along with White House pastry chef Bill Yosses and other special guests, to help kids and their parents see that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are key ingredients for culinary success. With more and more kids discovering that a hot kitchen can indeed be the coolest room in the house, Time Warner Cable and Chef Burrell were aiming to wrap some fun and foodie science lessons with a handful of turkey day cooking tips. Parents and their children were able to ask questions by using the Twitter hashtag #WeTheGeeks.

As part of Food Network’s partnership with Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds program, Chef Burrell is also starring in a new PSA series. The video depicts a private pizza-making session and Burrell shares a few words about how math and science have helped make her a rock star chef. For a special exclusive, individuals may also go to Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds page to see the recipes for Burrell’s grilled pizzetta with parmigiano, prosciutto and arugula as well as her signature marinara sauce. For a list of Burrell’s most popular recipes and more information about the chef, you may visit her Food Network blog.  For additional information about Connect a Million Minds, contact Tessie Topol at or 212-364-8290.
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  Discovery Education, John Hopkins & Principals Host Great Leaders Summit 

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Discovery Education and Johns Hopkins University School of Education announced a new collaboration to enhance the skills of secondary school principals. The three organizations will cooperatively develop and deliver a unique professional development event providing participating principals with leadership skills and knowledge needed to create dynamic digital learning environments in their schools.  Entitled the Great Leaders Summit, this event will be held July 20-24, 2014 at Discovery Education's global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

During this five-day event, attendees will participate in a variety of interactive sessions led by expert facilitators from NASSP, Discovery Education, and Johns Hopkins University School of Education. School leadership and educational technology experts will explore a variety of topics during the Great Leaders Summit, including: leading school culture change; strategic decision making; using social media to tell school success stories; the future of educational technology in schools; and integrating educational technologies and digital content into classroom instruction at the school level.

“NASSP is proud to collaborate with Discovery Education and Johns Hopkins University to further our mission of promoting excellence in middle and high school leadership,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director, NASSP. “This summit will facilitate the growth of critical skills today’s principals need to serve as visionary technology leaders and effect meaningful change in their schools.”

Space in this exclusive professional development event is limited.  For more information, including registration information, visit or contact John Nori, at or 703.860.7263.
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  Bright House Angels Bring Good Cheer to Families in Need 

Nicknamed the “Bright House Angels” by the staff at Hope and Help Center of Central Florida; however, they look more like Santa’s elves dressed in their hats and red and green garb. For the past 12 years, Bright House Networks employee volunteers led by director of business solutions service implementation Gary Walsh have brought holiday cheer to thousands of children who belong to AIDS- and HIV-affected families in Central Florida.

The angels delivered hundreds of bicycles and thousands of gifts. Instead of Santa’s sleigh, the gifts arrived in a caravan of ten service vans and a box truck. The volunteers also made gift deliveries to students at seven Orange County Public Schools, which are part of a special program designed to benefit those families who can’t afford gifts for Christmas. This year was an especially strong year for giving, with more than 350 children benefiting from the generosity.

Many other employees were also involved in the “Christmas Angel” project, having selected the names of “Angels” from special Christmas trees placed in the Bright House Networks’ office lobbies. The employees then bought the gifts on the child’s “wish list.” That often includes a bicycle with more than 140 bikes given out this year.

“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am to those employees who adopted an Angel. There is no way we could have been so successful without your kindness and generosity. Just [to] know that you made a difference in the life of a child who has a very difficult home situation,” Gary said in a thank you email to employees, complete with photographs of the volunteers making the December 10 delivery to Hope and Help Center in Winter Park near Orlando. For additional information contact Brian Craven at or 407-215-5597.
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  Maximizing Returns on Local Events – An ACC Brief

The recently published ACC Brief, Maximizing Returns on Local Events through Smart PR Planning is available on the ACC Web site. All members may download a free copy of the white paper by going to the “Resources” tab on the ACC Web site and then clicking on Knowledge Center on the drop down menu. You may then access the white paper by clicking on the link, ACC Briefs.

The paper outlines the important role local events play in communications plans and how to maximize the return on every local event dollar. Local events serve the dual-purpose of distinguishing your company from the competition while reinforcing your image as a leader. The challenge is to ensure every event clearly supports the organization’s strategic objectives. The paper outlines step-by-step planning and examines every aspect of preparing for a local event, including check lists before, during and after the event. This Brief addresses the strategy, tactics and details that go into creating a smart, results-oriented PR plan for local events.

On November 13 the paper’s author, Kimberly Elek, co-founder and chief communications strategist, McReynolds Elek Communications, held a webinar to highlight key areas of the paper addressing strategy, tactics, and nitty-gritty details that go into creating a results driven PR plan for local events. ACC members may view a recorded version of the webinar by going to the Online Educational Portal and clicking on Live Webinars and Self-Paced Programs. A copy of the paper may also be downloaded from this portal as well. For additional information contact Steve Jones at or 202-222-2373.
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  Comcast & Khan Academy Announce Multi-Year Partnership 

Comcast’s executive vice president David L. Cohen and Salman Khan, founder of the non-profit Khan Academy, announced a comprehensive partnership that will combine the free, educational content of Khan Academy and Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.

For Comcast, this is one of the largest commitments the company has made to a non-profit partner. It includes hundreds of thousands of PSAs, digital promotion in both English and Spanish, as well as multiple joint promotion opportunities around the country over the next few years.

"While Comcast has made great progress connecting more than 1 million low-income Americans, or more than 250,000 families, to the Internet through our Internet Essentials program, there are many more families who are still eligible to participate, but have not yet signed up," said Cohen. "Research consistently shows that the number one barrier to broadband adoption is a bucket of digital literacy issues, including a lack of understanding of the relevancy of the Internet and of the value it provides. Khan Academy is almost uniquely positioned to help lower that barrier because its content is the ultimate proof point of the value of the Internet."

In a survey by Comcast of its Internet Essentials program subscribers, 98 percent indicated their kids use the Internet for homework and 94 percent feel that Internet access in the home has had a positive impact on their child’s grades. Khan Academy offers a personalized learning experience which includes over 5,000 free educational videos and 100,000 practice problems, in areas from basic math to college level biology and art history. Khan Academy is helping children do better in school and prepare them to compete for 21st century jobs.

"In order to scale our free resources to the world, Khan Academy developed our materials on an online platform," said Khan. "This approach helps us reach millions of individuals. In order to get the full value of Khan Academy, you need access to broadband. We’re excited to partner with Comcast, so we can help expand the number of people who can gain access to our site."

Khan Academy is a non-profit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. In the last two years, Khan Academy has delivered over 330 million lessons and 1.6 billion exercise problems. Currently, it has 10 million users per month and over 4 million exercise problems completed each day. Internet Essentials provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person. For additional information contact Tracy Baumgartner at
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  Welcome Arris, ACC's Latest Corporate Member! 

For information on how your organization can join ACC as a 2014 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
Charter Communications
Cox Communications
Discovery Communications
ESPN, Inc.
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Friends & Associates
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Crown Media Family Networks
C-SPAN Networks
Midcontinent Communications
National Cable & Telecommunications Association
NBC Universal TV Networks Distribution
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment
Suddenlink Communications
Univision                                                                                               Back to Top

PO Box 75007 Washington DC 20013 · Phone 800.210.3396 or 202.222.2370 · Fax 202.222.2371