Jack R. Crosby
Chairman, The Rust Group, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
I was working for my father in a hardware-appliance store and it was very difficult to sell television sets in those days in Del Rio, Texas because we had no television.
Jack R. Crosby has been an active venture capitalist and entrepreneur for over thirty years. He is the founder and Chairman of The Rust Group, a private investment partnership headquartered in Austin, Texas. Current and prior areas of The Rust Group's investment activity include cable television, satellite communications, media, entertainment, banking, real estate development and oil field services.
Mr. Crosby has been involved in the cable industry since its infancy. In 1954 he organized one of the first private entities to receive a license from the Federal Communications Commission to transmit television signals via microwave. During his career, Mr. Crosby has been one of the founders of eight major multiple system cable companies. Included among them are:
The nucleus of what was to become United Cable TV, Inc.
Telesystems International, Inc.:
Switzerland's second largest cable company, and the first financially successful privately owned multiple system operator (MSO) in Europe.
Communications Properties, Inc.:
Sold to Times Mirror, Inc., in 1978.
Mr. Crosby is a former Director and Chairman of the National Cable Television Association, and was honored by his peers by designation as one of the Pioneers of the Cable Television Industry. He has lent his services to the governments of West Germany, Austria, and Holland as consultant regarding the development of cable television within their countries.
John W. Goddard
Former President and CEO, Viacom Cable, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
While attending the University of California, I was involved in a partnership with Scot Bergren, Claude Cody and Dick Spight, and obtained the franchises and built the systems in Pinole and Crockett, California. These systems (became) part of Tele-Vue.
John Goddard was the former President and CEO of Viacom Cable, spending over twenty-five years with the company. He started in management positions in Viacom's predecessor companies; Tele-Vue Systems, Inc. in 1966 and CBS in 1969. Mr. Goddard became Executive Vice President of Viacom Cable in 1978 and President and CEO from 1980
Mr. Goddard has served in numerous leadership positions in cable industry organizations: President and Director of the California Cable Television Association (CCTA), Chairman and Director of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), Director and Chairman of the California Channel, and Chairman, Interim President and Trustee of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, and Director of C-SPAN and Cable in the Classroom. He currently serves as a Director of CableLabs and Chairman of its audit committee. He is also a member of the Cable Television Pioneers.
Mr. Goddard has previously served as a director of StarSight Telecast, Inc., ZDTV, Diva Systems Corp., Liberty Satellite and Technology, Inc. (and its predecessors: Primestar, Inc., and Tele-Communications Satellite and Technology, Inc.). He is currently a director of Bend Cable Communications, LLC and Cedar Point Communications.
Robert L. Johnson
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Black Entertainment TV, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
I recognized that as an African-American, I had to seek out opportunities in areas where African-Americans had not yet gone and cable was one of those.
What began as an early and modest effort by Bob Johnson to move racial and ethnic diversity into television programming, turned into an empire of the cable industry.
Mr. Johnson struck a cord with African-Americans and moved advertising appeals into sophisticated treatments of African-Americans' needs and wants. The core BET Network has pioneered an entire genre in television, with its 24-hour programming that targets African-American consumers that now reaches more than 65 million US homes and more than 90% of all Black cable households. That same groundbreaking strategy has evolved into leading-edge digital cable technology with other BET channels such as BET On Jazz: The Jazz Channel, BET International, BET Classic Soul, BET Hip-Hop and BET Gospel. In 1998, Johnson established BET Pictures and BET Arabesque Films to produce and market African-American themed film releases, documentaries and made for TV movies. BET has also leveraged its brand identity into new businesses outside the cable industry with direst ownership of BET Arabesque Books, the only line of original African-American romance novels written by African-American authors. Other BET ventures include BET Interactive.
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Oxygen Media, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
My personal goal was: 'How do we make Nickelodeon cool enough so my son will have the courage to confess where his mother works?
Geraldine B. Laybourne is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oxygen Media. Oxygen, the only cable network owned and operated by women, is currently available in 56 million homes. The network was launched in 2000 to fill a void in the television landscape – creating a network targeted to younger women. The fastest growing independent network, Oxygen became profitable in 2004.
Oxygen is rewriting the rulebook for women's television, with the most original programming of all the women's networks. Programming includes Mo'Nique's Fat Chance, Oprah After the Show, Talk Sex with Sue Johanson and Girls Behaving Badly. Laybourne has led the company to be a strong advocate for women. Through programs like The Mentor's Walk, Oxygen's national program for bringing along the next generation, Oxygen is creating "The New Girls Network."
Prior to starting Oxygen, Laybourne spent 16 years at Nickelodeon – taking over management of the network in 1984. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon became the top-rated 24-hour cable network and won several notable awards including Emmy's, Peabodys, Cable Ace, and Parent's Choice awards.
From 1996-1998, Laybourne was president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks where she was responsible for overseeing current cable programming for the Walt Disney Company and its ABC subsidiary.
Laybourne has been singled out for her many contributions to the industry. She was ranked No. 1 among the 50 most influential women in the entertainment industry by The Hollywood Reporter in 1996 and named one of the 25 most influential people in America by Time magazine that same year. Her numerous awards include: the Annenberg Public Policy Center's award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Children and Television, the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award® for Broadcasting, and the Creative Coalition's Spotlight Award. Her other honors include the Grand Tam Award® from CTAM, the Governor's Award® from the National Academy of Cable Programming, the American Women in Radio and Television Genii Award®, the Women in Cable Award®, and the Sara Lee Corporation's Frontrunner Award®. In 1995, she was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. In October of 2004 she was inducted into The Cable Center Hall of Fame.
Laybourne sits on a number of boards and advisory committees, including the National Cable Television Association, The National Council for Families and Television, New York Women in Film & Television (Advisory Board), Cable Positive (Honorary Chair). In 1997 she was elected to the Board of Trustees of Vassar College. From 1990 to 1995 she served on the Board of Kinder Care Learning Centers. Laybourne recently became a member of the Board of Directors of Insight Communications.
Laybourne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Vassar College and a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband Kit, a producer, author and animator, have two children and one grandchild.
Paul S. Maxwell
CEO, Media Business Corporation, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
I started something called CableFax, a daily (cable) news publication delivered by facsimile machines. In 89, you'd be surprised; not every office had one.
Paul S. Maxwell has been chronicling and commenting on and to the cable industry since 1969 – something he continues to do for CableFAX Daily and CableWORLD. Currently, CEO of Media Business Corp, a database, research and publishing company, Maxwell has been involved with most of the industry's publications including CATV Newsweekly, TV & Communications, CED, Communications Technology, CableWORLD, The Bridge and, among the two or so dozen publications he has created which include, CableVision, Multichannel News and CableFAX Daily (the first ad-supported daily fax-delivered newsletter.)
Maxwell was a successful popular lyricist writing and performing in the early and mid 1960's, and a decorated .US Army officer serving in Southeast Asia as a reporter for Stars & Stripes and a combat historian. He was the founding president of X*PRESS Information Services in the late 1980's, a too-early-for-its time multiplexing of some 90 newswire services that distributed re-coded news and stock quotes to personal computers via satellite and cable systems. He is a founding member of CTAM; a co-founder and longtime board member of the Walter Kaitz Foundation; a Cable TV Pioneer and member of the Cable Pioneer Board of Directors; recipient of the SCTA's R.E. Turner Innovator of the Year Award in 1998; and a recipient of the NCTA's Vanguard Award in 2000. Maxwell studied theology at Southern Methodist University and journalism at the University of Colorado, while learning to ski.
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Trygve E. Myhren
Former CEO , American Television & Communications Corporation, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
The idea was that if you clustered yourself (geographically), you could sell advertising in direct competition with the other media.
