A Happy Return to NYC

Publish date:
Updated on

New York — Diversity Week
returned to the cable-TV industry
calendar last week.

Events, including the National
Association for Multi-Ethnicity
In Communications Conference
and the Walter Kaitz Foundation
annual Fundraising Dinner, had
shifted to the Cable Connection–
Fall gathering in Denver a year
ago. The National Cable & Telecommunications
then brokered an arrangement to
return the traditional September
events to New York City. Here are
some snapshots from the week,
which also included the Women
in Cable Telecommunications
Leadership Conference and the
Association of Cable Communicators


About 500 people attended
the annual WICT Leadership
Conference last Monday and
Tuesday, with 700 cable-industry
executives breaking bread
at last Monday’s WICT awards
luncheon, according to Talton
Gibson, vice president of communications
for the women’sadvocacy

Conference attendance was
25% more than the 2009 event,
which was held during Cable
Connection–Spring in Washington,
D.C. The luncheon
featured WICT’s 2010 Woman
of the Year, Food Network
president Brooke Johnson
and Woman to Watch, Turner
Broadcasting senior vice president
of operations Veronica

“Thank you for coming out en
masse,” WICT CEO Maria Brennan
said at the noontime New
York Hilton event, before Ruby
Gettinger, star of Style Network’s
Ruby, charmed the audience
with a little bit of her personal
story. Watching TV helped save
her life, Gettinger said. A program
about obese women
inspired her to take actions
that have led to her losing
more than 400 pounds, from
a weight of 716 pounds. She
urged the network presidents
in the audience to keep inspiring
people to save their
own lives.

“We thought adding WICT
to Diversity Week would be
successful and we are overwhelmed
by just how true
that prediction was,” Gibson
said. “Bringing all three organizations
together at one time demonstrated
the industry’s support
for diversity, while allowing us to
work together and create impactful
individual events that brought
home the bottom line value of diversity
programs. It was an extremely
powerful message and
we can’t wait for next year.”


The 24th annual NAMIC Conference
drew more than 560
attendees in its return to New
York, officials of the diversityfocused
organization said.

That’s well above the 400 attendees
NAMIC drew in Denver
last year — the first time the conference
had been held outside of
New York. NAMIC had expected
a lift, given that most of its members
live on the East Coast.

NAMIC president Kathy Johnson
opened the two-day conference
by emphasizing the need
for the industry to prepare for
a future that will be marked by
a growing multicultural audience
and a fast-changing technological
marketplace. “We’ve
just begun to understand
how diversity moves markets,
avails us opportunities to extend
brands and
captures new audiences,”
she said.
“As industry leaders
we must be prepared
to respond to
technological, demographic,
and social


The Walter Kaitz
Foundation enjoyed
a successful
return to New
York, generating
$1.5 million from
its annual benefit

The financial
windfall, including
will aid the diversity
efforts of WICT,
NAMIC and the
Emma L. Bowen
Foundat ion
for Minority Interests
in Media, according to
David Porter, Kaitz executive
director. Last year’s Kaitz dinner
held in Denver — the first
outside of New York — generated
$1 million.

Kaitz honored Discovery Communicat
ions as Diversity
Champion during the Wednesday-
night dinner. Discovery
CEO David Zaslav, in accepting
the honor, began by
thanking everyone who had
sent messages of support after
the hostage situation that
took place at the company’s
Silver Spring, Md., headquarter
on Sept. 2. U.S. Rep.
Doris Matsui (D.-Calif.) also
was honored, as a Diversity
Advocate for efforts to increase
broadband adoption in low-income


The Association of Cable Communications
rounded out Diversity
Week with its public affairs-
based Forum, which drew
approximately the same number
of attendees as last year’s event
in Denver, according to ACC
executive director Steve Jones,
although he would provide specific numbers.

With panels featuring NCTA
president Kyle McSlarrow and
Sanford Bernstein cable and satellite
analyst Craig Moffett, Jones
said he was “pleased” with the
overall two-day conference.

“Our Communicators Roundtable
following the McSlarrow
interview showcased the broad
spectrum of knowledge and skills
(public relations, investor relations,
corporate communications,
internal communications,
government relations) cable communicators
must have and use
on a daily basis,” Jones said. “Individuals
walked away with new
ideas, skills and experiences from
their fellow communicators, both
inside cable and from other communications


The Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing
will participate in next year’s
Diversity Week festivities, moving
the annual CTAM Summit to
New York next October.

The summit, which will be held
this year in New Orleans Oct. 18-20
as part of Cable Connection: Fall,
will move to the Marriot-Marquis
Hotel in New York in 2011, concurrent
with the NAMIC Conference,
WICT Leadership Conference and
Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner,
also in New York.

CTAM gained the option of
joining the New York festivities as
part of the agreement to resurrect
Diversity Week, Anne Cowan, senior
vice president of communications
and marketing for CTAM,
said. “Our board thought that
New York would really be good
for our members, so we decided
to do that,” she said. “We won’t
cross over [with the NAMIC and
WICT events] — we’ll be tacked
on at the end of the week.”

CTAM was scheduled to be in
Boston in 2011. The move to New
York was paved by the NCTA’s arrangement
to hold the 2012 Cable
Connection: Spring events
in Boston, NCTA vice president
of communications Brian Dietz

Due to contract obligations
CTAM will hold its October
2012 Summit in Orlando but
then will move back to New
York in 2013.