Name: Kyle McSlarrow
Title: President and CEO, NCTA
Age: 47
Years in Industry: 2

Why Him? The Force really does seem to be with Kyle McSlarrow… always. Even when FCC chmn Kevin Martin appears close to passing an unpopular order, cable’s Obi-Wan is able to work some Jedi magic and turn it around into something more cable-friendly—most recently a 3-year dual carriage deal as opposed to operators carrying analog and digital signals until a system becomes completely digital. Props also need to go to NCTA’s Dan Brenner, who has practically lived at the FCC this year. Just last month, McSlarrow and Brenner won yet another battle with the dark force. FCC chmn Kevin Martin was talking up massive cable re-regulation based on the idea that cable passes more than 70% of U.S. households, with at least 70% of those homes taking cable. Problem is that no one else is coming up with a stat anywhere near that 70% mark. The chairman’s attempt to enact the so-called 70/70 rule (notifying the NY Times first) is an excellent example of the kind of fires the NCTA chief has had to put out all year, not to mention the sort of venom cable’s seeing from the FCC. Meanwhile, Martin at presstime was close to bringing back the 30% cable ownership cap. Still, McSlarrow’s biggest test may be yet to come. NCTA has historically kept out of the retransmission consent debate, with its members falling on both sides of the divide. But McSlarrow has decided to step in and “engage” in the discussions. Can his wisdom and patience solve one of the longest running conflicts in the industry?  AM

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