CAB Still Looking for Speakers

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With just three weeks remaining before the Cable Sales Management Conference in Chicago, officials at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau are still working to line up speakers for its annual event, which runs May 21-24.

The CAB has been attempting to line up more outside speakers at the conference. But no executives from advertising agencies -- the trade group’s chief target this year -- had been confirmed to speak at the conference by last Wednesday, according to CAB president Sean Cunningham.

“We knew taking this on that we were potentially going to have some moving targets and an occasional heartbreak on some of the speakers,” Cunningham said. “We said that one month out, we’ll start to tighten [the speaker list] up. But we knew that we were talking about super-busy [chief marketing officers] and people who literally do about three jobs at once.”

Charter Communications Inc. senior vice president Jim Heneghan, co-chair of the conference, said he wasn’t concerned about being able to line up speakers before the event.

“I do know the media-sale leaders in cable depend on this conference to give them interaction with decision makers in every area of this business, and that will be delivered,” Heneghan said in an e-mail.

Cunningham said the CAB planned to hold a meeting last Thursday with about 30 executives from MSOs, cable networks and rep firms like National Cable Communications to nail down the speaker list.

The conference is scheduled to kick off May 22 at the Chicago Hyatt Regency with a few afternoon panel sessions on topics such as interactive-television advertising and research on how consumers use digital-video recorders.

A yet-to-be-determined speaker will give a keynote address following the opening general session May 23, and the CMO from a leading advertising agency is scheduled to give a keynote address that afternoon.

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