Trygve Myhren is president of Myhren Media, Inc. (Denver and Vail, CO) a private investment firm concentrating in media, telecommunications and software and other enabling technology. He is a special limited partner of Megunticook Partners, LLC, which manages early stage venture funds. Mr. Myhren also serves on the boards of Advanced Marketing Services (MKT, LaJolla, CA) and Dreyfus Founders Funds (Denver, CO).
From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Myhren served as president of Providence Journal Company (PRJ), which owned and managed the Journal-Bulletin newspapers, 14 broadcast television stations, cable television systems with 800,000 subscribers, a number of programming networks for multi-channel delivery systems and significant positions in other programming, interactive and multimedia ventures. He served concurrently as CEO of King Holdings, an owner and manager of broadcast and cable television properties, a subsidiary of the Providence Journal Co. In late 1995, Providence Journal merged its cable television subscribers – Colony, Copley/Colony, King Video and Palmer – into Continental Cablevision, Inc., and in 1996 arranged the sale of the remainder of the Company to A.H. Belo Co., of Dallas.
During Mr. Myhren's tenure, the value of stock in The Providence Journal Company quadrupled.
From 1975 until 1988, Mr. Myhren was employed in Denver by American Television and Communications Corporation (ATC), the cable television subsidiary of Time, Inc. (now Time/Warner Cable), where he served as chairman and chief executive officer from 1981-1988. During this period, ATC revenues increased from $60 million to $1.5 billion and, during 1986, the company conducted a successful public offering.
Mr. Myhren served as chairman of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) in 1986 and 1987 and on its executive committee from 1981-1991. He received the cable industry's premier achievement award, the Distinguished Vanguard Leadership Award, in 1988. Myhren also co-founded CTAM, the industry's marketing and programming organization, and served as its president in 1978 and 1979 and received its Grand Tam Award (1986) and One-of-a-Kind Award (1994). Mr. Myhren organized the first serious link between the advertising industry and cable and he co-founded six cable networks, with Food Network and Northwest Cable News being the most recent.
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, NCTA, 2004 Cable Hall of Fame
When we finally started to build 21 channel systems I remember going on record saying, '...who could possibly want more channels than that?'
June E. Travis retired from the cable television industry in late 1999. Since 1994, she had served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), the industry's principal trade association based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Travis helped manage the development and implementation of NCTA's public policy strategies and initiatives, and was responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Association.
Prior to joining the NCTA, Travis served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Rifkin & Associates, a Denver-based cable television operator. In that capacity, Travis was responsible for the operational and financial performance of cable systems in thirteen states, serving nearly 500,000 customers. Before that, she served in several executive positions at American Television and Communications Corporation, the predecessor company to Time Warner Cable.
Travis has served as an officer and board member of a number of cable television industry boards, including NCTA, C-SPAN, Cable in the Classroom, and Women in Cable (WIC). She chaired the industry's political action committee, CablePAC, for 9 years. Her active role in the industry has been recognized by a number of awards over the years, including the NCTA's top leadership award in 1981, the NCTA special President's Award in 1991, and the 1982 WIC Accolade Award. She was recognized in 1989 as one of the top ten women in the cable industry and, in 1992, was the first woman selected by WIC for its annual leadership award.
Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 1994, Ms. Travis was active in several Colorado organizations including the Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Colorado Forum, the University of Denver and the Colorado Women's Forum. She is also formerly a National Trustee of the National Jewish Center in Denver, and a former director of InterFaith Community Services, and TechCorps.
Currently, Travis is a director of CommScope, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of broadband coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) applications and a leading supplier of fiber optic and twisted pair cables for LAN, wireless and other communications applications. She is also on the Boards of the Denver Dumb Friends League and Young Americans Center for Financial Education, is active in St. Gabriel's Church and volunteers at a private community-based family foundation focused on helping youth develop technology and leadership skills.
Travis received her MBA from the University of Denver Graduate School of Business and Public Management.