Celebration of Leadership Gala Unveils Cablefax Top 100

Cablefax held its Celebration of Leadership gala Thursday evening, honoring the Cablefax People to Watch, Top Lawyers, Tech Awards, Top Ops, and of course, the Cablefax 100. The full house featured executives from all over the country, sharing seasoned wisdom and friendly banter.

When we asked Top Lawyers honorees on stage how the ending of  “Game of Thrones” would have been different if a lawyer had been involved, many pleaded the fifth. Showtime evp, general counsel Gwen Marcus cracked up the room after declaring she’d never even heard of the show from rival network HBO.

Cablefax People to Watch honorees weighed in on what theme songs describes their jobs. Maurice Garcia, senior principal engineer for Comcast Cable, drew laughs by citing Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.”

Cablefax recognized several big categories throughout the evening, including Salesperson of the Year, Jason Brown of Xandr; Sales Team of the Year, Newsmax TV; and R&D Team of the Year, National Geographic Data & Insights team.

“We grew from zero to 70 million subs in two and a half years. We’ve done deals with every major cable operator, except one, and you know who you are, you’re out there!,” joked Cathy Rasenberger, president of Rasenberger Media, who handles Newsmax’s distribution efforts. “There’s been growing demand for more independent and diverse voices on cable, particularly in the news space, subscribers were demanding it and operators are acknowledging it.”

Rasenberger was joined on stage by Andy Biggers, Newsmax’s recently hired svp, content distribution—another sign of the independent network’s success on the distribution front.

The Top Ops winners continued to shine, with MSO of the Year Altice USA and Independent Operator of the Year Vast Broadband taking home the big awards. Grande/RCN/Wave was honored with the Evolution Award, and Cable ONE, soon to be Sparklight, brought home the Customer Service Award. Read more about them in Cablefax: The Magazine’s special July Top Ops issue, which will be released at the NCTC and ACA Connects Independent Show.

Winners for Tech Awards included CobbleCord for Commercial Product, Service or Software, CSG’s Ascendon for Cloud Solution, The Weather Channel for its IMR Storytelling experience in VR/AR, and Mediacom’s AI assistant Molli in AI/Machine Learning. The big winner of the Tech Awards was NCTI for Tech Team of the Year.

The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the Cablefax 100. All honorees in attendance were recognized on stage. Ann Carlsen, founder/CEO of Carlsen Resources, said the quickest way to get things done in negotiations  is to “just ask.” Smithsonian Network EVP & Chief Programming Officer David Royle gave a fitting acceptance speech on the anniversary of D-Day, calling out his family members for their service in World War II.

The magazine, which includes the ranking of the Top 100, was available at the end of the evening. Check out the digital issue here, profiles of all the honorees here, and photos from the event here  .

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