27. Bob Gessner
President, Massillon Cable TV

Years in Cable: 33

Education: BBA, College of William & Mary

Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: Have fun!

Family-owned Massillon’s top man was named vice chairman of the ACA this year, where he previously served on the Board regarding tech and policy issues. An early adopter of all-digital service and a perennial strategic thinker, the second-generation Massillon president thinks TV Everywhere is cable’s biggest innovation of the past year. Gessner’s mother and father founded Massillon in 1965 and his sister, brother and wife remain at the company, too. To his children, he offers the following advice: “I have daughters, so I have always told them, ‘There is only one man you should believe when he says ‘Trust me,’ and you are talking to him right now’.”

The one burning question I have for Siri on my iPhone 4S: Who is Siri?

My favorite meal that I can also prepare myself:
Deep fried turkey

The one topping that should never be put on a hot dog: I am "old school."  Mustard is the only acceptable topping for a hot dog.

The biggest innovation in cable over the last year has been… TV Everywhere

If I had to pick a personal theme song, it would be… “Born To Run”

My favorite restaurant: My wife is a great cook, so my favorite restaurant is my own kitchen.

My favorite “going out” town: San Francisco

The one thing I tell my kids about success in life: I have daughters, so I have always told them "There is only one man you should believe when he says ‘Trust me’ and you are talking to him right now."

Worst thing I’ve ever heard someone say in a meeting: Probably the worst thing I have ever heard someone say at a meeting is me saying, "That sounds like a good idea.  Let’s do it."

My best technique for deterring time-wasting office visits from co-workers: I always welcome my co-workers to talk to me.

Bands I would actually go see live: Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Steely Dan

My favorite business and/or motivational book: Recently finished "Being Strategic," by Erika Andersen.

My favorite sports team: I don’t watch or follow any sport.

My favorite vacation spot: is always the next one.  Most recent was Havasu Canyon in Arizona.  Spectacular, but I am still looking forward to the next.

My guilty television pleasure is: Turning it off and reading a book.

When I look at my cable set-top box, I can’t help but think that… It shouldn’t cost so much and the navigation system should be much better.

When it comes to retransmission consent, cable operators should… Be realistic (unfortunately).

If I invented my own app it would… I would like to create one to easily report loud commercials for further analysis.

How many companies have you worked for since graduating from college?

The Daily


FCC Renews Consumer Advisory Committee

FCC chmn Ajit Pai renewed the charter of its Consumer Advisory Committee for an 11th two-year term, selecting 29 members for the group. American Consumer Institute

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up