Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 17

MSO Lifetime Achievement
Kathy Zachem
raised Comcast's
profile inside and
outside Washington.
As a powerful advocate in some of the
cable and telecom industry's biggest
negotiations, Kathy Zachem has accumulated
her share of wisdom about
how to successfully transact a deal.
" I think the role of somebody like me
is to wear both a corporate hat and a
regulator hat, and to find the common
ground. When you just wear one of
them, it doesn't work, " says Comcast's
newly retired EVP, regulatory and state
legislative affairs.
" That requires regulators to assume
that companies could have the same common ground as regulators
do in terms of being driven by consumers, " she adds. " We lose
track sometimes that without consumers buying our products and
services, we have no company. We have to constantly be aware of
those consumer needs and, ultimately, the public interest benefit. "
That thinking helped Zachem seal Comcast's 2011 acquisition of
NBCUniversal. The takeover was perhaps the most salient milestone
of her career with the company, but only one of the many ways she
helped elevate Comcast. She joined in 2008, building what would
become a highly regarded team in D.C. and overseeing a network of
some 300 government affairs executives in the nation's capital and
around the country.
" Kathy's one-of-a-kind brand of sharp intellect and instinct, combined
with exceptional leadership and compassion, extended well
beyond Washington, influencing all corners of the company, " says
Tom Reid, Comcast chief legal officer and secretary.
Zachem is quick to note the NBCU deal wasn't her first rodeo. " Big
transactions are my specialty, " she says-and she's not overstating.
Prior to her tenure at Comcast, she worked on just about every
major wireless or Bell company transaction for two decades.
Now that she's stepped out of the fray and is enjoying hosting family
and friends at her home in Lewes, Delaware, Zachem reflects on
some of the most notable inflection points during her time at Comcast.
" When I joined Comcast it still had the regional, family-run cable
business philosophy at its heart, " she says. " It was really fun to
be part of it growing into a national, even worldwide communications
company, and to watch that happen while still finding it was
a company I loved because it still had the values and philosophies
Cablefax: The Magazine
September 2021
of a regional family-run company-
something I probably never would've
experienced had I stayed in a law firm. "
The lightspeed progression of technology
is also top of mind. " The dramatic
evolution of cable technology, Internet
technology, handheld devices like the
remote-it just was stunning to me
and really exciting, " she says.
At the heart of her career, Zachem says,
are the relationships she formed along
the way. " The comms bar is a close
bar. I think the challenge when working
in that environment is how to keep
the friendly, personal side going while
working on the other side of table, " she
says. " You can successfully advocate
and at the same time not offend... It's
something I prided myself on. "
Numerous peers applaud her ability
to balance the professional and the
personal. " Kathy has a deep understanding
of the substantive issues, a great appreciation of the politic,
and a keen strategic mind that sees several steps ahead and how
to get around obstacles, " says Catherine Bohigian, EVP, government
affairs, at Charter. " She is an absolute pro and makes the rest of us
raise our game. "
" Kathy's well-deserved career successes were built on a foundation
of doing the right thing, a passion for her work and boundless
energy, " says former FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy. " Kathy
is a force of nature and throughout her impressive career she has
juggled numerous responsibilities all while prioritizing what truly
matters-her family and friends. Kathy's commitment to mentoring,
supporting and inspiring others, particularly young women, is a
legacy that will continue to positively impact the cable industry for
years to come. " - Cathy Applefeld Olson
FAST FACTS
„ Prior to Comcast, Zachem was a founding
partner of law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer,
where she practiced for 23 years.
„ She cites Dick Wiley, former FCC chair and
co-founder of the law firm that bears his name,
as one of her earliest and steadfast mentors.
„ Zachem received NCTA's Vanguard Award
for Government & Community Relations in 2016.
cablefaxmag.com
17
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Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-july-2020_b
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-june-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-may-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-may-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-june-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2010
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