Katherine Gessner Tapped to Lead MCTV

Third generation of Gessner family takes helm as Robert Gessner retires after 40 years
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MCTV said it has named Katherine Gessner president, taking the helm of the Massillon, Ohio-based cable operator after her father Robert Gessner retired on April 13.

l to r: Robert Gessner, Richard (Dick) Gessner, Katherine Gessner

l to r: Robert Gessner, Richard (Dick) Gessner, Katherine Gessner

Katherine Gessner represents the third generation of her family to lead MCTV, founded in 1965 by her late grandfather Richard (Dick) Gessner as Massillon Cable TV. The company changed its name to MCTV in 2013. 

Robert Gessner, who has been a prominent figure in the industry for decades, joined MCTV in 1979 to manage the introduction of satellite services. His duties expanded over the years to include oversight of all operations at the cable company and he was named president in 2002.

Related: The Cable Center: Oral Histories: Richard and Robert Gessner 

“Katherine, without a doubt, will continue to take MCTV to new heights in the industry,” Robert Gessner said in a press release. “She has already made an impact and is being recognized as an influential leader in the cable and Internet industry.”

Katherine joined MCTV in 2013 as the sales and marketing manager and has held several roles at MCTV — most recently vice president of strategic planning and policy — before being named president. She has an MBA from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and a background in management, business and strategic planning.

Katherine Gessner

Katherine Gessner

“I am endlessly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from my dad,” Katherine Gessner said in a press release. “He is generous with his wisdom and perspective and will continue to be an inspiration. It is humbling to step into his role and exciting to continue to build a bright future with such an incredible team. And don’t worry, my dad will continue to be a part of the MCTV family and surrounding communities, even during retirement.”

MCTV provides cable TV, phone, high-speed internet, security, TV advertising and dedicated fiber connection services to more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Stark, Wayne, Summit, Holmes, Tuscarawas, Jefferson and Columbiana counties in Ohio.  

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“After 40 years driving the company forward, I have decided this is the right time for me personally and for the company, to transition to the next generation of leadership,” Robert Gessner said in the release. “I have seen enormous change in the telecommunications industry. I like to tell people that I am old, linear and analog and it is time for my highly-qualified, young, digital and distributive daughter Katherine to take the lead.”

Robert Gessner will remain active in the industry -- he is currently chairman of industry lobbying group America’s Communications Association (ACA) -- and has been recognized by local, state and national organizations for cable industry leadership, policy advocacy, community and economic development, and technology advances.

“Retiring now provides MCTV the best opportunity for our growing momentum to continue,” Gessner said. “I trust that with Katherine as the leader, MCTV and the MCTV family will continue turning my dreams, my father’s dreams and the Gessner family dreams into reality. It has been both my honor and privilege working with our team to create incredible memories and touch the lives of so many of our customers and community members.”

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