Remember Don Fedderson? He was the TV producer who made families the focus of his productions in the 1960s, and hit it big with a pair of them—My Three Sons and Family Affair. With his interest in the family unit, Fedderson would have been well-served to train his lens on the cable industry, which has been dotted with umpteen mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins. From the industry’s start in the late 1940s, many of the entrepreneurs constructing, operating or running cable systems, equipment vendors and programming services laid the groundwork to bring relatives into the field. Part of cable’s allure is the generations of Roberts, Miron, Goddard and Tykeson families, that have climbed poles, strung cable, installed new plant, plotted new content and set up new marketing initiatives. As the industry gathers to celebrate its history at The Cable Center’s Hall of Fame gala in Denver this month, CableWORLD is honoring that generation of Cable Pioneers (and some newer faces) by taking a look at the family ties that make the industry feel like family. This is not a complete list: We already know of several deserving families that were left off, unable to get us pictures in time. And we’re certain to hear from several more families that aren’t listed at all. But the list is representative of the strong bonds that make the cable industry feel like a fraternity or sorority at times. One constant in cable always has been family: we’ll be interested to see which sons and daughters will be running this industry years from now. Ralph and Brian Roberts This pair is the industry’s quintessential father/son success story—quite possibly, a candidate for quintessential father/son success story in the industrial world. Ralph Roberts created Comcast in 1963, and with son Brian turned one system in Tupelo, Miss., into cable’s largest system owner, covering more than 21.5 million homes nationwide, running networks such as E!, Outdoor Life and International Channel, and leading the way with innovative VOD/high-speed services. Charles and James Dolan Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan has seen his venture become a family affair over the last decade. Three of his children have management duties at the operator serving the New York metro area, including Cablevision president/CEO James and Rainbow Media CEO Thomas. James’ wife Kristin is SVP, digital and video product management. Walter and Spencer Kaitz As executive secretary of California Cable TV Association, Walter Kaitz became one of the industry’s first diversity advocates. When he died in 1979, son Spencer inherited that mantle and presided over the Walter Kaitz Foundation, which became cable’s primary institution to generate employment among people of color. He retired from both CCTA and Kaitz Foundation last year. Bill Bresnan and Family After more than three decades in cable, Bill Bresnan now runs Bresnan Communications, with 314,000 subscribers in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. His son Dan is EVP of business development, son Robert is SVP and general counsel and brother Pat is SVP, community development. Daughter Maureen runs the family’s foundation. Bob, Steve and Nomi Miron Bob Miron lets his actions speak for themselves, such as his work spearheading of NCTA’s customer service guidelines. Miron is chairman/CEO of Bright House Networks, serving 2.2 million households. Son Steve is president and daughter Nomi Bergmann is EVP of strategy/development. Julian and Debbie Brodksy Guess what? Another twosome of important stature at the nation’s largest system owner. Julian Brodsky has been a fixture of the Comcast executive suite for decades and keeper of venture capital there for promising new media enterprises. Daughter Debbie is senior director of affiliate relations for the company’s high-speed Web access operation. Sumner and Shari Redstone As Viacom chairman/CEO, Sumner Redstone heads a diverse universe of cable channels. For many, life starts with Nickelodeon and veers to Noggin/The N, MTV, VH1, TV Land…you know the drill. Daughter Shari is president of movie theater chain National Amusements. Currently she’s launching cinemas in Moscow that can run MTV/Nick-produced flicks. Jerry and Douglas Lindauer With Security Broadband, Jerry Lindauer is taking a second crack at making home security a cable home run. Twenty-five years ago, he oversaw Times Mirror Cable TV’s security unit, which later was sold to Westec. Son Douglas is at Turner Network Sales as SVP of sales/marketing. Donald and Amy Tykeson Donald Tykeson built Liberty Communications into a top 20 player by 1983, when it was sold to Tele-Communications Inc. Tykeson kept a chunk of Liberty’s central Oregon systems, and in 1988 he recruited daughter Amy—then a rising star with HBO as marketing VP. She’s now CEO of BendBroadband, fast approaching 30,000 subs. Dale, Ray