BY K. C. NEEL The Cable TV Pioneers is inducting a record 28 cable executives to its ranks this year during an awards ceremony to be held at the Union League Club in Chicago on Sunday, June 8. It will be the organization’s 37th annual induction ceremony. The Cable TV Pioneers was created by a group of cable executives in 1966 during the NCTA convention in Miami to recognize the contributions made to the industry by a select few. It continued as a social club for attendees of the annual cable convention. Over the years, the group’s focus has expanded to preserving the history of the cable industry. To qualify as a Cable Pioneer, inductees must have a history in the business that spans at least 20 years and be sponsored by another Cable TV Pioneer. There are 508 active members of the group today and another 108 who are deceased. Following is a list of this year’s Cable TV Pioneer inductees. Few people believed Mother Angelica could pull off her dream of creating a cable network that Catholics could watch and learn from. But that didn’t stop the determined nun, even though she knew next to nothing about the television business. With only $200 at her disposal, Mother Angelica built a TV studio in the garage of her monastery in Irondale, Ala., which led to the creation in 1981 of Eternal Word Television Network — the first cable channel dedicated solely to religious programming. Over the past 21 years EWTN has grown to 50 million television homes in the United States and another 30 million worldwide. EWTN has always been offered to the cable industry free of charge and has done so without any advertising revenue. One of the network’s most popular programs, Mother Angelica Live, was the first national live religious call-in program format on cable television. ETWN has delivered live coverage of several religious events including several of Pope John Paul II’s visits to the United States as well as International World Youth Days. Mother Angelica, now 80 and recovering from a stroke she suffered two years ago, also established the world’s largest privately owned and operated short-wave radio station, a satellite-delivered AM and FM radio network, a printing operation that sends out thousands of publications each month and a website featuring live audio and video streaming of EWTN’s programming. Gary Arlen began his career in 1971 with Paul Kagan Associates as an editor based in Washington, D.C., covering the cable television business. He left in 1974 to work for the NCTA as public affairs manager. He joined Philips Publishing in 1977 to serve as the editor of newsletters about the cable TV industry and other video services. In 1980 he went out on his own, starting Arlen Communications, a publishing and research firm focusing on the new uses of media. Arlen still writes extensively about cable and telecom competition and technology. He currently serves as president of Arlen Communications. Greg Armstrong got into the cable business in 1971 as GM of Viacom Cablevision in San Francisco. In 1979 he joined Mid-West Communications in Tulsa, Okla., as VP/GM, a position he held until 1982 when he became COO for Satellink Corp. in Denver. He was president of Cable Management Group from 1988 to 1994. Tele-Communications Inc. hired him as SVP in 1994, and he oversaw the MSO’s overseas operations through 1997. From 1998 through 2000 he was based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he served as managing director for Liberty Media International. He currently serves as EVP/COO for Liberty Media Jupiter Telecom Ltd., one of Liberty’s most successful assets. Lela Cocoros’s start in the cable industry began in 1982 when she was hired by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau as a conference coordinator and executive assistant. She was soon promoted to media services coordinator. Cocoros left CAB and New York in 1985 to join Tele-Communications as marketing coordinator/manager of CableTime, the MSO’s in-house program guide. She left TCI for a few months in 1997 to manage corporate communications for NBC but returned to serve as SVP, corporate communications. She eventually served as EVP, corporate communications, leaving the MSO when AT&T bought TCI in 1998. Cocoros is currently a partner and co-founder of October Strategies. Jay Dugan began his cable career in 1980 as an investment banking associate with Daniels & Associates, which is based in Denver. He left a year later to join Tampa, Fla.