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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2009
Contact:  Michelle Butler
(202) 222-2372
mbutler@cablecommunicators.org

ACC Announces ACC Community Bridges, ESPN Good Sport

and Joel A. Berger Award Winners

The Afterschool Alliance, Cox Communications in Florida and MTV

to be Honored during the 2009 Beacon Awards Ceremony on October 26

Washington, DC ––The Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) announced today the winners of the ACC Community Bridges Award, the ESPN Good Sport Award and the Joel A. Berger Award.  The association created the ACC Community Bridges Award, sponsored by WE tv's WE Volunteer initiative, in 2004 to recognize outstanding partners outside of the cable industry, and this year ACC will honor the Afterschool Alliance.  Cox Communications in Florida will receive the ESPN Good Sports Award, given annually to a project that generates outstanding community involvement through education and athletics, for its initiative "The Negro League Baseball Project."  MTV will receive the Joel A. Berger Award for its initiative "GYT: Get Yourself Tested."  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.

"The Beacon Awards Ceremony celebrates the depth and breadth of the cable industry's efforts to improve the communities it serves," said Janice Caluda, 2009 Beacon Awards chair and vice president, operations, Florida Cable Telecommunications Association.  "Afterschool programs, diversity and public health are three of the many important social issues cable has taken a lead role in addressing these past 20 years."

The cable industry is committed to improving the communities in which it serves, and partner organizations or individuals are often instrumental to the success of cable's efforts.  Since its inception in 2000, the Afterschool Alliance has partnered with the cable industry to help tell the afterschool story, and expand afterschool programs for children.  Every school day afternoon, more than 15 million children across the U.S. are alone and unsupervised.  The Afterschool Alliance is working to change that, to ensure that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs to keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.  Cable has been a key supporter of the Alliance's PSA campaigns by donating time and resources to tape interviews.  The centerpiece of this partnership has been Bright House Networks and the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association's work to produce two cable specials on afterschool.  Cable in the Classroom, Bright House Networks and HBO have all worked with the Afterschool Alliance to help bring local afterschool voices to Washington, DC, for its annual conference and awards gala with Members of Congress.  Accepting the ACC Community Bridges Award on behalf of the Afterschool Alliance is Jodi Grant, executive director of the organization.

ACC Board Member Rosa Gatti, senior vice president, communications counsel and corporate outreach, ESPN, will present the ESPN Good Sport Award to Mike Giampietro, vice president of public affairs, operations and system manager, Cox Communications for "The Negro Baseball League Project".  Cox Communications in Florida wanted to take a large and bold step to enrich understanding of diversity among employees and in the community.  The goal of Cox leadership was to create a program that would capture hearts as well as stimulate minds; to tell a story that would demonstrate the pain that can result from exclusion, the riches to mine from diversity and the triumph of the human spirit.  Cox did this by bringing "living history" to Gainesville, Florida, in the form of nine former Negro Baseball League players who spent 2 days sharing their stories with Cox employees, community leaders and children of all ages.   In those memorable hours, Cox provided the forums for the Negro League veterans to deliver a more authentic idea of the individual and social costs that result from a society that does not allow some of its members to full participation to as many audiences as possible.   

Larry Dunn, publisher, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News, will present the Joel A. Berger Award to Lily Williamson, manager, MTV public affairs for its "GYT: Get Yourself Tested" initiative.  Each year, under 30-year-olds is a larger share of new HIV infections than any other age group in the United States.  One in five Americans living with the virus doesn't know they're infected.  Other STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, are even more common - with one in two sexually active Americans being infected by age 25, and most do not know.  To address this public health crisis, MTV and The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) - as part of their boundary-shattering "It's Your (Sex) Life" campaign - recently joined with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch GYTPegged to National STD Awareness Month (April '09), the campaign was purpose-built to inspire a critical mass of young people to be tested for STDs, including HIV.  It engaged its target audience everywhere they were: on MTV, MTV.com, social networking sites, pop culture blogs, mobile devices, at school, and in nearly 880 PPFA clinics nationwide.

ACC will honor the ACC Community Bridges Award, the ESPN Good Sports Award and the Joel A. Berger Award winners during the Beacon Awards Gala on Monday, October 26, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center kicking off ACC's annual conference FORUM 2009: Communicating Cable 3.0: People, Products & Value.  FORUM is the cable industry's only annual educational event dedicated to the issues facing communications and public affairs professionals.

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The Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) is the only national, professional organization specifically addressing the issues, needs and interests of the cable industry's communications and public affairs professionals. Its mission is to develop and promote cable communications excellence through professional development to help achieve industry and corporate goals. ACC works to enhance each member's status and influence through skill building and professional development. For more information on ACC, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/

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