Marsh & Milano @ WICT Awards (Photo: The Hollywood Times)
Marsh & Milano @ WICT Awards (Photo: The Hollywood Times)


By Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/2/14 – “We are pleased to shine a spotlight on the companies whose diversity programs and initiatives are positively impacting gender diversity in the industry,” Maria E. Brennan, CAE, WICT’s President & CEO told The Hollywood Times and others that gathered for the elegant WICT Signature Luncheon on Tuesday, April 29, 2014,  hosted by Giuliana Ranic, anchor of E! News.  The Signature Luncheon is designed to recognize those companies that are leading the way in demonstrating superlative gender diversity and inclusion tactics as measured by the WICT PAR Initiative employment survey.

Industry executives who accepted these PAR Excellence Awards on behalf of their organizations included:

Nomi Bergman, President, Bright House Networks

Jill Campbell, EVP & COO, Cox Communications

David L. Cohen, EVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation

Jerry Kent, Chairman & CEO, Suddenlink Communications

Ken Lowe, President, Chairman & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive

Gail MacKinnon, EVP & Chief Government Relations Officer, Time Warner Cable

Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer at Disney Channels World Wide, Disney ABC Television Group

John Martin, CEO, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Debbie Stang, VP, Human Resources, Midcontinent Communications

David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery Communications

WICT’s Vice President of Development, Lesa Faris added, “It is a pleasure to welcome E! and Suzanne Kolb as the premier sponsor and honorary chair of this important event that supports women in cable. We are also pleased to recognize Accenture and Neustar, Inc., Champion Sponsors of the 2014 WICT Signature Luncheon.”

The ballroom had round tables set up with wonderful table settings and we enjoyed a very delicious salad, followed by a finely prepared parmesan crusted chicken with vegetables.  The dessert was tart vanilla custard with sliced apples.

The Hollywood Times has the opportunity to congratulate Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer at Disney Channels World Wide, Disney ABC Television Group.  He said it was an honor to have won the award and it gives him great please to have so many women at Disney that hold VP or higher titles.

April 29 – May 1, 2014.  The cable companies all came together finally back in the city of Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center for their annual meeting.  Organized by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, The Cable Show 2014 is the cable industry’s largest annual trade show and conference.   Word has it that it will take place in Chicago next year.

Notable speakers and participants include Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler and top executives and creative’s from major networks and providers – including AMC Networks, Comcast, Cisco, Cox, ESPN, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting and many others.

Each year The Cable Show hosts the top influencers in entertainment, broadband, advanced technology, content creation, public policy, business and programming to participate in informative and engaging discussions.

They once again had a great press room with many desktop computers for us to use and a well-stocked lunch room with delicious food and drinks.

The Hollywood Times also was invited to attend the 17th Annual Cable Hall of Fame Awards, hosted by The Cable Center, held at the JW Marriott, LA Live.  Introduction into the Cable Hall of Fame is an award unlike any; it preserves tradition, recognizes innovation and reflects the earned respect of cable industry peers.

Here is a list of the Honorees:

Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent and Anchor, CNN.

Alex Best, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Cox Communications, Inc.

Fred Dressler, (deceased) Executive Vice President, Programming, Time Warner Cable

Jerald L. Kent, Chairman and CEO, Suddenlink Communications

Daniel L. Ritchie, Chairman and CEO, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts

David R. Van Valkenburg, Former CEO and COO, TeleWest PLC (UK)

Round tables filled the room and the first person that The Hollywood Times ran into was Robert L Schmidt, CEO for Great American Broadband, Inc. from Washington DC.  He was also the former head of NCTA before Cable was Cool.

I was carrying the TV One roller bag given to the press at check in.  He asked where was I going dragging that bag behind me.  I told him I was with the media and that stuck a conversation.  We formally introduced ourselves and he told me about why he was at the convention and especially to be here to honor his fellow colleges that were accepting awards.  He started off in the cable business and how he got to where he is now.  He also said he has 11 children and his wife is the only daughter of Arthur Godfrey.

