Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013 - 28

2013 Top Ops Awards
INDEPENDENT REGIONAL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Doug Frank
Mediacom
Mary Tyler Moore came to the big city and made it after all.
Doug Frank did the reverse, leaving the crowded conurbations
of his native east coast and inding a home for himself
in Mediacom's Cedar Rapids, IA, ofices.
For our Independent Regional Executive of the Year, who runs
Mediacom's Central Region in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Illinois and Kentucky covering some 250K customers, his happiness
derives from several things. First, his son and wife love
Iowa. " The schools have been great, " the native of New Jersey
says, " although I miss going to the beach and delis, of course. "
In addition, coming to Mediacom has allowed Frank to reunite
with former boss, Ed Pardini, whom he met when the two
were at Comcast. Most important from a business standpoint,
he believes in the product. " The head ofice in Middletown, NY,
gives us great direction and terriic business opportunities, "
he says. " We're a relatively small company, but some of the
things we've been able to do, in terms of being on the edge
with technology, really help us " against competitors.
And while Frank's territory includes Ottumwa, IA, the
rural home of laid-back Radar O' Reilly of " M*A*S*H* " fame,
Mediacom faces plenty of competition now, at least on
the video, HSD and voice front. " We have 35 competitors,
ranging in size from major telcos to municipal overbuilders, "
he says. And instead of using short-wave radio as he
did during the Korean Conlict, the Radar of today could
go online and enjoy a download speed of 105 Mbps and
10Mbps upload, thanks to Mediacom doubling the speed of
its fastest Internet service in Ottumwa earlier this year.
A key to success, Frank believes, is treating each market
individually. " You have to examine each market's characteristics
and see where your sweet spot is, " he says. Often
it is Mediacom's speedy Internet offering. And while Frank
advocates this differentiated approach, he believes cable
customers throughout the country are united on a several
things. " They all want value for their money, convenience
and plenty of choice, " he says. And Frank knows of what
he speaks. He's been in cable for nearly 30 years, worked
in various regions of the country for small, medium and
large operators, and in a variety of positions from sales and
customer care to operations and senior management.
Frank also likes that Mediacom provides some of the advantages
of a large operator but with many of the intangibles
of a small company. " A lot of companies talk about their employees
being members of their family, " he says. " At Mediacom,
I really feel like it's a family. " That's because Mediacom
is small enough to be nimble operationally and able to reach
out, in good and bad times. Frank recalls that after a loss in
his family he had received a note of condolence from Media28
cablefaxmag.com
Newsleaders:
Doug Frank (right) on Mediacom's news show.
com's senior brass. Frank also appreciates how Mediacom
responded so generously to the Iowa City looding in June
2008. " Ed Pardini told me to get water. I told him we have
way too much water, there's looding here. But he knew what
he was doing. We later took trucks with water to shelters and
families who had lost their homes. " In addition, the company,
through [EVP] Italia Commisso and [EVP] John Pascarelli,
raised about $200K for the Red Cross and small businesses.
For Frank, " being visible " to his 600+ employees is key.
He travels throughout his region periodically. " It's a jaunt, "
he says. " Everybody says they have an open-door policy,
but I realized that very few people take advantage of that.
I ind you sometimes learn more during breaks than during
staff meetings. "
Related to being visible, Frank's also on the board of the
Community Resiliency Project, which responded to three
teen suicides a few years ago by attempting to build strong
communities and creating an environment that deters teen
suicide. " [Mediacom] is a natural vehicle for spreading the
word. I've been on boards in the past, but none touches me
like this one does, " he says.
Mediacom Chairman/CEO Rocco Commisso puts it well:
" Whether managing Mediacom's irst DOCSIS 3.0 market
launch or forging innovative and long-lasting partnerships
with institutional customers, Doug has always upheld Mediacom's
commitment to bringing advanced services and superior
customer care to our local markets. "
- Seth Arenstein
* One of Frank's college buddies at Dennison University in
Ohio was former ESPN chief George Bodenheimer.
Despite his success, Bodenheimer
never changed, Frank says of his close
friend. " He's always been a nice guy. "
* Mediacom teamed with Cedar
Rapids native son Ashton
Kutcher to raise funds for flood
victims in 2008.
July 2013
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