In Denver later this month… (Last cable days until next year, anyway… last independent Hall of Fame—everybody comes to Denver next fall). Aspen leaves are golden right now.
High country is cooling off… Denver nights are crisp and clear.
October Strategies is running " Cable Center Smackdown" again… a trivia event pitting teams from Cable Positive, CTAM, NAMIC, SCTE and WICT… defending champion NAMIC is (barely) favored… mostly because I’ve joined as a CTAM "advisor." It’s a kick… and as Greg Liptak and Jerry Maglio can attest, the "official answers" aren’t always exactly right.
Also on Wed the 15th, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Cable Positive does its annual musical… that can be biting, funny and/or a groaner… featuring the wit of Paul Braun and the dancing of Tom Feige and company.
Friday brings panels and more panels.
But the fun is Thurs night—in downtown Denver at the Convention Center this year—as another half dozen join the Cable Center’s Hall of Fame.
Six more who have done a lot for (and in some cases, to) the industry.
1) George Bodenheimer:Long time friend since he schlepped around Denver as an affiliate sales guy. Done a lot for the industry like creating marquee events (Espy’s) and breaking into the NFL. Quietly does a lot for charities like the Jimmy V Foundation.
2) Dick Green: For 20 years or so has helped keep cable a technological marvel. Retires at the end of next year. He’ll be tough to replace.
3) Ray Joslin:Long time close friend who brought Hearst into the modern communications world after helping Amos Hostetter build Continental. We can blame him—and Dr. John Malone —for the initial proliferation of channels tied to retransmission consent (well, it worked for quite awhile).
4) Susan Packard:A real class act. Scripps quietly grows and grows and grows with Susan’s help. Ken Lowe got rid of the papers, and the upside is just getting started.
5) Hub Schlafly:Whoa! Hadn’t talked with or seen Hub in years… but I’ll never forget U. S. Rep Carl Albert (small, and D-OK) on screen in Anaheim via satellite back in the dark ages. Couple of techies thought Hub was faking it and Carl was backstage… Carl wasn’t and the world changed because satellites changed most everything about cable and programming—even before digital.
6) Michael Willner:Guy with true insight… great dinner companion and without whom cable vis a vis Wall Street would be in an even worse pickle than the rest of the world. Michael helped make sense of cable as a real business and helped Wall Street (what’s left of it anyway) understand.
* Whew! Made It to Oct!: Started this month out in San Francisco (rode a rented bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge and returned to the city via the ferry from Sausalito—great way to avoid watching the stock market yo-yo and Congress dither and point).
* Small World Department: Ran into one-time Charter exec and sometime Comcast critic Joe Camicia at a dinner hosted by the state of California and the state of Neidersachen (that is, Lower Saxony, Germany). Joe is now a big deal in the state’s CTO office…
* The Obama Channel: Watched it yet? (Oh, you don’t subscribe to DISH? You’re in the cable business!) Channel 73 (073-00) in case you want to try it out. Wonder what the rate is? Does DirecTV directly compete? (Um, probably not on price, though).