Years in Cable: 30
Education: BS, Journalism, West Virginia University; JD, Duquesne University School of Law
With everything from net neutrality to broadband infrastructure being the hot topics of conversation, both Polka and Powell continue to have their hands full. ACA recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, coming together at its annual Summit in Washington, D.C., to discuss how the association can do its part to assist in closing the digital divide and ensuring independent operators are heard. The group also has continued its fight against Title II regulations, supporting FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s planned rollback. Powell has extended his contract with NCTA for another three years, solidifying his place as a leader for the communications and content industries now and in the future. He’s been a thought leader on issues including the recent data privacy concerns following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and, of course, net neutrality, where he’s called for Congress to step in with a legislative remedy. Powell, a former chairman of the FCC, joined the cable trade group in 2011.
My worst Tweetstorm only ended when… Actually, it hasn’t ended yet, because I’m still fighting to reform retransmission consent and to end the #TVRansom! #ReformRetransNOW
If you wrote a “Black Mirror” episode, what dark side of technology would you explore and why? How a seemingly normal, decent person turns physically into a mean and angry troll right in front of our eyes as they post political messages on social media.
Best advice your mom or dad ever gave you? The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary! Thanks, Mom! You were right!
If I ever get elected President, my first executive order will be… No proposal on my desk that has not at first been vetted with the other side and then drafted from a bipartisan perspective.
An area where media/ broadband could use improvement? If media means journalism, then I’d say political journalists should stick to the facts on social media and avoid the snark or appearance of bias either way. It’s not helping our democracy.
Your social media platform of choice? Twitter @MATTatACA! Lots of cable and @penguins tweets! #LetsGoPens!
Bitcoin – pro or con? CON. Seems like funny money too me that’s too volatile to bet on.
What would be the name of the reality show based on your company? “The Little Association that COULD!”
What product or service could you not live without? Broadband, brought to me by CABLE!
What’s the first thing you read in the morning? ACA’s Daily Media Sweep from our very own Ted Hearn of ACA, and Cablefax.
What does the future look like for skinny bundles and flexible packaging? The big companies that control all the programming won’t give up their vice grip on the big, expensive bundle until they decide to go all in on OTT direct to consumers, but in the meantime, consumers will have already moved on to the video choices they want on our members’ broadband platforms.
Last show I binged not on my network(s): “Mindhunter” on Netflix. But by the time you publish this, there will be MANY others!
Favorite podcast: Well, there’s this new one called “ACA’s Cable Talk” with this host guy I know, but my other favorites are “IMHO Podcast,” featuring Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers Trevor Williams and Stevhen Brault, and “Penguins Live Post-Game,” (but only after a Pens’ win!).
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? Captain America. He’s the guy you want on your team, because of his “super strength” of character, commitment, dedication, devotion and sacrifice for others. #TeamCap