Last back page.
Save it; show it to your grandchildren.
I’m going to keep this one and put it with my semi-cherished first (and last) copies of CableVision, CATV Newsweekly, TV & Communications, Cable TV Business, Cable Marketing, CATJ, MSO Magazine, Electronic Media, Broadcasting (now B&C), a couple I’ve forgotten and even Multichannel News (only the first one and the prototype, for now—last one will come before the end of 2010 as it combines and then expires a little later).
While we know you have liked and read this magazine ever since Tom Southwick and Paul Kagan started it (still have my original first edition, too) and stuck with it through ownership by Primedia and Access Intelligence…well, times change. Tom works for Starz now. He also wrote cable’s definitive history in Distant Signals (you can get your copy at cablecenter.org). Paul, well, he still makes more cable-related money sense than anyone else in cable history (page 6 of this issue).
The first edition appeared at The Western Show, in December ’88. Regular weekly publication started the following January. Not going to make its 20th anniversary. (Multichannel News, for the record, launched in fall 1980.)
This business has come a long, long way from when I wandered into it as the ’60s wandered off. Cable “boasted” hundreds of thousands, not millions and millions, of subscribers. Original programming amounted to a few real cameras in Findlay, Ohio, and a few dozen cameras that focused on clocks, thermometers and typewritten ads that rotated on a wheel. The best, though, was the fish tank in a Kansas system with a diver in it (not a real deep-sea diver, though—that came later).
The so-called pay TV experiments in Bartlesville, Okla., and Etobicoke just outside Toronto had, more or less, failed. The one in Etobicoke used Canadian quarters fed into a box in the home. Another experiment involved a melting card the subscriber inserted into a box on the TV.
HBO didn’t start until ’72 in Manhattan.
MTV grew out of Popclips on the Columbus, Ohio, QUBE system…and later brought down the Berlin Wall.
CNN didn’t launch until June of ’80.
Chuck Dolan and Ted Turner changed the world.
Cable went two-way and with broadband changed the world again.
And now Verizon is building—in all but the name—cable systems with fiber all the way to the TV, the computer and the game box.
With saturated distribution outlets and a different kind of relationship among programmers, distributors and vendors…well, no need for CableWorld any longer.
But, believe me, you still need straight news and information…so CableFAX Daily, CableFAX Magazine and the webinars, meetings and even social events are more important than ever…
No more Back Page…but MaxFAX will continue…be talkin’ with ya’ll there every week.