Robert M. Zitter
Ex-Vice President Technology Operations, HBO, 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
When I was hired at HBO, it was mainly a programming and marketing company, not a technology company, but HBO is supportive of finding technology innovation and using it to business advantage, and that's made it a lot of fun.
Bob Zitter is executive vice president, Technology Operations, and chief technology officer, for Home Box Office. He is responsible for the company's technology interest worldwide, overseeing distribution, origination, production operations and engineering. In addition, he oversees HBO's new technology planning and was responsible for HBO's pioneering introduction of digital compression technology in 1992, the development and launch of HBO HDTV in 1999, and the technology aspects of HBO on Demand. Zitter was also one of the founders of HBO's businesses in Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Zitter joined HBO in l98l as director of Network Operations. In 1983 he was named vice president, Network Planning. In this post, he was responsible for overseeing the roll-out of HBO's nationwide satellite scrambling program as well as acquiring the company's satellite capacity. In 1984, he was named vice president of Network Operations responsible for the operation and implementation of HBO's distribution and transmission facilities. Zitter became senior vice president of Technology Operations in 1991.
Before joining HBO, Zitter was a cable operator and broadcaster with Schurz Communications, Inc. based in the mid-west, and previously supervised network operations for ABC-TV in New York.<
Zitter is a recipient of the NCTA's Vanguard Award for outstanding leadership in science and technology. He is a director of The North American Broadcasters Association and serves on the Television Committee of the Consumer Electronics Association and the Technology Advisory Council for CTAM and The Cable Center. He is past president of the Maryland-Delaware Cable Association.
Zitter has a BA degree from Colgate University and an MBA from Frostburg State College in Maryland.
Brian L. Roberts
President & Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corp., 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
I think I've taken away that the entrepreneurial spirit of this industry is what it's all about. Something good comes out of something bad. If life is about taking a swing every once in a while, even if you make a mistake, usually something good comes from that experience.
Brian L. Roberts is Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. Under his leadership, Comcast has grown into a Fortune 100 company with 21.4 million customers and 80,000 employees. Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectator, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Mr. Roberts is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and previously served as Chairman of NCTA from 1995 to 1996, when the landmark deregulatory 1996 Telecommunications Act became law.
Mr. Roberts has won numerous business and industry honors for his leadership. Institutional Investor magazine named him its top vote-getter three years straight (2004-2006) in the Cable & Satellite category of their America's Best CEOs annual survey; and also named Comcast as one of America's Most Shareholder-Friendly Companies in 2006. He was the recipient of the 2004 Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and was the 2002 Walter Kaitz Foundation Honoree of the Year for his commitment to diversity in the cable industry. The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia honored Mr. Roberts with its 2002 award for his commitment to youth programs and community partnerships.
Mr. Roberts is a board member of The Bank of New York. He co-chaired the 2003 Resource Development Campaign for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and co-chaired Philadelphia 2000, the nonpartisan host committee for the 2000 Republican National Convention. An All-American in squash, he earned a gold medal with the U.S. squash team in 2005 and silver medals at the 1981, 1985 and 1997 Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Mr. Roberts, 47, received his BS from the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Aileen, live in Philadelphia with their three children.
James O. Robbins
Retired, CEO , Cox Communications Inc., 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
Jim Robbins served as president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications, Inc., the nation's third largest broadband company, for 20 years, guiding the company to becoming a multi-service, broadband communications powerhouse.
During his tenure as CEO, Robbins quadrupled the size of the company while instilling a keen focus on operational excellence, customer satisfaction, people development and technological innovation. He has been hailed as a visionary for his early leadership on quality customer care and for the foresight to build a robust network, which paved the way for the company's entrance into lucrative new businesses such as telephony and high-speed Internet. He is a respected leader in the cable industry, serving twice as chairman of the National Cable Telecommunications Association and winning multiple awards, including the industry's Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership in 1996.
Under Robbins' leadership, Cox Communications won the J.D. Power Award a precedent-setting five times for customer satisfaction in cable and telephone services; was recognized as the industry's best operator three times; and was named the best operator for women three consecutive years. In March 2006, along with Cox Communications, Robbins was presented with Cable Positive's highest honor, the Joel A. Berger Memorial Award, for outstanding contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS, and in October 2006, he will be inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame.
