President's Award Winner: William J. Bresnan

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William J. Bresnan


President and Chief Executive Officer, Bresnan Communications

William Bresnan began his cable career in 1958 when, at the age of 25, he designed and built his first cable system in Rochester, Minn. When that system was acquired by Jack Kent Cooke Inc. in 1965, Bresnan joined the Cooke executive team.

After a series of transactions, the Cooke holdings were merged with Teleprompter Corp., then the largest cable company in the U.S.

Bresnan served as President of Teleprompter's Cable Television Division from 1974 to 1981. In 1981, Westinghouse Electric purchased Teleprompter, and Bresnan was named chairman and CEO of the new company, Group W Cable Inc. He left Group W Cable and founded Bresnan Communications in 1984.

Throughout his career, Bresnan has played a leadership role in the cable industry. He has testified before the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. congressional committees on a wide range of communications and copyright issues.

Known as one of the cable industry's leading contributors to technological advancement, he played a major role in the development of the first domestic satellite transmission as well as the country's first fiber-optic communications system.

In 1981, he was the recipient of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's prestigious Larry Boggs Award (now the Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership) for outstanding contributions to the industry. In 1999, his numerous contributions to the industry were acknowledged when he received one of cable's highest honors, the Walter Kaitz Foundation's Partnership in Diversity Award.

In the spring of 2000, he was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame. In May of 2000, he received the Stanley B. Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Minorities in Communications. In November of 2000, Bresnan also was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable magazine's Hall of Fame.

Bresnan served on the Board of Directors of the NCTA. He is currently the chairman of The Cable Center in Denver, a member of the board of directors and executive committee of C-SPAN, and a board member of Cable Television Laboratories Inc., Cable TV Pioneers, and Cable Positive.

A supporter of diversity in the workplace, Bresnan is also a member of the board of directors of The Emma Bowen Foundation, which promotes minority interests in media. Previously, he was the Chairman of CablePAC and has served on the boards of Cable in the Classroom and the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.

A firm believer in the advancement of women throughout the industry, Bresnan is an honorary lifetime member of Women in Cable and Telecommunications.

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