Honoring Excellence in Cable Communications

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The Beacon Awards recognize the best of the best in cable communications and public affairs. The Association of Cable Communicators annually sponsors the Beacon Awards program as part of its mission to develop and promote cable communications excellence through professional development to help achieve industry and corporate goals.

The 2012 Beacon Award winning entries were submitted by cable operators, programming networks and cable associations for communications projects in categories such as community relations, social media communications, and public service announcements.

The 2012 Beacon Award Committee continued the ACC’s tradition of focusing on ways to improve the award program. Led by chair Pete Abel, senior vice president of corporate communications at Suddenlink Communications, the committee simplifi ed the entry process, reducing the required length of the project summary from three pages to one-and-a-half or two pages. It also simplifi ed the entry form and continued to encourage emailed entries with links to supporting materials online.

The awards panel winnowed the number of categories from 18 to 15. It also expanded the cable-systems entrant classifications from three to four, ensuring that small systems would compete against their peers, rather than larger systems with more resources.

This summer, 51 Beacon Award judges were given the opportunity to review the excellent work cable communicators do to promote their companies’ products and contribute to the bottom line while also striving to improve the quality of life for the customers and the communities they serve. This year’s 41 Beacon Award winners achieve peer, industry and local market recognition and join a long tradition of exemplary accomplishments in cable communications. ACC is proud to join with sponsor Multichannel News to congratulate the winners and honorees of the 2012 Beacon Awards.

2012 Golden Beacon Award Winner

This year, the ACC is pleased to present the annual Golden Beacon Award, its highest honor, to Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” initiative.

In 2009, TWC decided to focus the majority of its philanthropic resources on a single cause — one that has been identifi ed at the highest levels of leadership in the country as vital to our nation’s future, and one that the company could meaningfully affect. With technology and innovation at the core of TWC’s business, increasing opportunities for youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) was a natural fit.

The result was Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), a five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind commitment to connect young people in the wonders of STEM. To bring CAMM to life, TWC has developed strong national partnerships with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which TWC supports through on-air promotion and grants that help bring robotics programming to new communities, and the Coalition for Science After School (CSAS), the organization behind TWC’s “Connectory,” a free resource that makes it easy for parents and teachers to find informal STEM learning opportunities. In addition, TWC brings the impact of CAMM to its local communities by supporting robotics teams, science museums and other nonprofit organizations that get kids excited about STEM.

In 2012, TWC highlighted both new and existing program elements to keep CAMM fresh in the minds of key audiences. New episodes of It Ain’t Rocket Science, a series of half-hour “science digests,” continued to air on TWC’s linear news and lifestyle channels across the company’s footprint, as well as locally via on-demand. “Super Connector Search” celebrated TWC customers who are connecting young people in their lives to STEM.

Finally, Wouldn’t It Be Cool If (WIBCI) brought STEM opportunities to “unconverted” youth — those who may have already written off these subjects as “boring” or “not for me.” WIBCI — presented in conjunction with i.am FIRST, founded by Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas — challenged kids ages 10 to 15 to dream up the coolest thing to make life more awesome and then describe how STEM could make it real.

Today, the CAMM brand is widely recognized and strongly associated with TWC and, to date, the public has pledged to connect more than 472,000 young minds to the wonders of STEM — right on target as the program approaches its halfway mark. For more information, visit connectamillionminds.com.