Libby H. O’Connell, Ph.D.3/24/2006 7:00 PM Eastern
For more than a decade at A&E Television Networks, Libby H. O’Connell has been a model for how to use positive community relations to raise the profile of the cable industry and how to draw upon the power of television to educate and inspire. In her current role at A&E, she serves as historical advisor for the History Channel’s programming department, develops and produces educational and community-based initiatives, and oversees onsite video production with organizations such as the Smithsonian and the National Park Service.
In support of A&E’s new series, “Intervention,” she is working with The Partnership for a Drug Free America and local cable systems to organize town hall meetings highlighting the way family members and loved ones can help those battling addictions.
As a founder of The History Channel’s “Save Our History” initiative, O’Connell has invigorated historical discovery in communities across the country, inspiring teachers, students and families to learn more about their local history and how they can preserve structures, documents and historic sites in their towns and cities.
Through the Idea Book for Educators, teachers workshops in partnership with the Department of Education, and the History Channel and A&E Classroom Web sites, O’Connell has emphasized the substantive content and educational value that cable programming can provide. She has built strong and lasting relationships with cable operators from coast to coast by helping them bring these valuable resources to their customers.
A&E and the History Channel have received many prestigious awards including the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. O’Connell and her team have earned numerous Beacon Awards and in 2005 Save Our History was a finalist for the Golden Beacon.
O’Connell lends her support to industry organizations, serving as a board member for CTPAA and Cable in the Classroom. She is also active in organizations outside of the industry, helping to bolster cable’s reputation in cultural and educational institutions including the Smithsonian and National History Day.