Cablefax The Magazine - April 2017 - 26

REGIONALS
BUCKEYE BONANZA
Jeff Abbas
President & GM
Buckeye Broadband
Years in Cable: 24
Allan Block
Chairman of the Board
Buckeye Broadband
Years in Cable: 31
Education: University of
Pennsylvania
One Word that Best Describes
Me: Honest
When Abbas joined Buckeye
almost a year ago, the move
returned him to the operations side of the cable industry.
At the same time, the company, previously known as
Buckeye CableSystem altered its name to Buckeye
Broadband-a move overseen by Block. The change
came about as the service provider recognized that the future
of all of its communications businesses is broadband.
Another change last year came about when TiVo said it
would become the primary provider of the software, userexperience
and cloud services for Buckeye. The move
gives Buckeye customers access to both traditional and
streaming content, and allows Buckeye to rapidly deliver
new technologies and immediately satisfy its subscribers'
increasing demand for broadband video.
Block Q&A
What inspires you most about this industry? Serving
families at their home.
The best thing about fast broadband is...The advanced
services and programming which can be provided.
What are the top three qualities you look for in a
hire? Intelligence, integrity, and experience.
Which TV family is most like your own? There is no
TV family like ours!
My OTT prediction is... Unless programmers moderate
the increase in carriage fees, OTT is the future of video.
If President Trump tweeted about you, he would
say... " Puts America First. "
How do you celebrate your birthday? In Europe.
NEW HORIZONS
Richie Arnold
CEO
Conway Corporation
Years in Cable: 36
Education: BS, Business Administration,
University of Arkansas
One Word that Best
Describes Me: Blessed
This may be Arnold's last appearance in the Top 100 issue
as he is retiring on May 31 after working for more than 35
years in the cable industry, and he has many accomplishments
of which to be proud. At the beginning of his career,
he oversaw the launch of the communications service and
led the corporation to be an industry leader. Last December,
Arnold supervised Conway providing a 1 gig service
to all of its residential customers. His successor may
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Q&A
What inspires you most about this industry? I love
that the cable industry innovates and finds the technological
means to meet the ever-increasing needs of our
customers while leveraging our capital investments.
The best thing about fast broadband is ... Fast
broadband improves the quality of life for our customers
and, for most, it is now an essential service just like our
other utilities (electric, water, wastewater).
What are the top three qualities you look for in a
hire? Aptitude, attitude and customer awareness.
How do you celebrate your birthday? I have a nice
dinner with my wife and three children. Nothing could be
better!
CUBBIES WIN!
Phil Bedella
VP & GM
CSN Chicago
Years in Cable: 17
Education: Bachelor's, Illinois
State University
One Word that Best
Describes Me: Loyal
Bedella continues to be both an industry and civic leader
as he oversees the continued growth of Chicago's 24-hour
sports network and its 24/7 online counterpart, CSNChicago.com.
Since its launch, Comcast SportsNet has provided
in-depth game, pregame and postgame coverage for the
Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, plus expanded
Bears pre- and postgame coverage. The Chicago
Cubs World Series win last year wasn't just a victory for
long-suffering Windy City sports fans-ratings for CSN's
Cub games were up 36 percent from 2015. New in 2017
for Bedella and team: CSN Chicago is live streaming Cubs
and White Sox games to authenticated subscribers.
Q&A
What inspires you most about this industry? Every
day is a new challenge...finding ways to connect with
fans and seeing them have such a strong connection with
your product is exhilarating
The best thing about fast broadband is... All
the amazing news, information, and learnings you can
discover instantly
Three years from now, what do you hope has
been invented? Flying cars
What are the top three qualities you look for in a
hire? Hard worker, smart, good communicator
Which TV family is most like your own? The Barones
from " Everybody Loves Raymond " - we both work in
sports, both have kids, our family spends a lot of time with
our parents and, for a while, and we lived directly across
the street from the in-laws.
How do you celebrate your birthday? Dinner with
April 2017
benefit from advice that Arnold has adhered to throughout
his career: Focus on the customer. Arnold believes it's of
great benefit to try to stand in the customers' shoes and
see how service can be improved. He also believes in
surrounding oneself with great employees, who share the
same attitude.
my wife, kids, and parents at one of Chicago's many great
steakhouses
How long is your morning commute? I leave at 6:15
a.m., so it's only 30 minutes of driving time.
Last show I watched not on my network: " Designated
Survivor " on ABC and " The Night Manager " on AMC
New favorite binge: " The Late Late Show with James
Corden's " segments " Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts "
BOYERS TOWN
Patricia Jo Boyers
President
BOYCOM Cablevision
Years in Cable: 39
Education: University of Missouri
One Word that Best Describes
Me: Tenacious
Loaded with southern charm
and a driven personality, Boyers
has a " tell it like it is " attitude. Last summer, she was
re-elected to another two-year term as ACA vice chair,
and she continues to exude pride and forward thinking for
what BOYCOM and other small cable operators continue
to deliver to their communities. She also embraces the
opportunity cable has to invest private capital in order to
maintain and expand world-class communications.
Q&A
What inspires you most about this industry? The
ability to work and network with some of the finest folks
in the country!
The best thing about fast broadband is ... that it
isn't slow anymore!
What are the top three qualities you look for in a
hire? Good, firm handshake; will look you straight in the
eye; and can drive a manual transmission!
If President Trump tweeted about you, he would
say... " Go get 'em, girlfriend! "
How do you celebrate your birthday? Quietly
CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME
Bill Bridgen
President & Group Leader
NBC Sports Regional Sports
Networks
Years in Cable: 20
Education: BA, Gettysburg
College; JD, Temple University
School of Law
One Word that Best Describes Me: Transparent
Game changes happen off the field, too. In October, NBC
Sports Group announced the reorganization of its regional
sports networks that deliver more than 2,200 live sporting
events to 43 million US households. Bridgen, previously
president and GM of CSN New England, was promoted to
his current role, where he oversees CSN Bay Area, CSN
California, CSN Chicago and CSN Northwest. Each GM in
this network group reports to Bridgen and collaborates
with him on all aspects of super-serving fans in their
respective markets.
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Cablefax The Magazine - April 2017

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