Credit CTAM for living up to its ‘New World’ tagline by presenting a radical session—essentially replicating a class on stage and featuring a Harvard B School prof and nearly 40 CTAM U grads discussing a case study relevant to cable. The case examined Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson’s decision in ’03 to make a major change in his company’s sales strategy, reducing emphasis on price and product and instead pushing the customer experience with ‘customer centricity.’ While the class seemed to frown on how Anderson implemented customer centricity—students said he didn’t train frontline personnel well and deployed the policy too quickly—it was clear why Harvard prof Rajiv Lal chose the case. Like Best Buy, cable must improve knowledge of how its products are consumed, he said in summation, adding that the industry pays too little attention to training and inspiring employees in all parts of the business, particularly on the frontlines. To really leverage the customer, cable must abandon its traditional focus on products and become customer centric, he said. Reactor Barbara Hedges of Charter seconded Lal’s assessment and likened Charter’s position in Keller, TX, to Best Buy’s in ’03, selling largely commoditized services and facing competition on high and low ends. Reactor Ben Pyne of Disney-ESPN touted Anderson’s emphasis on the customer, paralleling Disney and ESPN’s focus on delivering what its customers are seeking.

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UP Entertainment promoted Melissa Ingram to svp, multicultural networks and strategy. She will continue day-to-day oversight of AspireTV and will now also be responsible for driving the growth of current and

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