For us, NAMIC NY’s holiday gala has become a rite of the season, a black tie to benefit a worthy NYC cause in a gorgeous Big Apple venue (a former bank the past 2 years). Wed’s edition added firepower, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening the festivities (and mispronouncing NAMIC at least 3 times) and a tribute to outgoing NCTA chief Robert Sachs, who earned points for openly admitting diversity was not on the top of his priority list when he first came to Mass Ave (it’s higher now thanks to the quality of NAMIC leaders like Pat Keenan and Jenny Alonzo, he said.) — Downers: On a night where Sachs was so warmly feted, it was sad there were so few CEOs (read NCTA board members) on hand, especially since the outgoing chief emphasized how the NCTA is "uniquely positioned to bring about change." Sachs also reminded the audience that the annual joint breakfast for the NAMIC and NCTA boards has succeeded in putting "the issue of workplace diversity right where it belongs, directly in front of cable’s top executives." So where were they? Beyond A&E’s Nick Davatzes (the gala’s honorary chair), Court TV’s Henry Schleiff and MTV’s Herb Scannell, we were hard pressed to see other top-level people who can effect diversity policies. — Another downer, after seeing/hearing plugs for TV One throughout the evening, we couldn’t watch the channel in the city, as Time Warner Cable does not yet carry it (’bout time for that to change, eh?). — While the program was hours shorter than last year’s, there was still too much talking during incoming NAMIC pres Manish Jha’s speech, which warned that the political environment after the election might not be the most favorable for diversity, making NAMIC’s mission more critical (memo to NAMIC: send the press a text of Jha’s interesting remarks).

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