In truth, Pam Euler Halling has already had several lifetimes in cable. And don’t expect the curtain to fall anytime soon.
After working at several operator and content companies, she was ensconced at Disney when Michael Willner lured her to Insight in 1988. Since then she’s managed multiple departments and has been integral in creating the company’s digital strategy. Today she’s spearheading Insight’s new brand identification, including some hilarious on-camera spots featuring Willner himself. We asked Insight’s SVP, Brand Strategy & Research about programmers vs operators, the digital evolution and why she likes Mike.
CableFAX: What’s been a cable industry lightbulb moment for you?
PEH: When I was at Cox and the new video services were coming on the scene — HBO, CNN, eventually MTV and others — I was very aware of these networks but I realized most people had no idea what they were. It was exciting. There was a huge interest and desire for these networks, and I was on the inside with them.
CableFAX: Does it feel similarly exciting now with the digital evolution?
PEH: The big difference between then and now is competition. Today we are almost compelled to be more innovative. Back then we had our great stuff and no one had any other place to get it. Now we are in the position of having to provide the latest and greatest.
CableFAX: Which is harder, the content or operator side of the business?
PEH: While I was at Disney I focused on only one product, Disney Channel. It was all about trying to get my arms around that one channel. As an operator we have a whole array of products and services, and my focus is making sure the customers are getting what they want and need. Being on the operator side is harder because there are so many moving parts, and it’s a service business.
CableFAX: The most important message Insight needs to push?
PEH: We have an image of being a reliable, solid company. But we’re also embracing advanced technology and providing the best products available, and making them simple to use. And we are a company in touch with the communities we serve. We are like you. We share the same values.
CableFAX: Best thing about working with Michael Willner?
PEH: His sense of humor! And he’s someone I have always had so much respect for. He grew up in the industry. Bottom line — he wants to make sure we serve our customers well.