Managing Director, Core Capital Partners, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
For three decades Tom Wheeler has worked at the forefront of telecommunications policy and business development, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as both a policy expert and businessman. As an entrepreneur he started or helped start multiple companies offering new cable, wireless and video communications services. As a policy expert he has been intimately engaged in the development of the government's telecommunications policy at both the legislative and regulatory level.
On the 20th anniversary of the cable television industry (1995) Cablevision magazine selected him one of the 20 most influential individuals in the industry's history. On the 25th anniversary of the cellular telecommunications industry (2008) Fierce Wireless named him one of the top 10 innovators in the wireless industry. Following the historic election of 2008 he led the Obama Transition's efforts on science, technology, space and the arts.
From 1976 to 1984, Mr. Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was president from 1979 to 1984. After several years as CEO of new technology start-ups, including the first company to offer high speed delivery of data to home computers and the first digital video delivery service, Mr. Wheeler was asked to take over the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA). He served as CEO of CTIA from 1992-2004 and was selected to the Wireless Industry Hall of Fame.
Mr. Wheeler wrote Take Command: Leadership Lessons of the Civil War (Doubleday, 2000) and Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperCollins, 2006). His commentaries on current events have been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and other leading publications.
Presidents Clinton and Bush each appointed Mr. Wheeler a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where he served for 12 years. He is the former Chairman of the Foundation for the National Archives, and board member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Mr. Wheeler is a graduate of Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal for national and international career achievement. He resides in Washington, D.C.
CNN Anchor Emeritus, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
On February 28, 2001, Bernard Shaw stepped back from his daily routine as Cable News Network's (CNN's) Principal Anchor, ending his co-anchoring duties on Inside Politics—the nation's only daily program devoted exclusively to political news, airing weekdays at 5:00PM (ET)—with Judy Woodruff.
Shaw is stepping back to write books, including his autobiography; to tend to his garden; and, as he puts it, to "give back to my wifely friend LINDA, her husband, and to our adult daughter and son, their father." His so doing brings to an end nearly four decades of an illustrious broadcast career.
On January 16, 1991, Shaw was one of three CNN reporters who captivated a worldwide audience of more than one billion with continuous coverage of the first night of the Allied Forces' bombing of Baghdad during "Operation Desert Storm." Shaw was in the Iraqi capital to update his exclusive interview with President Saddam Hussein conducted in October 1990.
As a result of that unprecedented coverage, Shaw received numerous international as well as national awards and honors. In July 1991, he received the Eduard Rhein Foundation's Cultural Journalistic Award, marking the first time that the Foundation presented this award to a non-German. Later that year—in October—the Italian government honored him with its President's Award, presented to those leaders who have actively contributed to development, innovation, and cooperation. In December, Shaw was the recipient of the coveted 1991 David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication from Barry University (Miami, FL).
As part of CNN's team to cover the outbreak of the Gulf War, Shaw also received the 1990 George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award for distinguished service and the 1991 Golden Award for Cable Excellence (ACE)—the cable industry's most prestigious award—from the National Academy of Cable Programming. Shaw personally received the ACE for Best Newscaster of the Year. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presented him its 1991 Chairman's Award for Outstanding Journalistic Excellence in January 1992.
As part of CNN's team covering the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK—the second-worst act of terrorism in U.S. history, Shaw received the 1996 National Association of Television Arts and Sciences' News and Documentary Emmy Award for Instant Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story.
In April 1997, Shaw and the CNN team were presented the 1996 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best TV Interpretation or Documentary on Foreign Affairs by the Overseas Press Club of America for CNN Presents . . . Back to Baghdad.