Robbins joined Cox Communications as vice president of the company's New York City operations in 1983, and was promoted to senior vice president of operations in Atlanta. He was named president in 1985 and added CEO to his title in 1995 when the company went public. He retired at the end of 2005. Prior to joining Cox Communications, he served as senior vice president of operations for Viacom Communications, Inc., following his role as vice president and general manager for Viacom Cable of Long Island, NY. From 1972 to 1979, he served in various management positions for Continental Cablevision of Ohio Inc., and Montachusett Cable Television. Previously, he was managing editor of WBZ-TV News in Boston.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in American Studies, Robbins also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He served as a destroyer line officer and a gunboat flotilla public affairs officer during two tours of duty with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967.
Robbins currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Bessemer Securities, Inc.; and Humana, Inc.; and on the Board of Trustees of the STI Classic Funds, Inc., a mutual fund affiliate of SunTrust Banks, Inc. He also serves as Senior Advisor to Providence Equity, and is President of the Board of Trustees of St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire. Previously, he has served as Chairman of the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Inc.
Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks, 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
I always think of music and social responsibility in the same sentence, and still believe music is a way to a better life.
Judy McGrath is the Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, a position she has held since July 2004. Prior to that appointment, she was the MTV Networks Group President.
She currently oversees the management and operation of MTV Networks' 121 channels, which reach more than 44 million households worldwide in 169 countries and in 23 languages. The company's portfolio of channels includes MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT, TV Land, Spike TV, Logo, VH1 Classic, mtvU and the 13-network Digital Suite. Ms. McGrath manages all of the company's multiplatform efforts, as well as MTV and Nickelodeon Films, MTV Networks International, and all of the company's consumer product and digital businesses.
Judy has held a succession of positions at MTV Networks since the launch of MTV. Under her direction, MTV has grown from a maverick cable channel to a maverick multi-platform, global brand that has come to symbolize a culture, a style, an attitude and a vibrant musical landscape. From the beginning, she helped MTV bring the creativity of music, with its passion, originality and energy, to television. For six straight years, MTV was named "The World's Most Valuable Media Brand" according to Business Week and Interbrand's "2005 World's Most Valuable Brands Study". From fashion, lifestyle and sports to attitudes, politics and trends, only MTV offers what is consistently fresh, honest and groundbreaking across a variety of linear and on-demand screens. She and her team have developed programs and events that have become cultural landmarks to young people everywhere, including the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, Laguna Beach , Real World , Total Request Live, Punk'd, The Newlyweds , Jackass, Pimp My Ride , MTV News, Making The Band 3, and The Osbournes.
Also under her direction, VH1 has developed into a premium brand with series like I Love the '80s, The Surreal Life , Hogan Knows Best , The Fabulous Life Of and long-running, award-winning Save the Music campaign. CMT is enjoying its record viewership as the new home to the Miss America Pageant and the record-setting CMT Flameworthy Awards and Crossroads.
MTV2, now in more than 60 million homes, reflects the way its young male 12-34 audience consumes media. The look and feel of the network is fast-paced, multitasked, and predominantly inspired by the internet and the world of video games. Music fuels the core of the programming at MTV2, presenting the best from the worlds of cutting edge hip-hop and rock through signature music programming such as the $2BILLconcert series, Sucker Free Sunday, Subterranean and Headbangers Ball.
Consistently recognized as an inspiring and creative leader, Judy has always maintained a passionate commitment to developing pro-social initiatives at the channels. Among the programs she has championed are the Peabody Award-winning Choose or Lose campaign, as well as the Emmy award-winning Fight For Your Rights series, including "Take a Stand Against Violence", "Take a Stand Against Discrimination", and "Protect Yourself", an AIDS Awareness campaign on MTV. Throughout her career, Judy has worked tirelessly to raise the consciousness of viewers, address their issues in a meaningful way and facilitate/empower audience involvement.
A member of the MTV family since its first days, Judy joined Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC), MTV Networks' predecessor company, in 1981 as Copywriter, On-Air Promotions, MTV and made her mark with contests like "Devo Goes Hawaiian" and "One Night Stand with Journey." She subsequently moved up the ranks and became Editorial Director, MTV; Executive Vice President and Creative Director, MTV; and then President, MTV. Before joining the company, Judy held positions as Copy Chief of Glamour magazine and Senior Writer for Mademoiselle magazine.
Ms. McGrath is on the board of the New York City Ballet, the McCarton School and Rock the Vote, and serves on the advisory board of LifeBeat. She has been honored by GLAAD and the Harlem Children's Zone, and in 2003, she was named Humanitarian of the Year by the T.J. Martell Foundation. At the 2004 Promax & BDA conference she received the Television Century Award, which recognizes broadcasting's elite for their contributions to building brands.
Carolyn S. Chambers
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Chambers Comm, 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
Chambers Communications Corp.'s founder and Chairman Carolyn S. Chambers passed away from cancer Monday morning, August 7, 2011. She was 79 years old.
In 1959, Carolyn Chambers was granted a license for KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon. Thus, the beginning of Liberty Communications, Inc. Liberty eventually became the 19th largest cable operator in the United States. In 1983 Liberty Communications, Inc. was sold to Tele-Communications Inc. As part of that transaction, Carolyn retained KEZI-TV and four cable systems in Washington and California, and formed Chambers Communications Corp. Chambers Communications grew to include the purchase of the cable system in Chico, California, as well as two additional television stations in Oregon. In 2000 Chambers sold all of her cable systems, but one, to AT&T. Today, Chambers Communications consists of three broadcast television stations operating as ABC affiliates; one cable system; a television, movie and video production company; and an ISP provider.
Carolyn was also the President of Chambers Construction, a Company started by her husband. Since his passing in 1986 Carolyn had overseen $539,015,193.00 in construction. Carolyn also owned Hinman Vineyards; Panther Creek Cellars; and McKenzie River Motors, a real-estate holding company.
In 2001 Carolyn purchased the screenplay for "Puerto Vallarta Squeeze," an action-thriller novel by Robert Waller (The Bridges of Madison County), and in 2002 she directed the filming of the movie in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Carolyn was then led to an opportunity with a Broadway play, "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks". The play opened in New York at the Belasco Theatre, as well as theatre companies in Chicago, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Berlin, Sydney, Tokyo and Hamburg. In the spring of 2004, Carolyn directed the filming of a second movie, "The Sisters", a screenplay by Richard Alfieri. This movie was filmed exclusively at the Sound Stages at Chambers Media Center and in the surrounding Eugene area. The film was released April of 2006 and has won 8 awards.
Carolyn has served on the National Cable Television Association; state cable organizations for Oregon, Washington, and California; the Pacific Northwest Cable Television Association; Cable TV Pioneers; C-SPAN Board of Directors, and she was a charter member of the national chapter of Women in Cable, and served as it's 3rd National President. She has served on the Board of Directors of two Fortune 500 Companies; the Federal Reserve Bank; and numerous other corporations. Among Carolyn's many awards are Eugene's First Citizen awarded in 1985, and Philanthropist of the Year in 1994.
Ralph M. Baruch
Founder and Former Chairman, Viacom International, 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
Ralph M. Baruch was a founder of Viacom International Inc. He served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 1971 to 1983, as Chairman and a member of the Office of the CEO from 1983 until July 1987, and for many years served as a consultant to the company.
Mr. Baruch began his communications career in radio and joined the DuMont Television Network in 1950. He moved to CBS in 1954, progressing from Account Executive to the position of CBS Group President, prior to the inception of Viacom.
In 1971 Viacom was spun off from CBS and began as a very small organization. During Mr. Baruch's tenure Viacom acquired cable television systems, initiated Showtime, The Cable Health Network (now Lifetime), purchased radio and television broadcast stations and entered television production and distribution. In later years under his tenure, Viacom acquired from Warner Communications (now Time-Warner) MTV, Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel, VH-1, and bought back the half of Showtime which had previously been sold to Warner.
