Mediacom’s Fortress on a Hill Opens Doors to Celebs, Locals


About an hour’s drive north of New York, away from the noise and the traffic, the new Mediacom Communications headquarters stands like a proud sentry on the top of a large rise among the rolling foothills not far from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Nestled among the wild flowers on a 200-acre campus, the modern, handsome building stands proud but never flashy and fits right into the terrain, much like the man who built it. At night, the edifice is bathed in electric blue silence.

This past weekend, though, the silence was ready to be broken by the christening of the building and an open house party by chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso.

The guest list reads like a Who’s Who of the cable-TV industry, local government and TV celebrities: Alan Gerry, Glenn Jones, Chuck Dolan, Tom Rutledge, Neil Smit, Michael Willner, Sen. Charles Schumer, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Orange County Executive Edward Diana and Blooming Grove, N.Y., Town Supervisor Frank Fornario.

Sports stars David Cone, Willie Randolph and Bill Buckner were to be there, as well as Alex Guarnaschelli (Food Network), Danny Forster (Build it Bigger, Science Channel) and Casanova (Project Runway, Lifetime).

The celebration was to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, daytime fireworks display, live musical entertainment and a grilled feast of hamburgers and hot dogs, not to mention much ogling of the large fountain that sprays water 20 feet in the air.

On a private tour last week, Commisso told The Wire that he’s most proud of what it means to his employees and the lasting contribution to the community. Commisso worked much of his career near here (at CableVision Industries) and has committed to create 140 jobs over five years. After tickling the ivories on a piano in the lobby with “New York, New York,” he spoke about the lasting impressions of the place. Passing the desks of the nearly 320 employees who work there, he said, “The best part is … almost every single person has a view.”

Rating TV Characters Most Likely to Remove Halloween Costumes

The Wire must move delicately into this next subject.

Dating and auction site (yep, they apparently have found a way to combine the two) What’s has determined that, in the wake of Miley Cyrus’ provocative MTV Video Music Awards performance, women who dress as the singer for Halloween parties are considered by single men as the most likely to be, well, undressing as the singer.

The site, which auctions first dates at an average $80 per pop, said it surveyed members and found that 84% of the single men thought girls pretending to be Miley Cyrus would be the easiest to “talk out of their costumes.” (Look, we can’t make this stuff up, which is the beauty of the Web.)

In fact, cable shows took four of the five top spots in easy virtue costumewear. No. 2 was Duck Dynasty (73%); No. 4 was Sons of Anarchy (49%); and Game of Thrones (33%) ranked fifth.

Those least likely to give up the suit? No surprise with No. 9, Disney costumes (6%). No. 10 suggests the guys assume the gals are trying to scare off potential suitors (sorry Walking Dead fans): Zombies, Monsters, Horror (2%).

— John Eggerton

Robin Thicke’s VMA Stint Makes Him Timely Actor In Music Choice Brand Ad

Robin Thicke’s attention-getting MTV Video Music Awards appearance with a twerking Miley Cyrus made him a timely spokesman for Music Choice’s ongoing “Take Back My Music” branding campaign, which launched in late August.

Thicke appears in a 30-second spot discussing how music influences his daily life, part of a year-long campaign that also features hip-hop artists A$AP Rocky & A$AP Ferg (A$AP Mob) and country music superstar Luke Bryan, according to Music Choice director of marketing Nolan Baynes.

Baynes said Thicke’s VMA performance made him more relevant than ever to Music Choice’s music-crazed audience and spurred overall demand for the R&B crooner’s music videos airing on Music Choice’s on-demand service.

“Take Back My Music” refers to the network’s adherence to the musical tastes and the likes of its viewers when programming nearly 50 audio music channels as well as on-demand offerings.

“We wanted to convey the message that Robin Thicke has a reason why he writes songs, just as little Johnny in Kansas has a reason why he listens to a certain genre of music,” Baynes said. “We’ve been doing this personal, emotional kind of thing for a long time, but we just never sold it.”

The network will launch the second part of its year-long campaign in early 2014 with spots featuring actual Music Choice viewers talking about how music influences their lives.

“It’s really about the DJs and the programmers selecting songs and trying to delve into the mood of the fans,” Baynes said.

— R. Thomas Umstead