Shaw's reporting/anchoring has taken him to 46 countries spanning five continents. He has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)—the highest distinction the Society gives to journalists for public service. In June 1995, he was inducted into the SPJ Hall of Fame. In October 1996, Shaw received the 1996 Paul White Life Achievement Award from the Radio-Television News Directors' Association—one of the industry's most distinguished awards. One month later, he and his co-anchor JUDY WOODRUFF garnered the 1996 ACE for Best Newscaster of the Year for Inside Politics. In April 1997, he was inducted into the Chicago Journalists Hall of Fame. In September 1997, he was the inaugural recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Tex McCrary Award for Journalism, which honors the distinguished achievements of those in the field of journalism. In June 1999, he was named an inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for having made "signal contributions to those media and industries." In February 2001, the Anti-Defamation League bestowed upon him its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, presented to "those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the protection and advancement of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment." In March 2001, he was awarded the Pioneer in Broadcasting Award for a lifetime of achievement by the National Association of Blacks in Broadcasting (NABOB). The following month, he was presented the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award by the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University—his idol's alma mater. In October 2001, he was presented the Douglas Edwards Award by St. Bonaventure University (NY) for a lifetime of journalistic achievement.
In February 2002, DiGamma Kappa honored Shaw with its Distinguished Achievement Award in Broadcasting; DiGamma Kappa is the nation's oldest professional broadcasting society, founded at the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, home of the Peabody Awards. In May 2002, Shaw was invested as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor the state can bestow on persons who were born or have resided in Illinois. He was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame in May 2006, joining Oscar® winner Denzel Washington and other noted alumni featured in the bestselling A Hand to Guide Me. In 2007, the National Association of Black Journalists again honored Shaw, saluting him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Among his other honors: the 1997 Candle in Journalism Award from Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA; the 1997 Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.; the 1995 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from the National Press Foundation; the 1994 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Telecommunication from Arizona State University; the 1994 Best Newscaster of the Year ACE for Prime News; the 1994 William Allen White Medallion for Distinguished Service from the University of Kansas; the 1994 National Headliner Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews – Miami Region; the 1993 Best Newscaster of the Year ACE for Inside Politics '92; the 1993 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); the 1992 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri; and the 1992 Emmy Award—National News and Documentary Competition awarded to CNN. He was also one of the select Alfred M. Landon Lecturers at Kansas State University in 1992.
In 1988, Shaw received the Lowell Thomas Electronic Journalist Award and the ACE for Best News Anchor from the National Academy of Cable Programming.
Shaw anchored much of the network's special events coverage, including the handover of Hong Kong to China at the stroke of midnight, June 30, 1997, and the funeral of DIANA, Princess of Wales, on August 30, 1997. On January 17, 1994, he was the first correspondent/anchor to break the news of the major earthquake—measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale—in Los Angeles, CA, where he happened to be for another assignment. He was on the air eight minutes after the earthquake struck at 4:31AM (PT).
Shaw also covered major political events, including primaries, party conventions, debates, and national election nights. In October 2000, he moderated the sole vice presidential debate, held at Centre College in Danville, KY. In February 1992, he moderated the third Democratic presidential candidates' debate, held just two days before the nation's first presidential primary in Manchester, NH. He was moderator of the second presidential debate held during October 1988 in Los Angeles; he was co-moderator of the April 1988 debate among Democratic presidential candidates on the eve of the New York primary.
In July 1993, Shaw anchored CNN's live coverage of President Clinton's first Economic Summit from Tokyo. Covering such summits live was not new to Shaw, who had previously anchored on-site all of the Bush-Gorbachev/Yeltsin Summits—from Helsinki, Malta, and Moscow, to Washington, DC. He also anchored from Red Square in Moscow during the 28th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in July 1990.
In the summer of 1989, Shaw covered President Bush's first trip to Eastern Europe and then to Paris for the Economic Summit.
Before covering the 40th anniversary NATO Summit in May 1989, in Brussels, Shaw had just finished 30 hours of live coverage of the historic student demonstrations in the heart of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. He brought leading coverage of the events to the United States and around the world with continuous reporting; he fought to extend air time when the Chinese government ordered CNN to discontinue its telecast.
