NEW YORK — Cable Positive, the industry's AIDS-action organization, will honor Cablevision Systems Corp. CEO James Dolan at its annual benefit dinner, to be held here Tuesday, May 22.
Dolan will receive The Joel A. Berger Award for "outstanding efforts and contributions in the fight against AIDS."
In selecting Dolan, Cable Positive cited a Cablevision requirement that every employee attend Cable Positive's "AIDS In the Workplace" seminars. The MSO also ensures that Cable Positive's Employee Assistance Program is well-promoted in employee communications.
Cablevision also supports awareness campaigns for National HIV Testing Day (June 27) and World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) by airing public-service announcements and developing partnerships with local AIDS service organizations to produce and air HIV or AIDS-related original programming to more than 3 million subscribers.
Dolan has personally worked with other cable-operator CEOs to encourage the development of similar information programs within their companies, the advocacy group said.
Cablevision, through its The Wiz retail chain, recently donated $20,000 in computer equipment to Cable Positive when the organization moved into new permanent offices at 250 W. 54th St. in New York. Cablevision also adopted the State University of New York Downstate's STAR Clinic HIV Center for Women and Children in Brooklyn, N.Y., which serves a largely African-American and Caribbean-American community hard-hit by HIV and AIDS in New York and elsewhere.
Cable Positive executive director Steve Villano said in a statement that 40 percent of the approximately 5,000 U.S. cable-industry employees who receive AIDS-awareness training each year are Cablevision employees. And about 25 percent of the industry employees helped by Cable Positive's Employee Assistance Fund work for the MSO.
"That speaks volumes for the leadership of a forward-thinking company, which destigmatizes the disease and does all it can to educate its work force and assist its employees affected by HIV," Villano said. "That tone of education and compassion is set from the top, and at Cablevision it starts with Jim Dolan."
Past Berger Award recipients include Marc B. Nathanson (2000), Anne Sweeney (1999), Leo Hindery Jr. (1998), Dick Aurelio (1997), Winston H. "Tony" Cox (posthumously in 1996) and Jeffrey Bewkes and Michael Fuchs (1995). The award is named for Joel A. Berger was a Cable Positive honorary chair and the group publisher of Multichannel News
magazine. He died of AIDS in 1995.
Dinner chairpersons are VH1 and CMT: Country Music Television president John Sykes and Primedia Inc. chairman Tom Rogers.
The event will be held at Pier 60 of New York's Chelsea Piers. To buy tickets, call Buckley Hall Events at (212) 573-6933. The Cable Positive contact is Melissa Hinnen at (212) 459-1502.