CTAM’s Orlando Speakers Include a Marketing ‘Wiz’

CTAM’s Orlando Speakers Include a Marketing ‘Wiz’

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing is doubling up on conferences this week, in Orlando, Fla.

“The biggest new thing” in store for the CTAM Summit is that it will be fully co-located with the researchfocused CTAM Insights conference, CTAM chief Char Beales told The Wire. “Marketers are interested in insights, and Insights folks are interested in understanding what marketers are looking for. So we think it’s a real nice marriage.”

Beales also highlighted two notable sessions, one on Sunday (Oct. 14) with Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Universal Orlando Resort, focused on the resort’s pricey attraction, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” Beales said Norsworthy’s challenge should seem analogous to what cable programmers face when a network spends big for a show and then tells the marketers to go bring in viewers.

The other is a Monday afternoon (2:15 p.m.) session on strategies for targeting low-income customers, possibly employing pre-paid approaches that have worked for mobile phone companies. Nomi Bergman, president of Bright House Networks and Summit cochair, said that should be an especially “actionable” session, noting the reports Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett has done, warning cable not to ignore that segment.

Ed Carroll, the chief operating officer at AMC Networks, is the other co-chair, and Beales credited him with the conference theme, “thriving in the complex cable and media ecosystem,” meant to underline the value of multichannel video offerings. Carroll also recruited keynote speaker Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment, a studio that’s prospered by diversifying into cable programming (Mad Men, Weeds) and is even developing a show for Netflix. “They’re doing a lot of interesting things,” Carroll said.

As always, the conference tries for a balance of cable insiders and outside experts as speakers, the organizers said, and the outsiders this time include Deepak Chopra, with thoughts about “the impact of media on society and how we can make a positive impact,” Beales noted.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort location led to early hotel bookings, though overall the conference is expected to draw fewer than the approximately 1,670 who attended last fall’s Summit in New York, Beales said. “We feel like it will be a good crowd,” she said.

Next October, the Summit returns to New York as part of Diversity Week.

Green Gets Gold With Lifetime Emmy Engineering Award

Dick Green is getting more hardware for his trophy case.

The former CableLabs president and CEO is this year’s recipient of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors “a living individual whose ongoing contributions have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.”

“I am surprised and honored to have received this very prestigious award from the Academy,” Green wrote in an email to The Wire.

Green, whose other honors include induction in the Cable Hall of Fame and a National Cable & Telecommunications Association Vanguard Award, headed CableLabs from its inception in May 1988 until his retirement in 2009. During his tenure, he shepherded major cable industry developments including DOCSIS — all while navigating competing MSO technology agendas with his legendary good humor and technical smarts.

Prior to CableLabs, Green also was instrumental in defining the U.S. TV industry’s HD standards when he worked at the PublicBroadcasting Service and CBS.

Other winners of the 64th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards — not to be confused with the confusingly similar Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards bestowed at CES by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, also announced last week — include Netflix and Eastman Kodak. ATAS gave a nod to Adobe Systems’ Pass authentication system for TV Everywhere with the slightly less prestigious “Engineering Plaque.”

— Todd Spangler