It’s Kyle McSlarrow as Kevin Bacon in Animal House, urging the rushing crowd to remain calm, all is well. McSlarrow says the communications business only appears to be in "chaos," with everyone trying to peer "around the corner" to assess upcoming challenges. This is merely controlled aggressiveness, he says, in a market that’s functioning properly, providing great value to consumers (page 20).
Another sobering view of the future can be glimpsed in Rob Garretson’s media landscape piece (page 22), which anticipates that the U.S. media environment could become a triptych, with Comcast and Time Warner Cable battling two DBS players and two telcos. Among the wild cards are political/regulatory forces capping the size of media companies, the willingness of midsize cable operators to sell and the machinations of DirecTV’s soon-to-be owner, Dr. Malone.
Something else McSlarrow told our Janet Stilson tracks with what we’re sensing on the eve of The Cable Show. While not a swagger, the industry’s developed a confidence it lacked going into last year’s show, when the telcos’ arrival produced anxiety. Cable’s survived, nay, thrived, since then. Some MSOs, like Cox, have revamped with competition uppermost in mind, as SVP and CMO Joe Rooney told us (CableWorld, April 2). Perhaps this is why McSlarrow feels "people are going to come to the show with a spring in their step about the industry and where we’re going. Doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges…but I am confident that we are more than up to the task."
To sharpen your competitive edge, we offer a Web play with video at Cable360.net and bolstered ranks with veterans like Janet Stilson and Rob Garretson. Readers know Janet from her years of cable journalism. Rob’s Wall Street column has met with strong feedback; this issue marks his debut as a feature writer for us. We’re also adding Paskowski, a programming column for operator executives penned, appropriately, by Marianne Paskowski, the iconic cable journalist (page 16).
To keep multicultural issues prominent year-round, as opposed to just during Kaitz Week and Diversity Week, we’re starting a monthly diversity column with a business bent, written by a diverse group of cable players, beginning this issue with Kaitz Foundation chief David Porter (page 18).