A class photo from the 2016 Cable TV Pioneers 50th anniversary celebration.

The Cable TV Pioneers will induct 20 executives into its 51st class of pioneers, including BET’s Debra Lee and Showtime chairman Matt Blank. The group, which was founded in 1966 during an NCTA convention, has grown from 21 entrepreneurs to more than 700 men and women over the past 50 years.

With the demise of NCTA’s annual trade show, the Cable TV Pioneers banquet will move to precede the opening of SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo on October 17. The black tie ceremony will take place at Denver’s Brown Palace. Last year, the group held a gala to celebrate its 50th anniversary, with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes among those inducted.

The 2017 class swelled to 20 members from 14 the previous year. “Just as our industry grows broader and more robust, so do the number of nominees for the Cable Pioneers. It’s obvious from this year’s class that our membership consists of men and women who make significant contributions to the growth of our industry and our communities,” Pioneers chair Susan Bitter Smith said in a news release.

The 2017 Cable TV Pioneers Class: 

Tom Adams                                                                            Charter Communications

Matthew Blank                                                                       Showtime Networks, Inc.

Steve Brett                                                                               GCI Liberty Corp.

Jack Bryant                                                                             ComSonics

Cynthia Carpenter                                                                 Charter Communications

John Chapman                                                                      Cisco

Anne Cowan                                                                           CTAM

Chris Dunkeson                                                                    Comcast Corporation

Jana Fay                                                                                 C-SPAN

Charlotte Field                                                                      Charter Communications

Tony Finger                                                                           CommScope

James George                                                                       American Cable Services

Tim Gropp                                                                             Arris

Larry Hanson                                                                        Ambit Project Management

Dale Hopkins                                                                        GSN

Debra Lee                                                                              BET

Sean McGrail                                                                        NESN

Ron McMillan                                                                       Time Warner (Retired)

Jay Vaughan                                                                          DSV Services

Richard White                                                                      Consultant

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