Lots, actually. Like, the East Coast can get really humid and hot … like a steam bath. Like, the guys who started MySpace.com got really lucky. Like, a lot of folks in CTAM are, like, younger than I. So, like, I heard "like" a lot, too. Like, the Internet is real … multi-platform is critical. (Had a real preview of that when I had breakfast the week before with Lime’s CJ Kettler who laid out all the multiplatform, fourth screen, seventh screen, online and more aspects of what, listen up now, is the branding imperative.) But cable be the base. Like, cable equals crack cocaine. Sure. That’s really helpful. Cute maybe. But not particularly helpful. Nevertheless, aside from making some good, but irrelevant, copy, it was another CTAM that – as usual – delivered. Great networking, interesting panels, actual sharing of experiences. And it certainly drew well … even a number of original CTAM-ers from the dark ages of cable marketing. As I learned during the first hour taping of four "oral history" segments about the history of CTAM for The Cable Center, when Greg Liptak helped organize the famous meeting at the O’Hare Hilton in Chicago in early September of 1975, there were only four (count them: 4!) executives in all of the cable industry that had "marketing" in their titles! Cable could hardly spell marketing in those days. It was as the first of the premium channels were taking hold … and just a few days before The Thrilla from Manila launched HBO on the satellite (something I got to watch in Vero Beach, Florida). How could the industry sell this stuff? Uncut movies? No commercials? R-rated movies on TV? Movies that started at 7:17 pm? No listings for the channels? Blank screens during the day? There were lots of questions. And nobody had the answers. So Greg and Gail Sermershiem (the only female around – one meeting was 99 guys and Gail!), two MSO executives with actual marketing duties (Greg was at CPI, Gail at Telesis), decided to create a real society of folks who were willing to share successes and, back then more importantly, failures. That’s how CTAM got started; and why it still exists. The willingness to openly share. Random Notes: *Talk Back to the TV? Well, unlikely anytime soon; at least with having it respond in kind. Though Brian Roberts famously commented favorably about what was then a cable remote control device using speech recognition from Agile TV, it has since morphed into a cellular speech recognition product called PromptU and no longer has any interest in cable. The company has abandoned cable – despite a successful test in a midwestern plains town and a promised rollout (a real rollout) in a desert city. Why? Seems VCs don’t like cable; they’re going cellular. And, believe it or not, mostly because one un-named senior cable executive said, "People will never hold up a remote and talk to it." That’s a sure thing now. *Business Modeling the Internet: This time, from an "old media" (not meant in any way pejoratively!) perspective. Our friends at BCFM (the CFOs, etc.) are holding a day-long seminar on September 13th (Kaitz dinner day) in New York City at the Williams Club at 24 East 39th. Details soon at http://www.bcfm.com or email mcollins@bcfm.com. After all the talk at CTAM in Boston, this sounds like the next step in what to do to avoid mistakes.

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