Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - 20

INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Robert Wieand
Service Electric Cablevision
One of the many criteria our
judges investigate when deciding
whom to honor in this magazine
each year is whether or not
the individual has infl uenced the
industry. Is he or she someone
whose activities make a difference
beyond his or her own company?
In that respect, few of our honorees
are more distinguished than
controller Bob Wieand.
In truth, Wieand's pedigree is
such that he could be honored for
either one of his jobs. The Emmaus,
PA, native's full-time position has
him managing fi nancial relations for
Service Electric Cablevision, with
about 100K subs spread over three
PA systems. A mainstay, he's been
with SEC for nearly 25 years.
Wieand's 'other' job is chairing the 20-member board of
This greatly reduced the demand
for TVs in the area.
To overcome this situation,
MADE IN PA: NCTA chief Michael Powell (left) and a
gift from Bob Wieand.
directors of the Broadband Cable Association of PA (BCAP),
the statewide trade group representing cable operators,
programmers and vendors. Wieand has put in his innings at
BCAP, too, serving two terms as chairman and as a board
member for 14 years.
Some background is needed to appreciate why Wieand's
activities put him at the forefront of cable and independent
cable. Service Electric's founder, the late John Walson,
owned an appliance store in the mid-1940s that sold, installed
and repaired General Electric appliances in the Mahanoy
City area of Schuylkill County, PA. In 1947, the store
began selling TV sets. Turns out it was nearly impossible for
Walson's store and its customers to receive a clear picture
because the town is in a valley, surrounded by mountains.
Walson erected a utility pole and
antenna atop a nearby mountain,
later building a tower site. He connected
his appliance store to the
tower using wire cable and modifi
ed signal boosters. This brought
a clear picture on the sets in his
store, making it a popular gathering
place. The next year he connected
homes of his customers
along the cable path, thus starting
the country's fi rst cable system.
Cut to the present and Wieand has
been working for the Walson family
for 23 years; he reports to Mr.
Walson's grandson, Mark.
At the other end of Wieand's
portfolio, the Keystone State not
only boasts the country's fi rst
statewide cable association, it has more independent
cable operators than any state. " BCAP assures that cable
is treated fairly by the state in terms of regulation and taxes. "
He's most proud of " keeping unnecessary regulation
away from the industry, which, in our opinion, would have
restrained growth and hindered consumers from getting
increased Internet speeds. " Cablefax is far from the only
admirer of Wieand's leadership at BCAP. " Bob's strong
fi nancial background has helped us in numerous ways, "
says Daniel Tunnell, the BCAP president. " He has been a
steady and thoughtful member of our board for years, and
his guidance as our Chairman has been very valuable. "
At family owned SEC, Wieand's role includes managThe
late John Walson was the first cable operator to use
microwave to import distant TV stations, the first to use
coaxial cable for improved picture quality and the first to
distribute pay television programming (HBO).
Parent company Service Electric Television counts 250K
subs in PA and NJ, and ranks in the top 20 MSOs.
20
cablefaxmag.com
ing fi nances and relationships with lenders so there are
enough funds to allow it to reinvest in technology. " We
offer all the latest and greatest: HD, high-speed Internet,
TV Everywhere, voice, VOD, multi-tuner DVR; we consider
ourselves state of the art. " Owing to Wieand's prowess,
SEC is prepared to " jump on the next big technology...
which, quite frankly, can be expensive. " Speaking of
expensive, Wieand calls rising programming costs and
retransmission fees " the tough ones... and they're getting
more challenging every year. "
Still, the former CPA is bullish on cable. " We see some
cord cutting, but we don't see a lot of it. If you want live
sports and live coverage of other things, you almost have to
stick with cable, " he says.
- Seth Arenstein
July 2014
Cablefax: The Magazine
http://www.cablefaxmag.com

Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014

Contents
Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - Cover1
Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - Cover2
Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - Contents
Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - 4
Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - 5
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