For the past seven years, being the editor-in-chief of Communications Technology magazine has been an honor. But, as all good things must, this work has come to its end.
When I began my career, cable TV was mostly true community antenna systems. Bruce Merrill’s American Cable TV and Jerrold had their systems strung across the United States. TCI wasn’t even an MSO, but there were some large ones such as Teleprompter, Storer, CPI, Wometco, Continental, TVC, Midwest Video and Jack Kent Cooke’s company.
I’ve seen a lot of changes in our business and the way we do business. Before I ever wrote, I worked in almost every facet of our industry, with the exception of programming. I had the chance to talk with some of the most interesting people. Irving Kahn, Milt Shapp, Bruce Merrill, Bill Daniels, Bob Rosencrans, Frank Thompson, Ed Allen, George Barco and Ray Schneider are just a few of those who have given me stories to remember and share with others.
I got to see the introduction of transistorized amps, 12-channel equipment, the launch of satellite reception and the beginning of The Cable Center. I even participated in the first demonstration of fiber optics for cable television at the Western Show, back in 1976. I attended the first meeting of the SCTE when we founded the Society back in 1969.
I still have copies of my first cable TV franchises. Some, like the original Kansas City, Kansas, franchise, cover a half page, have no franchise fees and were written to exist in perpetuity.
I will continue to write from time to time. The SCTE always needs articles for the Interval. I also have been asked to contribute to one of the industry web sites, as well as to the SCTE List, and I plan to do so.
But I really plan to return to a more active role in the industry. My background, after system/MSO ownership, always has been sales and marketing. I love promoting and selling equipment.
These are not the best of times. Whatever we do, we must decide to help each other. Forget the clouds from the recent months. Accept that we will not always be at the top of the food chain! We have survived, and will emerge as winners if we all pull together! As I have said before, "We make the networks network!"
So, I will not disappear. I will simply begin the next chapter of my cable career. And what is wonderful is that I will be able to continue with many of my friends from previous chapters!