As cable gathers this week to talk diversity, the T. Howard Foundation informs us Showtime chief Matt Blank will be the honoree at the group’s fundraising dinner in April, with NCTA communications chief Rob Stoddard receiving a lifetime achievement award. While Blank and Stoddard are worthy choices, some cable ops may find it odd that a group so long identified with the DBS industry is honoring long-time cable guy Stoddard. Doesn’t T Howard compete with cable organizations? "I think over the years there’s been some perceptions that that’s true," Stoddard said late Fri, but "[T. Howard pres] Curtis [Symonds] particularly, has really worked to broaden its base. Members of T Howard are also members of NCTA, particularly programmers." Symonds is also a CableFAX Daily columnist. Last Feb, NCTC pres/CEO Mike Pandzik was elected to T. Howard’s board, the group’s 1st major foray with cable ops (Cfax, 02/23). Pandzik and Stoddard support T. Howard’s mission of increasing the number of women and minorities in media through internships. "[T Howard] has been particularly proficient at placing great interns with the industry," Stoddard said. "Anything that makes a serious commitment to diversity in our business is worth taking a hard look at." T. Howard honors Blank and Stoddard Apr 12 at NYC’s Cipriani’s.

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