-based Communications Equity Associates as an SVP. Dugan stayed with CEA for 21 years, brokering dozens of cable deals throughout the United States and the Caribbean before leaving last year to form his own investment banking company, Dugan Financial. Dugan is currently a member of Cable PAC as well as various state cable television associations. He serves as president of Dugan Financial. Dwight Duke joined Scientific-Atlanta in 1978 as a cable television operations manager. Over the years he rose through the ranks, serving as broadband communications product manager, VP, strategic operations, for the network operations group, VP, international satellite systems business and president of the satellite television network group. Duke promoted the system-architecture approach to the transmission business. He currently serves as SVP/ president of transmission network systems for Scientific-Atlanta. Dean Gilbert broke into the cable business in 1980 as a regional sales/marketing manager for Continental Cablevision. He joined TKR Cable in 1983 as VP, marketing and programming. Between 1986 and 1989, Gilbert served as EVP, group operations, for KBLCOM, managing five of the company’s operating divisions. After that stint, he became president/CEO of Positive Communications, a venture-capital-backed independent provider of paging products and services with more than 400 employees and $50 million in annual revenue. Gilbert was one of @Home’s top managers, serving as EVP/GM for @Home Network and CEO of @Home Solutions. Gilbert sits on the boards of several companies including HCORP, BigBand Networks, Narad Networks, MetaTV, @Security Broadband Corp., Sensitron, Vicinium Systems and Econvergent. He currently serves as managing partner of venture-capital firm Sandalwood Investments. Missy Goerner’s first cable-related job came in 1976 when she was hired as a special projects manager by UA-Columbia Cablevision. In 1981 she became VP, programming, production and regulatory issues for Rogers Cable/U.S.A. As a consultant between 1989 and 1993, Goerner designed and programmed Canada’s first pay-per-view network, Viewer’s Choice Canada. In the late ’90s, she cut the cable industry’s first NFL deal, breaking the satellite-exclusive barrier to the NFL Sunday Ticket package, thus making Rogers Cable the only operator in the world capable of offering a year-round sports package of NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice and MLB Extra Innings. She currently serves as senior consultant for Rogers Cable. Keith Hayes has been involved in the cable industry for 22 years. He started his cable career in 1981 as a cable installer with Marietta Cable TV. Between 1982 to 1994, he rose from maintenance tech to director of technical operations with Cable Atlanta. He joined BellSouth in 1994 as director of technical operations. Hayes joined MediaOne Group in 1998 as director of technical operations. He received SCTE’s prestigious Member of the Year Award in 1998 and was elected SCTE chairman for 2001 and 2002. In 2000 he became VP, technical operations, at Infinity Broadband of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He currently serves as COO for Gibson Technical Services. Mark Hess got his first cable job in 1982 when he was hired to serve as a system manager for Tele-Communications Inc. In 1990, he was named TCI state manager in New York. He moved to the MSO’s Denver headquarters in 1992 to serve as director of new product development. In 1994 Hess joined the Sega Channel, helping to launch and eventually shut down the interactive television service. The experience helped him understand the potential of digital services, and he currently serves as VP, digital television, for Comcast Cable, where he works with a team responsible for developing and deploying digital products. Irvine Hill has spent his entire cable career with Cox Communications, which hired him in 1981 as a public relations consultant in Norfork, Va. In 1983 he moved to Cox Cable in Tidewater, Fla., as a public affairs manager. Hill became director of public affairs for the Cox system in Hampton Roads, Va., in 1989. He currently serves as VP, public affairs, for Cox Cable Virginia, where he hosts more hours of local community programming and community events than any other Cox Cable operation in the country. Michael Jeffrey was hired by Home Box Office as a regional director in 1979. He became a VP with McCaw Communications in 1984. In 1987, Jeffrey co-founded Robinson/Jeffrey Associates, a strategic and operational consulting, contract management, financial due-diligence and debt placement company. He became interim COO for Millisat in 1990. Jeffrey currently serves as a principal with Robinson/Jeffrey Associates. Steve Lowe got into the cable game in 1972 when Yaloo Cable hired him as a cable technician. Between 1976 and 1979 he worked for L & W Communications as lead technician. He went to work for Transwestern Video in 1979 as GM, advancing