Photos from the Cable & Telecommunications Human Resources Association's annual Symposium and Awards Luncheon, held in Atlanta on May 2.
Through the Wire
Time on Their Hands?
A hot new collectible has popped up at Charter Communications Inc.'s St. Louis corporate offices: satellite dishes decked out as wall clocks.
The decorative items bear such slogans as "Time is running out for the Dish" and "Stop wasting time with a dish."
The clocks are the brainchild of employees of Tihen's Communications, a Charter subcontractor. "As a joke," workers there converted one of the dishes the MSO had bought back under a marketing program aimed at luring customers away from its direct-broadcast satellite competitors, said Charter regional field manager John Scheihing.
Scheihing said the subcontractors drilled a hole in the hardware, dropped in a clock mechanism and used adhesive letters to embellish the dishes with slogans. The field manager, who really likes his custom timepiece, said the clocks are "really taking off."
Makes a great Christmas gift, huh?
A Stand-Up Guy
For years, the Federal Communications Bar Association has staged a dinner to honor the current FCC chairman, who is called upon to display his comedic talents.
At last Thursday's FCBA dinner, attended by 1,500 lawyers and lobbyists, FCC chairman Michael Powell received a standing ovation for some of these witticisms:
On America's long war against terrorism: "[President Bush] did say last week confidently â¦ that he was certain terrorism would be eliminated long before the digital-TV transition was over."
On the TV ad war between supporters and opponents of the Tauzin-Dingell broadband deregulation bill: "This Tauzin-Dingell guy has really stirred up a hornet's nest. If the pro-Tauzin-Dingell bill ads are to be believed, this bill will do everything from curing male-pattern baldness to wiping out the Taliban."
On marking the 100th birthday of Walt Disney and his contributions to childhood wonder: "Disney thinks it's time to bring that same fantasy to 18-year-old high school boys everywhere with the new 'Wonderful World of Victoria's Secret Land'â due to open soon."
On why he had to give a speech at a dinner honoring him: "I have to tell you while I do enjoy performing a little, I do resent this dinner a little bit: Why on earth does the chairman of the FCC have to be funny. Isn't what I do all year funny enough?"
CNN on the Charts
Here's a "spin-off" Cable News Network didn't expect â a hit record, thanks to Alan Jackson's latest emotion-charged song, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)."
That song ranked No. 2 on Billboard's country singles chart, dated Dec. 22, and No. 30 on its "Hot 100." (A few weeks ago, it was the No. 12 country hit â solely based on radio airplay, since it wasn't yet on sale.)
In the Sept. 11-inspired song â which bowed on CBS' star-spangled Country Music Association Awards special in November â Jackson sings, "I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference between Iraq and Iranâ¦"
Meanwhile, two salutes to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks âThe Concert for New York City
(from VH1's live special) and America: A Tribute to Heroes
(simulcast on many broadcast and cable networks) â passed each other on Billboard's album chart. Concert, which debuted at No. 27 two weeks ago, fell to No. 39 last week, when Tribute made its debut at No. 17; the latter includes Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" â the No. 4 single for two weeks in a row.
Court TV has come up with an unusual Christmas gift â "The New Yorker
Court TV Crime and Justice Cartoon Book" â which it sent out to The Wire and other members of the press last week.
Published by Cartoon Bank Press, its 86 pages include a few with a Court TV connection. One cartoon panel, for instance, depicts a guy trying on a suit and asking, "You don't think it's too Johnnie Cochran?"
Cochran, of course, has twice been a Court TV regular, first as part of its O.J. Simpson trial coverage and later as co-host of a primetime series.
A Grand Old Venue
When one thinks of concert venues, Manhattan's Grand Central Station doesn't readily come to mind. And yet it's attracted a few rock stars through the years.
Melissa Etheridge was slated to become the latest to perform at the terminal on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 16, when â no doubt to the surprise of holiday shoppers â she taped an hour-long special there. Melissa Etheridge Live in Concert
will air on MuchMusic USA on Christmas at 9 p.m.
A few years ago Carly Simon, also staged a concert at Grand Central for Lifetime Television. And back in the day, the Rolling Stones announced their 1989 "Steel Wheels" tour there.
MuchMusic vice president of programming Norman Schoenfeld said, "[We] look forward to more concerts in the coming months." He didn't indicate whether any others would originate from the commuter terminal.
Lost & Found
Last week, Trio showed Happy Holidays with Bing & Frank
â in which Crosby and Sinatra croon yule tunes â for the first time since 1957, and for the first time ever in color.
The "Chairman of the Board's" daughter, Nancy Sinatra, found the half-hour classic â which had been presumed lost â in her father's archives. The original ran on ABC in black and white, but Trio said Frank had once mulled releasing the color version to theaters.
Like Discovery Channel prowling for dinosaur fossils, Trio is seeking out more such "hidden gems," said Trio vice president of acquisitions and scheduling Kris Slava.
But Trio is not alone in its quest for such TV treasure. For its part, TV Land recently resurrected another Sinatra gem, starring Frank and the "Rat Pack" in Las Vegas.
Earlier this year â long after "lost" episodes of Jackie Gleason's syndicated black-and-white sitcom The Honeymooners
were discovered â Hallmark Channel latched onto hitherto "lost" color episodes of his Miami-based 1960s update of the series.