At least one headhunter’s a little surprised that NCTA doesn’t plan to get started on its search for Robert Sachs’ successor sooner rather than later. "If I were talking to them, I’d tell them to take advantage of the summer to get organized and get started on it… to not be cavalier, but to be thoughtful," says Korn Ferry Intl’s Bill Simon. The board intends to discuss plans to retain a search firm this summer, but the search process isn’t likely to get fully underway until after the entire NCTA board meets in late Sept. The unhurried schedule is likely because NCTA wants to see who wins the Nov election first (Cfax, 6/22). Simon, who has handled about a dozen trade assn searches in the last couple of years, couldn’t speak specifically to NCTA’s situation, but says such searches typically take 60-120 days. "I do believe that NCTA is at a very critical juncture, and whom they hire will speak loudly about their strategy going forward," he says. One very high-profile trade assn that has certainly taken longer than 120 days to fill its top post is MPAA, which set up a search committee more than 2 years ago. There may be some overlap in the candidates considered for both posts, but Simon notes that there will be some people much more interested in the NCTA and vice versa. — Who would you nominate to head NCTA? Send your responses to [email protected]. Look for the responses in an upcoming CableFAX (the identities of the senders won’t be revealed).