On the menu was the first course of frisee salad, tomato, mozzarella, basil and aged balsamic. The entrée was parmesan crusted beef filet with pesto risotto, seasonal vegetables and port wine demi-glaze.  Dessert was a delicious vanilla crème Brule, hazelnut financier and fruit.

After the awards dinner The Hollywood Times was invited to a private party hosted by Revolt, a new and upcoming African American cable network station in the lobby bar of the JW Marriott.  A nice time had by all.

Wednesday night The Hollywood Times was invited to Cablefax & AXS TV Present “Cablemania” A Beatles Themed Late Night Party at Nokia Live.  The party included a 90-minute Live Broadcast of AXS TVs The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands, hosted by Katie Daryl and Featuring Acclaimed Beatles Tribute Band Britain’s Finest. BBC America and BBC World News, Havoc Television, MAVTV and Tennis Channel lend support as Additional Event Sponsors.

Thursday, May 1st was the last day of the show, so up to the press room to get some delicious lunch and snacks and off to the vendor area downstairs to walk the floor.  The Hollywood Times spoke to Rentrak and they said that there has been a somewhat steady stream of people but, in their opinion, they thought since the conference was here in Los Angeles, there were less people registered. They said several LA clients told them to come to their place of business instead of them coming to the conference.  That does make some sense and maybe they were on to something.

There were many free pens, cookies, candy, sodas and some neat gadgets some vendors were giving out.  The Hollywood Times met Stuart Smitherman, President of Vivicast Media.  They are a global content licensor specializing in making the best in 24/7 entertainment programming available to MPVD operators around the world. With a mix of mainstream networks, unique and niche content, and highly-desired movies and series for VOD Vivicast offers operators the content their subscribers want to see. Stuart said they were here to find any cable channel that would carry their live video feed from London of nightclubs and music video.  Stuart Smitherman said “that Vivicast constantly seeks the most unique and appealing television networks designed for a worldwide audience and ikonoTV is an invaluable addition to their offerings.  With 4K assets, images will seemingly transcend the TV screen as if the viewer is in the same room with exclusive works of art that often can’t be seen anywhere else.”

The Hollywood Times spoke with Doris Nadel, Director of Affiliate

Milano & Nadel (Photo: The Hollywood Times)
Milano & Nadel (Photo: The Hollywood Times)

Marketing with AXS TV, about the broadcast rights for each band that choose to be broadcast live, like Coachella festival and Stagecoach and now New Orleans Jazz Festival.  They have to go to every band and sign up the artist that give them the rights to show them live.  Doris said it is such a nightmare and that is why others companies don’t offer these bands live, but AXS feels it is what their viewers want.  They have worked very hard on concerts and now they are focusing more on entertainment and doing these festivals. They are partners with AEG, who are the promoters for the music festivals.  When they do multi artist it is much more difficult and with help from AEG, it makes it possible to do the 3-day festivals.

About WICT

For thirty-five years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide professional development programs, research and services that help advance women in cable media. With nearly 10,000 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry. Comcast|NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Suddenlink Communications are WICT’s Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.

About The Cable Center

Established in 1985, The Cable Center plays an integral role in the cable industry. The Center’s resources and information document cable’s rich heritage, while The Cable Center programs and support help fuel the industry’s progress.

With physical headquarters in Denver, Colorado, The Center’s presence extends wherever cable professionals work and wherever cable customers live. Our industry-wide mission and scope of service serve everyone involved in cable: operators, programmers, vendors, suppliers, professionals, and nonprofit industry organizations, as well as higher education and the general public.

The Cable Center’s unique historical resources are a living, growing testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of cable’s founders and to the innovative culture that drives the industry forward. Our programs help current professionals excel in their roles, while our higher education programs introduce future generations to this dynamic industry. And our seminal customer care programs make a powerful contribution to the industry’s collective efforts to improve customer relationships.

About AXS TV

AXS TV is the premier destination for live events and as-they-happen trends in music and pop culture. The network’s AXS TV Concerts brand is the #1 source on television for 100% live music. From multi-day festivals to stadium tours to club acts, AXS TV delivers an unparalleled experience for fans of all genres, from rock and hip hop to country, jazz, and metal. Now in over 40 million homes, network partners include Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS