O’Brien Leaving ‘Classroom’


Cable in the Classroom, the cable-industry public-affairs program, is losing its executive director as Peggy O’Brien is moving over to a post at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

O’Brien, a former educator who joined CIC in 2001, leaves as of Sept. 29. The existing CIC management team — director of public affairs Carol Vernon, director of technology Carolyn Wapnick and director of operations Maria Huppe — will share management duties on an interim basis, CIC said.

She informed directors of CIC and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which oversees CIC, of her decision this week, CIC said. Her title at CPB will be senior vice president of educational programming and services.

NCTA CEO Robert Sachs said in a statement: “We have benefited immensely from Peggy’s leadership for more than three years. Peggy has been a wonderful partner for NCTA, successfully managing a transition that saw CIC raise its profile nationally in the policymaker and education communities. We’ll miss her greatly, and we wish her the best in her new position.”

O’Brien said in a memo to the NCTA Board: “I have valued greatly the chance to work at CIC and in the cable industry. I have been offered, however, a senior management position at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This offers me an opportunity to oversee a substantial enterprise that is critically important to the American public. It was too good an offer to turn down.”

O’Brien’s career before CIC included a stint at CPB, as vice president of education, and at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Sachs cited accomplishments for CIC during O’Brien’s tenure, including the creation of demonstration projects that emphasize to the education community cable technology and content; work with groups such as the National PTA and the Federal Communications Commission on educating families about cable learning resources; development of the industry’s first-ever national education awards program, Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards, which starts this coming school year; and work in promoting media literacy and responsible television viewing for families through the Cable Puts You in Control initiative.

“We’ll continue to keep CIC in the forefront of the education community and work with all of our industry companies to sustain cable’s contribution to schools, students, teachers, and families,” Sachs said in the statement.