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Anstrom and Raven Top List of NCTA's 2005 Vanguard Honorees

By National Cable & Telecommunications Association
Feb 24, 2005, 21:31

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Cable Industry Leaders will be Honored April 4 at The National Show

WASHINGTON, -- Decker Anstrom, President & Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Communications Inc., and Abbe Raven, President, A&E Networks-USA, will receive the cable industry's top honor, the 2005 Vanguard Awards for "Distinguished Leadership," the National Cable & Telecommunications Association announced today. Anstrom and Raven head the list of 11 Vanguard Award winners who will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the cable industry.

The 2005 Vanguard Awards will be presented on Monday, April 4 at an evening awards ceremony and reception during The 2005 National Show, NCTA's 54th Annual Convention & International Exposition, April 3-5 in San Francisco.

Inaugurated in 1965, the Vanguard Awards are presented annually to individuals who excel in both business and personal commitment to their colleagues, and whose accomplishments merit the recognition of the entire cable industry. The Vanguard Awards will be presented by Nick Davatzes, Chair of the NCTA Vanguard Awards Committee, and President & CEO of A&E Television Networks.

A complete list of 2005 Vanguard Award honorees, along with a description of awards, follows.

Distinguished Leadership

Each year, two awards are presented, one to a man and one to a woman, who consistently have demonstrated the highest level of cable industry leadership. This year's recipients are:

Decker Anstrom, President & COO, Landmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Weather Channel. Prior to assuming his current role in January 2002, Anstrom was the president and chief executive officer of The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia. Anstrom served as president and chief executive officer of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from January 1994 until August 1999, where he acted as the industry's chief public representative and lobbyist. Anstrom is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of NCTA and is a director of the Comcast Corporation. He serves on the Board of Directors of WHRO (Hampton Roads Public Television and Radio) and the Chrysler Museum of Art Board of Trustees. In addition, he is a member of the Federal Communication Commission's Advisory Committee on Diversity. Anstrom was past chairman of The Walter Kaitz Foundation Board of Trustees and past vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cable TV Advertising Bureau (CAB).

Abbe Raven, President, A&E Networks-USA. Under Raven's stewardship, the A&E Network has been honored with a record 24 Emmy nominations, experienced double-digit growth in ratings and overall impressions, and was deemed Network of The Year (2004) by Sweepsbook. In 2004, Raven was named one of The Power 100 Women In Entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter and CableWORLD's Top 50 Most Influential Women In Cable. Raven has been in the forefront of numerous industry-wide initiatives, from addressing violence on television, opening doors for women in the industry and encouraging educational outreach. Raven is currently on the Board of Trustees and Vice President of The National History Day Organization. She is a member of Women in Cable and Telecommunications, American Women in Radio & Television, The National Council for History Education, CTAM, PROMAX, ATAS and NATAS.

Young Leadership

The growth of cable is in large part due to the energy, vitality and creativity of the many young people working within the industry, and The Young Leadership Award recognizes those individuals who already have made a mark on the industry and its constituents. This year's honoree is:

Steve Miron, President, Advance/Newhouse Communications. Miron has held various positions in the cable television industry since 1989 starting with positions with MetroVision, Vision Cable Communications, NewChannels and Time Warner Cable, Syracuse. In March of 2002, Miron was named President of Advance/Newhouse Communications. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center in Syracuse, and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Emma Bowen Foundation in 2003 and the Board of Directors of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing in 2005.


Cable's creative programming services make the industry a leader in the home entertainment business, and this award recognizes innovation, leadership and individual achievement of NCTA's programmer members. This year's dual honorees will be:

George Bodenheimer, President - ESPN, Inc. & ABC Sports and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. An ESPN and cable industry pioneer since 1981, Bodenheimer was named ESPN's fifth President in 1998. In 2003, he was also appointed President of ABC Sports, overseeing all the multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company. The role of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks was added in 2004. Bodenheimer serves on the boards of NCTA, Cable in the Classroom, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Cable Center. He is also a member of the Cable Programming Committee of the Museum of Television and Radio.

Johnathan Rodgers, President & CEO TV One. Rodgers presided over the launch of TV One, the new entertainment and lifestyle cable television network targeting adult African American viewers. Before joining TV One, he was president of Discovery Networks, U.S. for six years. Rodgers is on the boards of the Children's Defense Fund and the Peabody Awards and he is a trustee of the University of California (Berkeley) Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Procter & Gamble Company and NCTA.

