Another new wrinkle in our 100 package is this group of five year-end awards, which will be presented Dec. 2 during our CableFAX luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They represent some of the people and brands in cable that sparked interest this year.
1. Community Service Award
ROSA GATTI, ESPN: WE could fill this magazine with the accomplishments that SVP, communications, Rosa Gatti has amassed in her nearly 30-year cable career, all of it at ESPN. Besides building ESPN’s PR department from the ground up, she’s been a tireless advocate for community service at work and at home. Her work with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, where she serves on the board of directors, is only the latest example as Rosa has been involved with nearly every charitable group in the sports and cable arena. It’s an honor to have Rosa be the recipient of CableFAX: The Magazine’s Community Service Award.
2. Rebranding of the Year Award
USA NETWORK: We remember when Bonnie Hammer told television critics three years ago that USA Network was rebranding. Everyone scratched their heads. How could the network collect its lineup of original hits, cinema films, broadcast re-plays, U.S. Open Tennis and WWE under one umbrella? But the rebrand has stood the test of time because it was and is brilliant, thanks in no small way to a bevy of clever stunts, online contests and TV ads touting "Characters Welcome," with some featuring that human enigma himself, Adrian Monk, played to perfection by Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub.
3. Reinvention of the Year Award
DISCOVERY NETWORKS: For a time this year, the number of changes new chief David Zaslav instituted made it difficult to recognize Discovery Communications, and it’s our neighbor, for goodness sake. It seemed like there was a new GM every week, and new networks, like Planet Green, and new talent and shows. And, oh, that little enterprise set to begin next year with a young entrepreneur named Oprah.
4. Diversity Award
COMCAST CABLE: We’re in good company with this good company, whose diversity commitment has four prongs: supplier diversity, recruitment/career development, community investment and programming. In ’08, Black Enterprise Magazine named Comcast to its annual list of "40 Best Companies for Diversity." Other similar citations came from DiversityInc and Latina Style. The cliché is that diversity is good business. For Comcast it’s not a cliché but part of the business model. It’s such a good model that Forbes recently named Comcast the best managed company in the media sector.
5. Gatekeeper of the Year Award
MELINDA WITMER, TIME WARNER CABLE: EVP, chief programming officer Witmer learned the gatekeeper’s craft from the late master, Fred Dressler. Known as The Great Anticipator, Fred surely schooled Witmer on the dangers of programmers putting content up on the Web for free. This issue has become a rallying cry at Time Warner Cable and, by extension, for cable operators everywhere. With Witmer being fully involved in the issue, her choice as Gatekeeper of the Year was easy for us.
The Regional 25 Index page 38
Above It All page 6
Brown, Gregory Q.
Kennedy, James Cox
Malone, Dr. John