'Break’ Could Be Keeper

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Cable’s “Spring Break” break week might become an annual rite.

Events held by Cable Positive, Women in Cable & Telecommunications and its New York chapter, Horowitz Associates Inc. and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications brought executives here from around the cable universe, leading to record-setting attendance and strong fund raisers. Cable officials also gathered in Vail, Colo., a successful SkiTAM last week.

Previously held at different times, the events coalesced in the Big Apple.

The March 30 Cable Positive dinner, which honored Showtime Networks Inc. chairman and CEO Matt Blank, drew a record 1,050 attendees. “We averaged around 850 [attendees] for the last three years,” Cable Positive CEO Steve Villano said.

The dinner raised $1.2 million, the most since 2001.

WICT president Benita Fitzgerald Mosley said WICT Leadership Forum 2004 attracted more than 450 attendees, up from 325 last June in Orlando.

Around 1,100 people broke bread during the Wonder Women Luncheon 2004, sponsored by WICT’s New York chapter and Reed Business Information, owner of Multichannel News. The event, celebrating 13 of the most influential women in cable, drew 640 in 2003.

Horowitz Associates Inc.’s 4th Annual State of Cable and Broadband Forum saw a major lift. President Howard Horowitz said almost 300 attended March 30 to hear new findings about multicultural marketing, up from 180 the year before.

Villano said he’s already meeting with the other organizations about a similar weeklong affair in early March 2005. “We’re very high on doing this again because it really worked to everyone’s advantage.”

Mosley said WICT’s board was slated to discuss the matter last Friday.

Planners have to be mindful of bumping up against next year’s National Show, which is slated for San Francisco from April 3-6, 2005.

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