Associates & Affiliates

This award recognizes the important contributions of equipment manufacturers and service suppliers to cable industry innovation, growth and progress. This year's honoree will be:

Leslie Ellis, Analyst, Columnist and Author. Focusing on the range of technologies shaping cable television, interactive television and broadband networks, Ellis writes a biweekly column for Multichannel News, which aims to de-mystify and add context to the technologies used in broadband networks, and currently serves as Technology Advisor to CTAM. She wrote "Definitive Broadband," a popular technical reference for non-engineers, and co-authored "The Field Guide to Broadband" and "Planet Broadband." Ellis is a member of the Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers.

Science & Technology

This award honors individuals who have played a significant role in product improvement, and design and development of engineering techniques. This year's honoree will be:

Wilt Hildenbrand, Executive Vice President, Engineering & Technology, Cablevision Systems Corporation. Hildenbrand has played a major role in Cablevision's success over the past three decades and his career includes a number of engineering breakthroughs in the cable industry. Most notably, Hildenbrand was responsible for overseeing the rebuild of Cablevision's extensive broadband network, creating one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in the world. Today, that network is used to deliver Cablevision's portfolio of innovative Optimum-branded digital services to more than three million households in the New York metropolitan area, including the industry's first widely deployed and most penetrated digital voice-over-cable (VoIP) service, the fastest and most highly-penetrated high- speed Internet service, and the first digital cable service to be adopted by more than 50 percent of basic cable customers.

Cable Operations Management

This award recognizes the efforts of cable's system managers, who work under intensely competitive conditions in today's dynamic telecommunications environment, and are critical to the cable industry's success at the local level. This year's dual recipients will be:

Steve Rizley, Vice President & Region Manager - Arizona, Cox Communications, Inc. Cox Communications Arizona serves 37 communities including Phoenix and Southern Arizona. A 24-year cable television veteran, he joined Cox in 1995 as general manager for Cox Media, the media sales organization for Cox in Phoenix. Rizley serves in several civic, church and educational leadership capacities, including as a board member of the Valley of the Sun United Way, the ASU Walter Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees, the BYU Marriott School National Advisory Committee and the executive committee of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

Barry Rosenblum, Executive Vice President, Time Warner Cable. Rosenblum is primarily responsible for the company's cable operations in the state of New York and Portland, Maine serving more than two and a half million customers. He also oversees the company's four 24-hour local news channels within New York State including the award-winning NY1 based in New York City. Rosenblum currently serves as Vice Chairperson of the Cable Television and Communications Association of New York. He is a long time supporter of the Child Abuse Prevention Program, which serves New York City public school children, and in 2004, he was appointed Honorary Chairman of the New York City Chapter of Cable Positive.

Government & Community Relations

This award recognizes those individuals who have had a significant impact on promoting a positive public image and advocating public policy positions for the cable industry at the national, state and/or local levels. This year's honoree is:

David Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. Cohen has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including corporate communications, government affairs, public affairs, corporate administration, and serving as senior counselor to the CEO. In addition, among his many civic activities, Cohen serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, as Chair of the Trustee Board and the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine, and a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of its Executive Committee. A former Chairman of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cohen continues to serve as a member of those organizations' boards and executive committees. He also serves as a member of the national Board of City Year.


This award honors an individual who has been instrumental in the development of marketing approaches that significantly enhance cable's public image and increase customers. This year's honoree will be:

Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Distribution & Marketing Strategy, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, Discovery Networks, U.S. A 17-year veteran of the cable industry, McFarling is a lead member of Discovery Networks Affiliate Sales & Marketing senior management team and has played an instrumental role in the growth of Discovery's U.S. cable networks. McFarling holds numerous leadership roles as a member of CTAM; Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT), for which she was selected in 2004 to join the organization's Betsy Magness Leadership Institute; and the Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA).

Attending the Awards Ceremony

Reservations are needed for the Vanguard Awards and Reception at The National Show. For more information, contact Michelle Ray in NCTA Industry Affairs at 202/775-3669.

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Anstrom and Raven Top List of NCTA's 2005 Vanguard Honorees