Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018 - 4

cablefaxmag.com
publisher, cablefax
Michael Grebb
Ties that Bind
A group dubbed " Cable Old Timers " recently became very active on Facebook, with nearly
3,000 members, each with 20+ years in cable, posting a slew of memories. Among the
posts are remembrances of now extinct companies, photos of old tchotchkes and recollections
of those famed NCTA parties.
Somehow, even though my time in cable is a couple years shy of 20, I made it through the
door. So far, I've kept my memories of Western Show dinners at Anaheim's White House, those
amazing CTAM Summit concerts (Jackson Browne!) and snapshots of my Cable Positive cookbook
to myself. And while the stroll down Reminiscing Road has been fun, I think there's a larger
takeaway here: Cable-or whatever we're calling it these days-is all about connections.
Yes, negotiations can get tense at times. Competition can be brutal. But often times
there's a bond there that reminds everyone real people are involved, not nameless companies.
You've spent time together. Some of you may have shared hotel rooms with each other.
Your families may have met. You may have held hands with one another in a hotel ballroom
during Diversity Week on 9/11.
That train of thought ended up taking me to Washington, from where so much of our news is
coming these days. Talk to anyone who has spent a few decades inside the Beltway and it won't
take long for them to mention that the collegiality lawmakers once enjoyed has largely disappeared.
Former telecom subcommittee chair Billy Tauzin drove that point home during his ACA
Summit 25th anniversary dinner, getting a bit emotional as he recounted his time in Congress in
the 1990s vs today, when a third of the House doesn't even move their families to Washington.
And then I worried about whether that could happen to this community... The industry's
tradeshow around which so many of these memories coalesced is gone. Networking events
through local CTAM chapters are no more. As companies get larger, there's less time to get
to know who is on the opposite end of the table. Would someone who joined the industry
three years ago have any interest in joining an old timers group in another decade or two?
Would there be anyone to communicate with outside their own company?
Let's hope the answer is yes. With the industry growing more complex and larger-through
the addition of new sectors such as wireless and home automation, not to mention the challenges
of OTT nibbling away at the traditional video business-fi nding a way to make deeper
one-on-one connections is more important than ever. The good news is there are still many
ways to grow relationships. I saw fi rsthand the power of spending real time together last month
at the Cablefax Leaders Retreat. Local chapter events at WICT and NAMIC are opportunities for
meaningful exchanges. There also are the regular must-attends such as CTAM Think, Diversity
Week, the Kaitz Dinner, SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, the Cable Center Hall of Fame and so on that offer
the chance to get to know one another (tip: always attend the after parties).
Then there are the people on these pages. We honor them because of
the marks they are leaving on the industry. Many of them put mentorship
high on their radar. Some might even be considered " cable old timers. "
This issue gives you a bit of a window, we hope, into who they are. When
you fi nd yourself in the elevator with them or standing next to them at
an industry reception, rather than cornering them with a sales pitch,
maybe comment on their take on BitCoin or their favorite restaurant
(both questions we asked this year's honorees). Maybe it'll help you have
a good story for that Facebook group in 20 years and certainly it will help
remind you that there are real people behind these companies.
(323) 380-6263, mgrebb@accessintel.com
editorial
editorial director, cablefax
Amy Maclean
(301) 354-1760, amaclean@accessintel.com
managing editor
Cathy Applefeld Olson
contributors
Paula Hendrickson, Michael Maloney, Sara Winegardner
advertising/business
svp, media communications group
Diane Schwartz
(212) 621-4964, dschwartz@accessintel.com
account executive
Olivia Murray
(301) 354-2010, omurray@accessintel.com
marketing
marketing director
Kate Schaeffer
(301) 354-2303
kschaeffer@accessintel.com
subscriptions marketing
Carol Brault
(301) 354-1763
cbrault@accessintel.com
design/production
Yelena Shamis, yshamis@accessintel.com
Vince Lim, vlim@accessintel.com
senior production manager
Joann M. Fato, jfato@accessintel.com
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Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018

Contents
Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018 - Cover1
Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018 - Cover2
Cablefax The Magazine - June 2018 - Contents
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