In the Big Apple again…

Dinner with friends one night…

Choice of a Cable Positive (always worthy) event or my annual favorite with A&E on Tuesday night… the "gala" dinner with a thousand or so of our best friends the next evening… and escape from New York Thursday evening…

Board meetings, cocktails, too early breakfasts, lunches and more…

We used to call it "Hell Week."

It wasn’t… but it sure seemed like it sometimes.

(This isn’t really the 25th annual dinner… we missed one… not our fault it got cancelled. It is the 25th anniversary of the first dinner, though. Highlights and lowlights; great honorees—mostly; some boring speeches; ill-conceived "entertainment"—though not always; semi-OK food—too many ballrooms that, no matter where they are, always look the same).

Next year’s calendar of events should prove quite interesting…

All in a good cause.

* Buzzzzz: Last week in San Diego at the Demo Show, there were a couple of new ideas to pay attention to: (1) if you like newspapers, Plastic Logic debuted its e-reader—a foldable, portable document reader about 8 x 11—sort of a different take on the Kindle (my current favorite and upon which I read the Journal and Times daily—and check out the cover of the 75th anniversary of Esquire magazine); and (2) Bee TV —a whole new take on navigation that is multi-platform, incorporates a push element and might be a paradigm changer.

* Pirates of the COAX: This is one of the problems the industry likes to keep under the radar… don’t blame anybody for that, but like a crazy uncle in the attic, this won’t go away. Recently, I wound up on the board of a company (not this one) with a guy out there doing something about signal piracy (video and/or broadband, by the way) in a manner that works for (almost) everyone—pirate, distributor and the overcrowded legal system. Stan McGinnis —an ex-retail exec who knows a thing or two about "shrinkage"—runs the company and has, from the examples I’ve seen, solved some of the problems you’d rather sweep under a rug… info? Email me.

* Socialism? Back about when it first got some notice, I logged onto Facebook and… promptly forgot about it. But in the last two weeks I’ve gotten over a hundred "be my friend" emails… is there some tipping point here? Doesn’t’ anyone have anything else to do? Did they get stored up all these months and suddenly get released? Did MySpace shut down? (Haven’t answered all of them… yet… took me a week to figure out the registration and password I had used. And, just so you know, LinkedIn doesn’t like me… kicks me out for some unknown reason… I’m not ignoring people… just frustrated).

* Hall of Famers: The social season ain’t over yet… later this month the first Presidential debate… next month a couple of Halls of Fame and the Veep debate and another top-of-the-ticket lovefest… the election and CTAM in November in Boston. This year, Thanksgiving will come with a bit of relief.

* Gutter Balls: Ads are good for cable’s bottom line… political ads are, too. It sure is a good thing national and local cable channels don’t fact-check the ads… there sure wouldn’t be very many of them if we did that! Ain’t no high road this year.

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