David Krone never got around to fulfilling his
mother's wish for him to attend law school.
Bitten by the political bug instead, Krone, 32, has devoted
his career to fighting regulatory and legislative brushfires for Tele-Communications Inc.,
now AT&T Broadband & Internet Services.
The Philadelphia native will bring that expertise to his
latest industry role as executive vice president for the National Cable Television
Association -- a post where he will continue preaching that cable must "speak as
"That's a lesson I learned from [former NCTA
president] Decker Anstrom: 'Always speak as one,'" Krone said. He assumes
his new position Oct. 1.
In announcing his latest addition to the NCTA's
roster, newly installed present Robert Sachs cited Krone's years of fighting
"David brings to the NCTA an in-depth knowledge of our
business and a wealth of experience working on cable-regulatory matters at the federal,
state and local level," Sachs said. "He will be a valuable addition to the NCTA
team, and he will contribute greatly to our industry in the years ahead."
As AT&T Broadband's point man in Washington, D.C.,
Krone has been one of the industry's leading voices in recent months, as cable has
struggled against a bid by Internet-service providers to unbundle its broadband pipe.
"And we've done a good job," Krone said.
"We've seen [open-access] legislation introduced, but it is going nowhere.
People are starting to understand that competitors are trying to use this to gain a
foothold in a business proposition."
A 1989 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Krone got
"the political bug" during his days as an intern with Rep. Richard Gephardt
During a stint with Southern Strategies Inc., a North
Carolina-based political-consulting firm, he was assigned to spearhead a local referendum
being sponsored by TCI in Morganton, N.C., a community that was attempting to deny the MSO
a franchise renewal.
"To nobody's surprise, we lost," he said.
TCI, however, took notice of Krone, offering him a job that
brought him under the tutelage of former communications director Bob Thomson.
When Thomson left the company in 1997, Krone figured it was
time to move on, reasoning that new TCI president Leo J. Hindery Jr. would want his own
guy heading up the show in Washington.
"But Leo said I was the man [he wanted]," Krone
said." He showed confidence in me. That's something I've never
In an era of industry consolidation, Krone said, the
challenge at the NCTA will be balancing the disparate interests of the industry's
largest players against those of the midsized operator.
"My strengths, I hope, are a strong work ethic,
tenacity, a desire to stick with it and not give up," he said. "I'm excited
about the opportunity. When I came to Washington, I was 'The Cable Guy.' Well,
I'm still proud to be associated with this industry."