and Peter Hopkins Industry veteran Dale Hopkins runs G4TechTV’s distribution and ad sales as SVP. She’s seen G4, which she joined at its inception, merge with TechTV this spring. It’s not her first such experience; she headed ad sales at Financial News Network in 1988, a year before it merged with CNBC. Nephews Peter and Ray work for Time Warner Cable and Gemstar/TV Guide, respectively. Bob Greiner Jr. and sons Daniel and Robert III Cable technology is the Greiner household specialty—to a degree. Bob Jr. is business development VP with VOD software maker Kasenna. Son Robert III runs regional vendor 4th Wave Technologies as CEO. Bob’s son Daniel, a cable employee much of the last decade, is now in field operations management with EchoStar. Susan and Stuart Scott Susan Scott works behind the camera, while brother Stuart works in front. Susan is The Weather Channel’s go-to SVP on everything distribution. Her buck doesn’t stop with keeping TWC on systems everywhere; it continues with VOD and tech opportunities. Brother Stuart is all over ESPN’s schedule—anchoring SportsCenter, hosting Dream Job and tracking sideline situations during NBA games. Ed and Catherine Spray An original member of HGTV’s management team, Ed Spray will retire as president of Scripps Networks at the end of the year. HGTV and Food Network are moving up the ratings scale, while Do It Yourself and Fine Living are among the faster-growing diginets. Daughter Catherine is brand manager at The Weather Channel. She celebrated five years there last May. Nat, Barry and Todd Marshall Nat Marshall founded Systems Wire and Cable, a leading-edge vendor in its day, and later sold it to Scientific-Atlanta and turned to small system ownership and NCTA board roles. Son Barry rose through the ranks of Tele-Communications Inc., going from trainee to EVP/COO. Barry’s son Todd is a senior cameraman for ESPN. Patrick and Claire Scott Critical acclaim and record ratings for hurricane coverage the last two months are Patrick Scott’s latest accomplishments. He’s led The Weather Channel Networks as president since 2001, and has been with TWC since 1996. This month, daughter Claire celebrates her one-year anniversary as Turner Classic Movies’ marketing manager. A natural progression for Claire, given her previous job in film PR in London. Tony and Martin Maldonado Tony Maldonado is Cox’s marketing VP for all its Arizona systems; brother Martin directs field sales and marketing for ESPN’s Eastern regional affiliates. Both have left their marks on innovative services—Tony co-developed Spanish-language telephony for Latino customers in Tucson, Ariz., while Martin was instrumental in launching ESPN Deportes. David and Enid VanValkenburg Cox’s cable chief for most of the 1980s, David VanValkenburg continues to be involved with the industry as a consultant. Daughter Enid is marking her 10th anniversary with Scientific-Atlanta. She’s project manager for the company’s subscriber networks division, responsible for setting software parameters on digital set-top boxes with DVR functionality. Stacia Armstrong and Family Stacia Armstrong oversees affiliate marketing and local ad sales in 14 Western states for Hallmark Channel. Daughter Danielle is Bright House Networks’ marketing VP for systems in Florida and the Midwest, and son Michael is a sales director for MTV International. Pat and Tim Robertson In 1977, Pat Robertson evolved his Christian Broadcasting Network/The 700 Club ministry into CBN Cable Network—one of the first basic cable channels and first religious cable channel. A decade later, Pat and son Tim transformed CBN Cable into The Family Channel, now in other hands as ABC Family. Carol and Bernadette Vernon Carol Vernon’s duties at Cable in the Classroom are expanding now that executive director Peggy O’Brien has departed for PBS. Her sister Bernadette works in cable technology, specifically on Motorola’s digital cable and DBS set-top box efforts. She’s a strategic marketing director in the company’s broadband communications division. Bryant and John Barnes Bryant Barnes is president/CEO and cousin John is marketing SVP of Comporium Communications, an MSO with more than 52,000 customers in Rock Hill, S.C. For Comporium, innovation rules. Here, the bundle is voice, video, data, wireless and home security—sold at self-run retail stores all over the Rock Hill area. John, Timothy and Michael Rigas Our list of cable families wouldn’t be complete without this most notorious clan. Just two years ago, John Rigas and sons Timothy and Michael brought shame to the industry when they were indicted on conspiracy, bank and securities fraud charges. John and Timothy were convicted last July; Michael was found not guilty on conspiracy counts.

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Altice USA Announces $2.5bln Buyback

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