Shaw was one of only two network anchors in China when the demonstrations began, and his work garnered considerable acclaim. He received the 1990 ACE for Best News Anchor and the 1989 National Association of Television Arts and Sciences' News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story – Anchor. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Best News Anchor at the 32nd annual International Film and TV Festival of New York as well as the Journalist of the Year for 1989 by the National Association of Black Journalists.
CNN received numerous awards for its coverage of China, including the Golden ACE, a Silver Baton from the Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia University Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, the National Headliner Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Spot News Event by a TV Network, and an Overseas Press Club Award.
Shaw traveled to Japan in February 1989 to anchor CNN's extensive coverage of Emperor HIROHITO's funeral. He also anchored coverage of the 1988 Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Moscow. In December 1987, Shaw was one of the four network anchors to interview President Reagan on the eve of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Summit in Washington, DC; he anchored coverage of that summit as well. He also covered their superpower summit in Geneva in 1985.
Shaw was a member of the CNN anchor team from the network's inception in 1980. Previously, he was with ABC News as Senior Capitol Hill Correspondent, reporting extensively on the economy. Shaw also filed special reports during the 1979 hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran. His first assignment with ABC News was as Latin American correspondent and bureau chief. In that capacity, he was one of the first reporters to file a story from Guyana on the mass suicides at Jonestown and covered the overthrow of General SOMOZA in Nicaragua.
From 1971 to 1977, Shaw was a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of CBS News. A journalistic coup during that period was his exclusive interview with Attorney General JOHN MITCHELL at the height of the Watergate crisis.
Before joining CBS News, Shaw served as a reporter for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company's Group W, based first in Chicago, and later in Washington, as White House correspondent. He began his career in 1964 as an anchor/reporter for WNUS-Chicago, one of the nation's first all-news radio stations.
Shaw studied history at the University of Illinois. On April 27, 1991, the University of Illinois Foundation announced the establishment of the Bernard Shaw Endowment Fund, creating scholarships at the University's Chicago campus in his honor. Shaw has personally contributed more than $300,000 to the Fund—his way of "giving back" some of what has been given to him. The unrestricted grants are awarded annually to qualified students needing financial aid, with preference given to minority and women liberal arts majors who best represent those values and interests exemplified by Shaw. In May 1993, the University awarded Shaw an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his outstanding contributions and endeavors. He also holds honorary doctorates from Northeastern University in Boston, MA (1994), and Francis Marion College in Florence, SC (1985).
A Chicago native, Shaw and his wife Linda reside in Takoma Park, MD.
COO, Cablevision, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
As chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, Tom Rutledge is responsible for overseeing the company's cable television business; Rainbow Media, the company's national programming business, which includes the AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv networks; Optimum Lightpath, the company's fiber optic business telecommunications service; Clearview Cinemas; and certain Cablevision corporate functions. Mr. Rutledge also oversees News 12 Networks, Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation (RASCO) and Newsday, one of the nation's largest daily newspapers, serving the New York area.
Previously, as president of Cable and Communications, Mr. Rutledge was responsible for managing all services delivered by Cablevision's state-of-the-art fiber optic network, including digital video, high-speed Internet and the company's voice-over-IP phone product. His appointment in January 2002 was a key step toward ensuring the delivery of Cablevision's new generation of digital telecommunications offerings to more than 5.3 million households and businesses in the company's New York metropolitan service area.
Since Mr. Rutledge's arrival at Cablevision, the company has completed a $5 billion fiber optic network upgrade and become the first U.S. cable provider to offer high-definition video on demand and to deploy a VoIP phone product across its entire service area. Under Mr. Rutledge, Cablevision also recently launched the nation's first Wi-Fi mesh wireless cable broadband network.
A 32-year cable, media and business industry veteran, Mr. Rutledge previously served as president of Time Warner Cable. He began his industry career in 1977 at American Television and Communications (ATC), a predecessor company of Time Warner Cable, starting as a manager trainee after graduating from college.
Mr. Rutledge currently serves as Chairman of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and serves on the boards of CableLabs, C-SPAN and the CTAM Educational Foundation. He received his bachelor of administration in economics from California University in California, PA in 1977.
Robert W. Hughes
Founder, Prime Cable , Chairman, Prime II Investment, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
Mr. Hughes, a native of Ponca City, Oklahoma received his BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma in 1958. He moved to Austin in 1962 following his graduation with an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He was employed by a venture capital company, Texas Capital Corporation, serving as Vice President until 1968.
Hughes left Texas Capital in 1968 to help Jack Crosby and Fred Lieberman form a new venture, Communications Properties, Inc. He served as VP – Finance until 1974 at which time he became President. Communications Properties grew to be the 7th largest cable TV company in the United States at which time it was sold to the Times Mirror Corporation in 1979.
Later in 1979, Hughes founded a new cable TV company, Prime Cable Corp. serving as Chairman and CEO. Prime's goal was to become a significant cable TV operator with a particular emphasis on major metropolitan markets. By 1989, Prime had assembled cable TV properties in Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Anchorage, Alaska. Later another major complex was acquired in the Washington, D. C. suburban area. By 1995, Prime had become one of the eight largest companies in the cable television industry with over one million subscribers in six states. Commencing in 1997, Prime began an orderly disposition of its properties to other major cable television operators. These sales were concluded in 2000.
Mr. Hughes previously served as Director and Board Chairman of the National Cable Television Association in 1978-79. He also was a founder and Director of the original C-SPAN board in 1978. He currently serves on the board of directors of Aloha Partners, Diamond Ventures and Prime II Investments. He serves on several non-profit boards including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence, the Executive Committee of the College of Engineering, University of Oklahoma, and Teton Pines Country Club (Jackson Hole, Wyoming).
Mr. Hughes presently serves as Chairman of Prime II Investments. He and his wife Gail reside in Austin, Texas.
James S. Cownie
Co-Founder and past President, Heritage Comm., 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
Born Des Moines, Iowa, 1944
Dowling High School, 1962
University of Notre Dame, 1966 (B.B.A.)
Married Patty Hines in 1967; five children, ages 28-40
Hobbies: Bird hunting, fishing, golf, handball
• 1971-1990: Co-Founder/President, Heritage Communications, Inc.
• 9th largest cable TV operator serving 1,000,000+ subscribers in 22 states.
• Largest systems: San Jose, Wilmington, Dallas, Central Iowa
• 1,600 employees and $350 million in revenue.
• 1991-1996: Chairman, New Heritage Associates
• 1996-Present: self-employed investor
• 2006-Present: Chairman/Owner, WestWind Logistics LLC/WWL Holding, Inc.
• Board Director: Da-Lite Screen Company; MARKETLINK, Inc.; The Macerich Company
• National Cable Television Association-- Board member and chairman.
• C-SPAN--Board member
• NFL Football Consortium--Co-Chairman
• Customer Service Standards, Ad hoc committee chairman
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS Director:
• Dowling-St. Joseph Foundation, (Chairman, 1990)
• Des Moines Diocesan Development Committee; Chairman of $20 million fund raising effort, 2001
• Mercy Hospital (1997-present; Vice Chair 2005-2006)
• Des Moines Development Corporation, (Chairman, 1991 & 1992)
• Greater Des Moines Committee (Chairman, 1993)
• Metro YMCA, Chairman, 1993-94
• Des Moines Vision Plan, Co-Chairman
• Greater Des Moines United Way (Campaign Chairman, 1992)
• Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, Chairman (2000-2003)
• Convention & Visitors Bureau
• Downtown Partnership, Inc.
