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February 23, 2006
Contact:  Michelle Butler
(202) 775-1082

BET, COURT TV, and VH1 are
CTPAA�s 2006 Golden Beacon™ Award Nominees


Washington, DC � The Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA) today named its nominees for the association’s highest honor, the Golden Beacon Award™. Nominees are:

  • “BET SOS Telethon,” BET
  • “Unexpected Heroes,” Court TV
  • “VH1 and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis – A Partnership,” VH1

“These three public affairs initiatives exemplify the cable industry’s commitment, day-in and day-out, to societal concerns in communities across the country and the world,” said Todd Schoen, 2006 Beacon Awards™ co-chair and senior vice president, affiliate marketing & ad sales, Fox Cable Networks.

Bev Wilhide, 2006 Beacon Awards™ co-chair and director, public affairs, Comcast, added, “Among its many community efforts, cable is working to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, recognize and honor the efforts of public servants, and increase awareness of the global fight against diseases.”

CTPAA’s Golden Beacon Award™ recognizes a public affairs initiative that has made an impact within the cable industry, while enhancing cable’s image nationwide. The 2005 Golden Beacon™ was awarded to Lifetime Television for its public affairs initiative “Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women.

CTPAA members who judged the Beacon Awards™ nominated BET for its “BET SOS Telethon.” Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, BET reached out to Marc Morial, the National Urban League’s President and CEO and the former Mayor of New Orleans, to offer the network’s support in raising needed funds to aid victims. Other partners included the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Essence Communications and the Congressional Black Caucus. BET’s SOS (Saving Our Selves) Telethon brought together a number of celebrities, corporations, and viewers in an amazing effort to bring hope and much-needed funds to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The effort raised over $12 million for the American Red Cross.

Court TV is a nominee for its program “Unexpected Heroes” which is a multiplatform campaign that honors local heroes though programming specials, awards ceremonies and PSAs. The programming series are one-hour specials that depict incredible true stories and poignant reunions. The most recent specials featured heroes that emerged from Hurricane Katrina. Unexpected Heroes – ThePower of Katrina highlights the stories of individuals who went above & beyond all demands of duty to rescue those affected by the overwhelming onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. These individuals worked selflessly for others while their own circumstances were uncertain, even desperate. The other special, NOPD: The Aftermathof Katrina, featured two New Orleans police officers who were caught in the eye of the storm and withstood unbelievable obstacles to provide aid to the terrified and ravaged city. Court TV also held an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, to honor “Heroes of Hurricane Katrina.” The honorees, who were selected by the cable operators in Gulf Region hardest hit by the hurricane, Cox, CableOne, Comcast and Mediacom, were flown to Washington, DC, along with their families, and honored at an Unexpected Heroes Breakfast by their congressional representatives. The heroes were featured extensively in local press and in customized PSAs.

In July 2004, VH1 teamed up with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to create an unprecedented collaborative public education campaign designed to raise awareness about, and inspire action in, the fight against global AIDS. Working on the premise that the Global Fund is the world’s “war chest” in the fight against the spread and devastation of HIV/AIDS in developing nations, VH1 created a series of provocative awareness spots. These public service announcements were part of a larger campaign, which continued in 2005 and included online resources and programming to educate viewers about the growing concerns currently surrounding this global pandemic. In August 2005, VH1 deepened its commitment by airing VH1 News Presents: Tracking the Monster: Ashley Judd and India.Arie Confront AIDS in Africa, an intimate documentary that examines the global emergency of HIV/AIDS by following India.Arie and Ashley Judd in Africa as they volunteer with two HIV/AIDS projects funded by The Global Fund. As a result of VH1’s AIDS awareness programming, activities and outreach, HIV/AIDS messaging has reached over 87 million households in the U.S. and 1.5 million unique visitors at The campaign also received media attention on a global level. VH1 donated $1.3 million in airtime to The Global Fund public service announcements in 2005. The scope of the global campaign is unprecedented and VH1 will continue to work to emphasize the important, life-saving work underway to stem the tide of AIDS.

CTPAA will honor the Golden Beacon Award™ nominees during the Beacon Awards™ Gala, set for Tuesday, March 21, 2006, at The JW Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C. The Beacon Awards™ Gala is one of the highlights of CTPAA’s FORUM 2006: “Cable at the Crossroads: Shaping Change in a Competitive World.” FORUM is the cable industry’s annual educational event dedicated to the issues facing public affairs professionals.

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CTPAA is the only national, professional organization specifically addressing the issues, needs and interests of the cable industry's public affairs professionals. Its mission is to develop and promote public affairs excellence to help achieve industry, corporate and social goals. A strong advocate of the public affairs professional's participation in all aspects of corporate decision-making processes, CTPAA works to enhance each member's status and influence through skill building and professional development. For more information on CTPAA, go to


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