to regional manager before leaving the company in 1984. Lowe served as president/CEO of Broadband Services between 1984 and 1988. He left that job to serve as VP/GM for Buford Television, staying with the company until 1999 when it was sold to Classic Cable. He currently serves as VP for Classic. Don Mitzner was responsible for helping to start several cable networks during his 20-plus years in the cable industry. He got into cable in 1981, when he served as president/GM of Group W Cable in New York. He was regional and SVP for Group W Metro Region between 1983 and 1985. Mitzner was promoted to president of Group W Satellite Communications in 1985, and held that position until 1997. From June 1997 through February 2001 he was president of CBS Cable. He started, supported and helped numerous networks in their infancy, such as Discovery, CMT and Eye on People. He retired from the business in 2001, when Viacom bought CBS. Elizabeth Kay Monigold’s first job in the cable industry was as a human resources manager for Buford Television in 1981. She held that position until 1988, when she was promoted to VP, administration, for the MSO. She continued her career at Buford, eventually being named chief administrative officer in 1994. Monigold joined Classic Communications in 1999 as EVP, administration, and held that title until 2001 when she left to help form Buford Media Group. She currently serves as EVP/COO/partner in that firm. Charles Morris has been recruiting and placing people in cable jobs since 1981, when he was hired by Associated Recruiters as a director, focusing on the cable television industry. He has continued to provide senior level searches for companies in the cable and telecommunications industries. Morris was a founding member of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association and served two terms as both president and past president. As owner and president of Warren & Morris, Morris manages the company’s West Coast office and directs executive search and business development in the wireless communications, cable, broadband, advanced technology and new media industries worldwide. Patrick Murphy joined the industry in 1975 as an installer with Falcon Communications. In 1981, he was named regional engineer for Acton Communications, a position he held until 1984, when he joined Group W in Simi Valley, Calif., as plant manager. Murphy was hired as director of technical operations for Simmons in 1985. He built the first fiber interconnect (virtual LAN) for Jet Propulsion Laboratories. He currently serves as regional VP, engineering, for Charter Communications, a position he has held since 1994. Thomas Puckett began his cable career in 1977 as a partner in Hardesty, Hall, Schlosser & Puckett, a firm that specialized in merger and acquisition transactions and taxation for small and independently owned cable television companies. He currently serves as chairman of HPC Puckett & Co., a position he has held since 1982. Butch Roberson’s first cable job was as an installer/tech for CSRA Cablevision. From November 1977 to February 1981 he served as president of Roberson Communications. He joined Storer Communications in 1991 and stayed with the MSO until 1985. Anderson was hired by Microsat in 1985 to serve as sales engineer and was with the firm until 1993. Roberson has held sales positions with Augat Communications and Gilbert Engineering. He currently serves as president of Southern Sales Group. Robert Russo was hired by Daniels & Associates in 1981, and remained with the firm until earlier this year when he was tapped to run the Cable Center. As an executive with Daniels, Russo held a variety of positions in marketing, administration and corporate communications. As EVP, marketing and administration, at Daniels, he oversaw legal, marketing, administration and industry affairs. Russo has long been actively involved in a number of cable organizations. He created the National Cable TV Public Relations Seminars in 1987 to train cable system GMs and was recognized for this contribution with an NCTA Vanguard President’s Award. In 1985, Russo co-founded the Cable Television Public Affairs Association. He has been a member of the board of directors for the Cable Center since 1996, and has chaired the Capital Campaign’s steering committee since its inception in 1997. Russo currently serves as president/CEO of the Cable Center. Douglas Semon’s first cable job was as a cameraman for Buckeye Cable in 1972. He joined Channel 100 in 1973, holding a variety of positions from video playback operator to GM. He joined Viacom Cable in 1981 and stayed with the MSO until 1996 as director of new technology. He joined CableLabs as director, network