Once affectionately referred to as “Hell Week,” industry executives say this year’s “Diversity Week” gathering in New York of executives, cable organizations and telecommunications observers will serve as an opportunity to celebrate cable’s commitment to diversity and to challenge MSOs, programmers and suppliers to enhance their diversity efforts.
“Diversity Week provides the opportunity for all cable industry leaders to focus together on our progress and challenges in addressing diversity,” says National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert Sachs. “It’s is one of the activities that makes the cable industry such an extraordinary place in which to work.”
This year’s Diversity Week schedule features a unique and varied mix of informative and thought-provoking events, including The National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communication’s annual diversity-themed conference on Monday (Sept. 20), Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s Wednesday morning (Sept. 22) Blue Ribbon breakfast, and Women In Cable & Telecommunications’ annual luncheon.
Of course, the week’s centerpiece event is Wednesday night’s Walter Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner. Former California Cable Television Association president and Kaitz Foundation founder Spencer Kaitz will be honored, along with industry advocacy organizations NAMIC, WICT and The Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media.
But the week isn’t devoid of fun and entertainment. Cable Positive is bringing a taste of Broadway to cable executives with a Tuesday night benefit outing to the Tony Award-winning play Wicked, while Chuck Klein Productions will host its annual after-Kaitz soiree at the club Don’t Tell Mama.
Sachs says the Diversity Week programs and activities help set cable apart from most other industries in terms of recognizing the importance of reflecting the communities it serves both on screen as well as in its executive offices. While cable still has a ways to go to reach its diversity goals, Sachs says that Diversity Week is a major step in the right direction.
“It’s unique in all of American business that an industry comes together in this fashion to celebrate its diversity and seek ways to enhance it,” Sachs says. “The kinds of discussions that occur in our meetings and informal get-togethers during the week, combined with the centerpiece Kaitz Foundation Dinner, highlight our desire to create companies and content that reflect the many faces of our communities.”