A surge of unexpected but welcome New Yorkers pushed NAMIC to a record 800+ attendees for its 2-day conference. It predicted about 600, owing to the slowed economy ( Cfax , 9/15). — NPR‘s Charlayne Hunter-Gault accepted NAMIC’s Mickey Leland Award with great eloquence, noting as world economies are growing it’s the worst time for media here to reduce coverage of global affairs, particularly Africa, where she lives. — The great irony of NAMIC’s Day 2 general session on new media was the panel’s insistence on the importance of old media. Columnist Roland Martin wouldn’t even acknowledge new-media’s importance until it pays the freight. "I love my blog, but CNN pays more," he joked. Old media pays for new media, he said. While praising some bloggers, Columbia J School prof Sree Sreenivasan voiced concern for the lack of old-fashioned reporting in new-media journalism. "When I cover Sarah Palin, I get on a plane and fly to Alaska…99% of your bloggers aren’t doing that," CNBC / The Wall St Journal‘s Lee Hawkins said. — Cable’s success in growing ad revenue could hinge on its Project Canoe initiative, said panelists at NAMIC’s digital ad panel on Tues, as advertisers seek to leverage linear, digital and other touch points. "All of the pieces have to come together for this campaign," said Time Warner Cable pres, media sales Joan Gillman. "It has to work." The Canoe initiative is also vital for realizing the dream of hyper-targeting customers, said Guy Cherry, Arris ‘ chief architect, video systems. "They could actually begin to understand what the interactive backchannel looks like," he said. But Gillman said "alarmist" privacy concerns spurred by controversy over the nixed CharterNebuAd deal ( Cfax , 6/25) mean MSOs must "put customers at ease" that they won’t collect personally identifiable data when targeting ads. Meanwhile, Keval Desai, Google‘s dir, production mgmt for TV ads, lauded Canoe’s "progress" in bringing "more relevant ads to viewers" and said it’s "very synergistic" with Google’s own consumer targeting efforts. "Fragmentation is going to be a fact of life forever," he said.

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NCTI named Jeff Gibson Director of Learning and Development following the retirement of Paul Eisbrener . Gibson has more than 30 years of industry experience, most recently

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