Susan Greene Cable programming has had an immense impact on society, culture and the way we relate to ourselves and our world. Due to our industry’s rapid growth and the lightning pace of our business, we often don’t have a chance to stop and reflect on the tremendous changes we have wrought. That is why The Cable Center launched The Legacy Project, which is designed to record the history, preserve and benchmark programming and identify the significant political, social and cultural contributions of a cable network. The Center will collect and preserve these resources and promote their availability to university students, faculty, authors, researchers and anyone interested in studying the influence of cable programming. The Legacy Project works with networks that are having a significant birthday. We research and produce oral histories with network executives and on-camera talent, archive programming that illustrates the evolution of the network’s original productions, gather memorabilia and host marquee events to highlight and explain the entrepreneurial and innovative character of that network’s programming in creating an important niche. By collecting, preserving and cataloging these collections and making them accessible on The Center’s Web site, The Legacy Program ensures future generations will have access to source material for scholarship and core curricula. In addition, making the original source material available will help future generations understand just how compelling and influential cable programming has become to the fabric of our society and other cultures around the world. The Legacy Project in action is exemplified in The Center’s recent collaboration with CNBC in conjunction with its 15th anniversary. CNBC has changed the coverage of business news and global markets, the accessibility of corporate executives to the business and general press, the interest of the general public in business news, and the participation of the general public in the markets. During the overheated economy of the late 1990s, CNBC was the video bible for day-traders and the leader in the coverage of breaking financial stories. Business news has never been the same. The Center is collecting more than 400 hours of CNBC daytime and prime time programming, including shows such as "Business Wheel" and "Wake Up Call". Along with preserving the evolution of the coverage of business news, we are preserving the evolution of CNBC’s on-air branding and marketing. In addition, we have completed extensively researched and detailed video histories with CNBC executives David Zaslav and Bridget Baker – who were there from the start – as well as talent Ron Insana, Bill Griffeth and Sue Herera. This rich array of materials will be available on The Center’s Web site at http://www.cablecenter.org/news/legacy/cnbc.cfm. Our partnership with CNBC clearly demonstrates the power of the Legacy Project. By compiling program samples, historical resources and more, The Center is able to provide insight into the events, strategies and dynamic personalities that helped shape the cable industry, and therefore, the world. The Center is expanding The Legacy Project. Early next year we are partnering with HGTV to document that network’s profound impact on the lifestyle genre. As all the major program networks celebrate 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries, we anticipate collecting the stories, anecdotes and programming that helped to build this amazingly creative and endlessly fascinating business. The story of cable programming is a tale of power and possibilities, risk and reward. The Cable Center’s Legacy Project exists to make certain the story is told. Susan Greene is The Cable Center’s SVP and Director of the Programming Institute and the Jonathan M. Levin Chair, Cable Programming.

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