Mr. Baruch has served as vice chairman of Carnegie Hall. He is a member of its Executive Committee and serves as a member of various committees of the Board of Trustees of the Hall.
Mr. Baruch is a Trustee of Lenox Hill Hospital and chairs its Development and Public Relations Committee, and was a Trustee of the Museum of Television and Radio, for which organization he served as the Co-Chairman of its New York Campaign for its new Museum building.
Mr. Baruch is a member of the Board of Thirteen-WNET, its Executive Committee, and chairs its Development Committee.
Mr. Baruch is a co-founder, immediate past Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the National Academy of Cable Programming. He received the Academy's first "Governor's Award," recognizing his contributions to the development of cable programming.
Mr. Baruch is past-President of both the International Radio & Television Society and its Foundation. In 1985 the IRTS honored Mr. Baruch with its Gold Medal -- one of the most prestigious awards in communications -- for his outstanding contributions to the industry.
Ralph Baruch is a founder and a Fellow of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In 1998 Mr. Baruch was elected Chairman of the International Academy Foundation. In 1999 he was awarded an Emmy by the Academy.
A former director and member of the Executive Committee of the National Cable Television Association, (now the National Cable & Telecommunications Association), Mr. Baruch served for seven years as Chairman of an NCTA committee instrumental in the passage by Congress of the Cable Act of 1984. He is a co-founder of C-Span, and has often testified before regulatory agencies and committees of the Senate and House. He has also served as Chairman of the NCTA's Pay Cable Committee, instrumental in removing industry restrictions.
Mr. Baruch has received the cable television industry's highest honor, the Vanguard Award, three of the NCTA's President's Awards, and its Chairman of the Year Award.
Under President Reagan, Mr. Baruch served for seven years as Chairman of the USIA's Television Communications Board of Advisors.
In 1988 Mr. Baruch served as a Senior Fellow of the Freedom Forum at Columbia University.
In 1992 Mr. Baruch was elected to the Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame, honoring Excellence in the Fifth Estate.
In 1994 Mr. Baruch was honored with a special award from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of his outstanding contributions to international television.
Mr. Baruch was appointed in 1994 as a member of the New York City Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
In 1999, Mr. Baruch was awarded an Emmy from the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Mr. Baruch was educated in France, is married to the former Jean Ursell de Mountford, has four grown daughters, and resides in New York City and Bedford Hills, New York. He is currently at work on his autobiography.
President & Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Comm, 2006 Cable Hall of Fame
This really is an extraordinary American story about the cable industry and people from all different backgrounds, all different experiences, who risk everything to build this business. If you think about the impact that we've had, in terms of changing the way people learn, the way they communicate, what we've done in the schools, what we've done with C-SPAN, it's truly extraordinary.
Decker Anstrom is president and chief operating officer of Landmark Communications, Inc. in Norfolk, Virginia, a position he has held since 2002. He also serves as chairman of The Weather Channel, which is owned by Landmark. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Anstrom was the president and chief executive officer of The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia beginning in August 1999.
Mr. Anstrom previously served as president and chief executive officer of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) in Washington D.C., where he acted as the industry's chief public representative and lobbyist. He joined NCTA in November 1987 and served as executive vice president before becoming president and CEO in January 1994. During his tenure, Mr. Anstrom strengthened relations with Capitol Hill and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy makers and led the cable industry's efforts that helped result in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Prior to joining NCTA, Mr. Anstrom was president of Public Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy consulting firm where he directed a broad range of public policy and economic analyses for investment banking and corporate clients.
From 1978 to 1981, Mr. Anstrom was an assistant director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, handling presidential appointments to the Cabinet and other senior political posts. Prior to this post, Mr. Anstrom was a senior staff member in the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, where he worked on various government reorganization projects, specifically the creation of the U.S. Department of Education.
Mr. Anstrom graduated with a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also attended for one year the Woodrow Wilson Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Mr. Anstrom is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the NCTA, and chairs NCTA's Programmers' Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of Comcast Corporation, WHRO (Hampton Roads Public Television and Radio) and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Mr. Anstrom was past chairman, of The Walter Kaitz Foundation Board of Trustees and past vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cable TV Advertising Bureau (CAB).