• Youth Homes of Mid-America
• Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (Advisor)
• J.N. "Ding" Darling Foundation
• Greater Des Moines Partnership (Chairman, 2007)
• Challenger Award for Young Leadership, National Cable Television Association, 1985
• President's Award, National Cable Television Association, 1990
• Catholic Honoree, National Conference of Christian & Jews, 1991
• Distinguishing Alumnus Award-Dowling High School-1991; St. Augustin Grade School, 1994
• Entrepreneur of the Year "Sociably Responsible" Award, 1992
• Community Involvement Award, Des Moines "Business Record," 1992
• Honorary Chair Variety Club of Iowa Telethon, 1996
• National Society of Fund Raising Executives "Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser," 1997
• Commencement speaker, Grand View College, 2001
• Inducted into Iowa Business Hall of Fame, Greater Des Moines Committee, 2001
• Service to Mankind Award, Sertoma Club of Des Moines, 2001
• First Civitas Award, Dowling High School, 2004
• Iowa Parks & Recreation's "Ahrens Community Service" Award, 2004
• YMCA Service To Youth Award, 2004
• Association of Fundraising Professionals' "Spirit of Philanthropy" Award, 2004
• The Des Moines Register's Iowa Star Award, 2005
• Iowa Soccer Association's Hall of Fame, 2005
• United Way Alexis Tocqueville Society Honoree, 2006
• Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Civic Friend of Hospitality, 2006
• Greater Des Moines Partnership "Quarterback Extraordinaire" Award, 2007
• Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute "A. Arthur Davis Leadership" Award, 2008
Matthew C. Blank
Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks, Inc, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
Matthew C. Blank, in a career spanning more than three decades, has made a significant and indelible mark on the cable television industry. Matt has been with SHOWTIME since 1988, assuming the position of Chairman and CEO in 1995. Before joining SHOWTIME, he worked for HBO where he began his cable career in 1976.
During Matt's tenure at SHOWTIME, he has helped transform the network into one of the most successful cable channels in the industry. SHOWTIME's current slate of critically-acclaimed series includes THE TUDORS, WEEDS, DEXTER, CALIFORNICATION, THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, TRACEY ULLMAN'S STATE OF THE UNION and, coming in June, NURSE JACKIE starring Edie Falco.
SHOWTIME has also made a name for itself in the sports world with SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, having staged some of the most memorable events ever. Recently, SHOWTIME became the first premium network to televise the highly popular sport of mixed martial arts, and has also teamed up with CBS to bring SHOWTIME viewers the acclaimed series, INSIDE THE NFL.
Active in numerous industry organizations, Matt serves on the Board of The Cable Center and the NCTA, and has received numerous awards, including three NCTA Vanguard Awards, CTAM's Grand Tam Award, and Cable Positive's Joel A. Berger Award. Most recently, Matt was inducted into Broadcasting and Cable Magazine's 2008 Hall of Fame.
A strong believer in giving back to the community, Matt has been a Trustee of the Harlem Children's Zone for 16 years. He also serves as a Trustee of the Museum of the Moving Image, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Creative Coalition and PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning).
Matt is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, and holds an M.B.A. from Baruch College. He resides in New York City with his wife, Susan McGuirk, and their children, Meredith and Gordon.
Board of Directors Member at CTAM Europe, 2009 Cable Hall of Fame
Char Beales is was President and CEO of CTAM, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, The 5,200 individual and 90 corporate member professional service organization. CTAM provides its members with a full slate of conferences, specialized publications, targeted research and a network of chapters.
Prior to joining CTAM, Beales was Vice President of Program Development for COMSAT's Video Enterprises, a division that provided satellite delivered pay per view programming to the U.S. lodging industry. Beales served as Vice President of Programming and Marketing for the National Cable Television Association and Executive Director of the National Academy of Cable Programming which sponsored the CableACE Awards. Beales has also served as the senior research executive at television stations owned by NBC and CBS and a media buyer at J. Walter Thompson.
Char Beales serves on the Boards of The Cable Center and the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA). In 1996, Beales received the National Cable Television Association's Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership. She has been honored with the NCTA's Vanguard Award for Marketing in 1995, the President's Award in 1990, the Cable Academy's special ACE Award, the CTAM's Chairman's and TAMI Awards for volunteer service. Char Beales served as a member of the Advisory Council for the Independent Television Violence Assessment Study from 1995 to 1998. Beales is a communications graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.