Name: Joanne Dant
Title: Senior Associate, October Strategies
Age: 41
Years in Industry: 11

Name: Sena Fitzmaurice
Title: Senior Director, corp communications/govt affairs, Comcast
Age: 36
Years in Industry: 13
Years left in Industry: “Lots”

Name: Stuart Zakim
Title: VP, corporate public relations, Showtime
Age: 50
Years in Industry: 29

 

Why Them? The PR person from Central Casting is an aggressively loud salesman for his/her company’s point of view. Dant, Fitzmaurice and Zakim defy that characterization. This soft-spoken trio uses thoughtful persuasion to make its point, making them among the most effective communicators on the circuit; they’re also a lot of fun. Dant has certainly lived up to Lela Cocoros’ and Larae Marsik’s high standards, with an attention to detail and diplomatic skills that have been essential as Dant schedules interviews with Cable Hall of Fame inductees and stewards the image of a resurgent Cable Center. Fitzmaurice, meanwhile, is always accessible day or night to walk us through Comcast’s position on complex regulatory and legislative matters. And a pro’s pro, Boston-born Zakim crafts Showtime’s strategic message using his 30 years in entertainment… but he’s always available to track minutiae for us and does so with grace. Give these folks a raise!  MG, SA

 

Joanne Dant

Defining career moment: “Has to be this – being named to the CFAX 100!”
In my free time, I like to: “Read, run, hang out and watch sports and movies with my family.”
Favorite restaurant: “Le Central, Denver, CO”
Favorite city: “San Francisco”
Favorite song: “If I Could Change the World,” Eric Clapton
Favorite sports teams: “Colorado Rockies! CU Buffs”
I wish the cable industry would: “Not be so insular.”
Favorite piece of tech: “My HDTV”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Cell phone”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “A little Sun, a little history, lots of relaxing and good food.”
The world would be a better place if: “Everyone learned to lighten up a little bit and get their priorities straight.”

Sena Fitzmaurice
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is:
 “Reassuring current customers about the broadcast digital transition and reaching out to those who aren’t cable customers yet to let them know cable is the best way to deal with the cutoff of analog broadcast signals.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “Caller ID to the TV and StartOver.”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Ralph Roberts. Professional toughness and personal kindness… a classic.”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “Tony Bennett beating out Colbert for the Emmy.”
In my free time, I like to: “Design and paint Renaissance-style Italian Maiolica.”
Favorite city: “Rome”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show: “Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon”  – National Lampoon’s Vacation
Favorite TV show: “Daily Show/Colbert Report”
Favorite sports team: “Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball”
Favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry when traveling for business.”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry when traveling for pleasure.”
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “The whole Silent Alarm album by Bloc Party – gym music.”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “It lasts a month.” 

Stu Zakim

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “As I was growing up and I would never let the cable box out of my hands. I loved going from channel to channel.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “Switched digital”
Defining career moment: “Being in the Oval Office with Tom Hanks, Jim Lovell and the surviving Mercury and Apollo astronauts when President Clinton gave Lovell a lifetime achievement award… tied to the premiere of ‘Apollo 13’.”
Top personal achievement in 2006: “Turning 50 and still enjoying myself as much as I did when I was in my early ‘20s.”
Favorite restaurant: “Michael’s (NYC)”
Favorite city: “Boston”
Favorite line from a movie: “It’s business, not personal” – The Godfather.
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “My wife, my iPod and lots of sunscreen.”
Favorite TV show: “Star Trek.”
Favorite movie: Singin’ in the Rain
Favorite sports team: “NY Giants”
Favorite piece of tech: “My HDTV set”
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “Getting Better” (Beatles), “Where Are You Going?” (Dave Matthews) and “Kitty’s Back” (Bruce Springsteen).

 
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