operations, in May 1996, remaining there until December 1998 when he joined Time Warner Cable. He currently serves as VP, technology standards, overseeing technology developments and standards for all subscriber services. Austin Shanfelter has been involved in the cable business since he was 15 years old. He began his career with Lightning Electric as a ground-hand on cable construction crews. In 1975 he went to TVC Supply as a warehouse man. Shanman Cable Specialist hired Shanfelter in 1981 to be in charge of all New York state cable construction projects. He formed Shanco Corp., a cable construction company, in 1986. Shanfelter sold Shanco in 1997 to Mastec, becoming broadband group president of the company. He currently serves as president/CEO for Mastec. Joseph Taylor got into the cable business in 1976 when he was hired by Ohio Valley Cablevision. He held a variety of positions with the firm. He joined Cablevision Industries in 1987 as regional training manager and was promoted to GM in 1989. In 1994, Taylor was hired by Charter Communications. He served as GM of the cable systems in Hammond and Bogalusa, La. In 1996 Taylor became GM for Armstrong Utilities. He currently serves as VP, Internet operations, with Armstrong Utilities. Joseph Van Loan began his career in cable in 1973 when Cable Dynamics hired him to serve as VP, engineering. Viacom Cable lured him away in 1976 to serve as VP, engineering. He became involved with building systems in the Pacific Rim in 1988 as a consulting engineer. In 1990, he joined Cablevision Industries as SVP, engineering, and was with the company until 1996. Van Loan received the 1986 Vanguard Award for Science and Technology from the NCTA. He currently serves as SVP, technology, for Mediacom, a position he has held since 1996, when Rocco Commisso started the MSO. Lawrence White was hired by NewChannels Corp. in 1968 as a manager. He joined Saratoga Cable TV as GM in 1975 and became regional manager for Storer Cable in 1978. In 1983, White was hired by Telewire Supply, handling all purchasing and negotiating vendor agreements. He went over to Antec in 1987 as SVP, product management, purchasing and vendor relationships. He became SVP of Itocho Cable in 1995, leaving in 1997 to join TVC as VP. White currently serves as SVP for Allied Bolt. Michael Willner has been involved in the cable industry since 1974, when he kick-started his career as program director for Vision Cable. He advanced two years later to serve as GM of Vision. Willner became VP, marketing, for Vision in 1977 and in 1979 he was named EVP/COO. Vision was an independent company until its sale to Newhouse Publishing in 1981, after which Willner ran the company for Newhouse until 1985 when he founded Insight Communications. A consummate diplomat, he is in his second term as chairman of the NCTA. He also serves on the executive committee of CableLabs and the board of directors of C-SPAN and the Walter Kaitz Foundation. Willner also serves on the board of NTL, an international cable and telecommunications company with assets in the U.K., Ireland and Europe. Willner currently serves as vice chairman/CEO of Insight Communications, the nation’s ninth-largest MSO, with 1.4 million customers. Tony Cox got into the cable business in 1976 as a director of affiliate services at Home Box Office. He had been part of the Time Inc. magazine group for 11 years prior to his appointment on the video side of the house. He held several positions at HBO including VP, affiliate relations, VP, sales and marketing and SVP, sales and marketing, before being named president of HBO Network Group in 1983. In 1987 he defected to Showtime Networks, where he served as chairman/CEO. An outspoken critic of gratuitous violence on television, Cox helped create the industry’s “Voices Against Violence” campaign. He left Showtime in early 1995, becoming CEO of Cybersmith, a chain of cybercafes, a position he held until his death in 1996. Edward Foust entered the cable industry in 1960 as a salesman for Ron Merritt Co. He continued his sales career with Televue Systems from 1964 to 1969. He joined Viacom in 1969 as manager in operations and distribution. Foust joined Theta-Com as national sales manager in 1971, staying there until 1974, when he became regional affiliate sales manager for Showtime. He joined CommScope in 1976 as regional sales manager, handling all major Denver accounts, and remained with them until his death in 1980. The Cable TV Pioneers also recognizes members of the cable industry, who, prior to their death, would have met membership criteria and are thus being inducted posthumously into the Cable TV Pioneers.

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