Senior Vice President, NCTA, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
Barbara York is Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs at NCTA which is the principal trade association for the cable television industry. York is responsible for planning and execution of the annual NCTA Convention and Exposition - the largest convention for the cable industry. Her department also provides support for NCTA special events as well as other industry-wide events such as the annual Kaitz Fundraising Dinner and the Leaders in Learning Awards.
York joined NCTA in 1981 as Vice President, Administration. In 1984, she left to serve as Vice President of Corporate Relations and Administration for NABU: The Home Computer Network. She returned to NCTA in 1985 as Vice President for Industry Affairs. From 1994 to 1998, in addition to her Industry Affairs responsibilities, she also served as Executive Director of the National Academy of Cable Programming which conducted the annual National and Local CableACE Awards; and from 2000 to 2005, she also served as Chief Administrative Officer for the association.
Prior to joining NCTA, York was Director, Media Relations and Internal Affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America which is the major trade association for the food and grocery manufacturing industry.
York currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Cable Center. She has also served on Board of Directors of CTAM and on the Board of Trustees for Trinity University in Washington, D.C.
In 2007, York was inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame, the Cable Television Pioneers and was named Cable TV Executive of the Year by Television Week. In 2006, she received the NCTA's President's Award. She was also recognized in the 2002 class of Wonder Women by Multichannel News and Women in Cable & Telecommunications.
She is a 1972 graduate from Trinity College in Washington D.C.
Robert C. Wright
Vice Chairman & Ex-Officer, General Electric, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
Bob Wright is vice chairman of the board, executive officer, and a member of the Corporate Executive Office of the General Electric Company. Wright joined NBC as president and chief executive officer on September 1, 1986, and was made chairman and CEO of the network in June 2001. He then served as chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal from May 2004 to February 6, 2007, and continued to serve as chairman of the NBC Universal board of directors until May 1, 2007.
Wright had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive, with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.
Under Wright, NBC was transformed from a broadcast network into a global media powerhouse with leadership in television programming, station ownership, and television production. During his successful tenure at the helm of NBC, Wright extended the broadcaster into cable and satellite, international, and new-media markets. At the same time, he significantly expanded the company's ownership of broadcast television stations, increasing its reach to over 30% of U.S. television households. In 2002, NBC completed three significant acquisitions: Telemundo, the nation's second-largest Spanish-language media company, with 16 owned-and-operated stations in the continental United States and Puerto Rico; television station KNTV, which provides NBC programming to the San Francisco/San Jose market; and Bravo, a leading entertainment network, reaching more than 80 million viewers across the nation.
NBC Universal owns CNBC, which during Wright's tenure became the global leader in business news, providing real-time financial-market information to more than 86 million households in the United States and 340 million homes worldwide. In addition, MSNBC, NBC's joint venture with Microsoft, reaches 83 million U.S. cable subscribers and up to 24 million unique users each month on the Internet.
Networks acquired as part of the Vivendi Universal Entertainment acquisition include the nation's most-watched basic cable network, USA Network, and SCI FI Channel. NBC Universal also has equity stakes in the A&E Network, the History Channel, and ValueVision's home shopping network, and a non-voting interest in ION Media Networks. Internationally, NBC Universal owns and operates a number of television channels offering entertainment programming across Europe and Latin America.
Prior to his association with NBC and NBC Universal, Wright served as president of General Electric Financial Services and, before that, as president of Cox Cable Communications. He has had a diversified career in general management, marketing, and broadcasting. Much of it has been with General Electric, NBC Universal's parent company.
Wright has been the recipient of numerous honors, most recently the Visionary Award from the Museum of Television & Radio. In 2005, Wright received the Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach, and social action. Wright's past honors include the Distinguished Leadership in Business Award from Columbia Business School, the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters' Foundation, the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian of the Year award from the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Gold Medal Award from the International Radio & Television Society Foundation. He has been honored by the Center for Communication for his industry leadership and has received the Ad Council's Public Service Award in recognition of his commitment to public service in both the public and private sectors. He has also been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.
Wright is a founding member of the Global Leadership Group for BASCAP, the Business Alliance to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy. He has been a leading figure in the global business community in raising awareness of the economic dangers of counterfeiting and piracy. He is on the board of trustees of the American Film Institute and the Museum of Television and Radio, and serves on the board of directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Corporation, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the New York Center for Autism, and the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. He is an honorary trustee of the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television. In addition, Wright is on the board of governors of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and is a member of the Society of New York Hospital Inc.
Along with his wife, Suzanne, Wright serves as co-founder of Autism Speaks, a national foundation dedicated to raising public awareness and research funds to find the answers to autism. By the end of this year, Autism Speaks will have raised over $100 million and completed mergers with the Autism Coalition for Research and Education, the National Alliance for Autism Research, and Cure Autism Now, three of the nation's most successful autism advocacy organizations. Wright played a leadership role in urging Congress to pass the almost $1 billion Combating Autism Act (CAA), which was signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, and he and his wife continue to advocate for CAA appropriations and the April 2007-introduced Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act, which would authorize $350 million in new federal funding for programs related to treatments, interventions and services for children and adults with autism.
In recognition of their outstanding achievements in raising awareness about autism, Suzanne and Bob Wright received the first-ever Double Helix Award for Corporate Leadership from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and received the President's Medal for Excellence at Boston College's Wall Street Council Tribute Dinner.
Wright is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he received his LL.B. degree. He and Suzanne live in Connecticut. They have three children and four grandchildren.
President, Disney-ABC Television Group, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
A pioneer of cable television and leader among TV executives worldwide, Anne Sweeney is co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group, where she is responsible for The Walt Disney Company's entertainment and news television properties globally. The group includes the ABC Television Network, which provides entertainment, news and kids programming to viewers via 228 affiliated stations across the U.S. in addition to other technological platforms. ABC series, many of which are produced by ABC Studios, are distributed to more than 200 territories across the globe by Disney-ABC Worldwide Television.
Ms. Sweeney also oversees Disney Channel Worldwide, which includes Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Toon Disney and Jetix, as well as Radio Disney and Walt Disney Television Animation, a TV animation studio. Today Disney Channel reaches more than 90 million U.S. homes and 500 million homes in 127 countries worldwide. Ms. Sweeney also manages cable networks ABC Family and SOAPnet, which reach more than 90 and 60 million U.S. homes, respectively, as well as Disney's equity interest in Lifetime Entertainment Services and A&E Television Network.
Ms. Sweeney joined the company in 1996 as president of Disney Channel and executive vice president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks. She was promoted to president of the division and Disney Channel Worldwide in 2000, and to her current position in 2004.
Previously Ms. Sweeney was chairman and CEO of FX Networks, Inc. She spent 12 years before that at Nickelodeon in various executive positions.
An inductee of Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame, Ms. Sweeney was named one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in October 2006. She is a board member of Lifetime Television, the Museum of Television & Radio, the Special Olympics, and is an honorary chair of Cable Positive.
Ms. Sweeney, who holds degrees from The College of New Rochelle and Harvard University, resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
President and CEO, Douglas Communications Corp, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
Mr. Dittrick is President and CEO of Douglas Communications Corporation II (DCCII), which he founded in 1986 to acquire and operate cable television companies with an emphasis in the area of cable television. DCCII currently provides consulting services in the communications and chemicals fields.
He has been active in the cable television field since 1966 and served as Chairman of the National Cable Television Association from 1979 to 1981. In 1982, he was named Executive of the Year by Cable Television Business magazine. In 1984, he received the Vanguard Award for outstanding contributions to the cable television industry.
A 1955 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, he has remained active at the University. He was a director of the Alumni Association for 10 years and served 2 years as President. In 1991, he was elected to the Board of Trustees and served as Vice Chair, then Chairman of the Board for 4 years. In 1993 he received the Alumni Award and was inducted into the Founders Circle in 1998.
He is a member of Phi Gamma Delta and served as an Archon Councilor, Vice President and, in 1996-1998, he was Archon President. He was elected to the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation in 2002 and served as President of the Foundation from 2004-2006.
Mr. Dittrick recently completed six years as a member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors. He was Chairman of the Bergen-Hudson Chapter and also Chair of the New Jersey State Service Council.
He has served as President of the Northeast Region, Boy Scouts of America, from 2003 to 2006. He was Chairman of the Ridgewood-Glen Rock Council and has received the Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope and Silver Beaver Awards. He currently is a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
He is currently Chairman of the Board of Theo's Work, an orphanage in Haiti with over 550 boys and schools for over 1400 youth in the area of Les Cayes, Haiti.
He is the Chairman of the Board of the Valley Health System and from 1997-2001 he was Chairman of The Valley Hospital Board of Trustees. He served on the Ridgewood Board of Education from 1979-1988 and was President for five of those years. From 1979-1992 he was on the Board of Family Counseling Service. He has served as an Elder in the Community Church of Upper Ridgewood. He has also served as President of the local Rotary Club and was on the Board of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame.
Mr. Dittrick is currently or has served as a Director of Vornado Operating Company, Fleet Bank, N.A., DTC Communications Inc., and Atlantic Specialty Chemical Company.
He is married to the former Barbara Slocum and they reside in Ridgewood, New Jersey. They have three daughters, all married and nine grandchildren.
Chairman and CEO, OpenTV Corporation, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
Jim Chiddix is a prominent technology industry executive, and is widely credited with many of the innovations that have shaped modern cable television services.
Jim served as Chairman and CEO at OpenTV Corp. (NASDAQ: OPTV) for three years, beginning in March of 2004. OpenTV is the world's leading developer of operating software and applications for digital set-top boxes. Under Jim's leadership the company achieved profitability for the first time and grew revenues from $63M in 2003 to over $100M in 2006. In January 2007, OpenTV's largest shareholder, Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L), sold its controlling stake to The Kudelski Group of Switzerland. Jim continues to serve on the company's board as Vice Chairman.
Jim has also joined the board of Vyyo, Inc. (NASDAQ: VYYO), an innovative manufacturer of extended-bandwidth cable TV transmission equipment, where he also serves as Vice-Charirman. He also serves on the board of Symmetricom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMM), a market-leader in precision timing technologies for telecommunications and scientific applications.
Prior to joining OpenTV, Jim served as President of Mystro TV, a division of Time Warner Inc. Mystro developed and field-tested the world's first server-based television program time-shifting service. Some of Mystro's features are being deployed by Time Warner Cable today in its "Start Over" and "Look Back" services, and all will become widespread in cable, telco and Internet video in coming years.
Before starting Mystro, Jim was Chief Technical Officer at Time Warner Cable for 15 years, where he was responsible for technology strategy, engineering and R&D for the nation's second largest cable operator. He and his team led the development of optical fiber technology for cable television systems. Jim was also deeply involved with nearly every other new technology embraced by the cable industry, including local ad insertion, video-on-demand, cable modems, and digital set-top boxes.
Prior to joining Time Warner's corporate office, Jim held a variety of engineering and operating positions with two cable companies in Hawaii. Time Warner Cable's antecedent, ATC, eventually acquired those companies. He also established a successful technology start-up in Honolulu, CRC Electronics, Inc., which manufactured automated videotape playback, delay, and commercial insertion systems. Texscan purchased the company in 1981, and CRC-designed equipment dominated cable advertising until the mid-nineties.
Jim's interest in electronics and technology began with amateur radio in high school and continued at Cornell University, where he studied electrical engineering. During his military service he attended and then taught at the U.S. Army Air Defense Command School at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Jim was inducted into the Cable Television Pioneers in 1991. In 1994 he and his Time Warner engineering team won an Emmy Award for their visionary work on the hybrid fiber/coax architecture that has since become the standard for cable systems around the world. Jim's industry accolades include being named Cable Engineering Digest Magazine's 1989 "Man of the Year", and receiving the National Cable Television Association's 1983 Vanguard Award for work on the introduction of addressable set-top boxes, and its 1991 "President's Award" for his advancement of fiber optics technology. In 2007, the Cable Center announced that Jim had been selected for induction into the Cable Hall of Fame.
Jim has served on a number of boards, including the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (an arm of the National Research Council), as well as the boards of the Cable Center in Denver, the Society of Cable Television Engineers, N2Broadband (now part of Tandberg), BigBand Networks, and CV-21 (a Japanese cable television company, now part of Jupiter Communications).
Jim's father, Dr. Max E. Chiddix, is a retired research chemist. His paternal grandfather was John C. Chiddix of Normal, Illinois, a beloved high school science teacher and namesake for Chiddix Junior High School there. Jim is married to Trudy Evard Chiddix, a nationally recognized sculptor who works in clay and glass. They have homes in Evergreen, Colorado, and San Francisco. His interests include mountain biking, trail construction and model railroading. Jim recently co-authored Next Stop Honolulu, a history of the Oahu Railway (http://www.OahuRailway.com).
President and CEO, Time Warner Cable, 2007 Cable Hall of Fame
Glenn A. Britt was named President and CEO of Time Warner Cable in February 2006 and has served as its chief executive since August 2001. He also serves on the Company's Board of Directors. Britt has been the driving force behind the Company's aggressive deployment of advanced video services, such as video-on-demand, high-definition television and digital video recorders. Britt has guided the continued growth and increased penetration of Time Warner Cable's residential high-speed data product and has overseen the efforts of Road Runner Business Class, the Company's commercial broadband service. He has also championed the launch and growth of Time Warner Cable Digital Phone, the Company's VoIP service.
In addition to the continued and rapid deployment of advanced services, Britt has focused on creating a customer service-oriented organization as a way to maintain the edge on competition. He has also championed the cable industry's efforts to work more closely with consumer electronics manufactures and other related groups to develop compatible standards for the deployment of future, integrated products.
Britt became president of Time Warner Cable in January 1999. Previously, Britt served as president and CEO of Time Warner Cable Ventures, the company's new business arm. There he oversaw the launch of Road Runner, the country's first high-speed Internet service, as well as the creation of Time Warner Telecom, a fast-growing provider of local telecommunications services. He had been executive vice president, Time Warner Cable, since 1990 and was previously senior vice president and treasurer of Time Warner Inc.
Prior to the merger between Time Inc. and Warner Communications, Britt was vice president and chief financial officer of Time Inc., a position he held since July 1988.
Britt joined Time Inc. in 1972 in the Controller's Department and rose, successively, to vice president-treasurer of Manhattan Cable Television, Inc. (1974), finance director for Time-Life Books Iran Project (1977), vice president-network and studio operations for Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), and director of business development of Time Inc.'s video group (1980).
Britt became senior vice president-finance for American Television and Communications Corp., Time Inc.'s cable television unit, in 1981, senior vice president - finance of Time Inc.'s Video Group in 1984, and senior vice president and chief financial officer of HBO later that year. He was elected as vice president of Time Inc. in October 1986 and treasurer the following month. He became vice president - finance of Time Inc. in February 1988.
Britt serves on the Board of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and is a member of the Executive Committee. He is also Chairman of the Board of CableLabs, Board member of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, Board member of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, Board member of Xerox Corporation, Board member of the Museum of the Moving Image and Board member of Polytechnic University.
He is the recipient of many industry honors, including the NCTA's 2006 Vanguard Award for "Distinguished Leadership", the NAMIC Stanley B. Thomas Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2005 Kaitz Foundation Diversity Champion and the 2004 CTPAA Presidents Award.
He received a B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1971. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Britt received an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth in 1972.