STEERING THE SHIP – A Strategic Journey
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
There are still a few months left in the calendar year, but 2016 has already earned the reputation as a monumental year in cable. I think we can all agree there is a new frontier in the industry with significant change in the market and positive technological evolution.
Five years ago, who would have thought that the fictional Star Trek holodeck would come into being via immersive virtual reality (VR) technology? The Cable Center is working on our own exciting version of the “holodeck,” using virtual reality to increase access to our collections on a global scope. Attendees of our summer picnic in August had the opportunity to demo our VR exhibit and rave reviews were given by all who tried out the immersive experience. A full 40 item exhibit will be online by the end of 2016 for all to view – in VR or regular reality.
As the industry and world change, so to, does The Cable Center. We’re in the middle of a journey to reposition our place in the industry. We are recalibrating our focus into three core areas. We will continue to steward the legacy and history of the industry and celebrate achievement of industry leaders. To help determine the third area of focus, I am currently working with a small ad hoc committee convened by the Board. To date we have conducted interviews with 35 plus key constituents and held two focus groups to learn from our industry community.
The input and feedback during this process has been robust and quite interesting. One of the groups we talked to are millennials within our industry and I want to share with you a few things we heard from them:
- They are proud of our history and believe that we must continue our work preserving the history, and that the Library is vitally important to these efforts,
- They are passionate about, and proud to be in the cable industry,
- They believe that they and the cable industry are innovative and entrepreneurial, and
- They want to be a part of The Cable Center.
The Center is also working on a creative solution to increase rental revenue and help support the mission side of the business. The second floor of our building is currently underused space and only portions are rented on a regular basis for meetings and events. I am currently exploring multiple options for the space, including turning it into a co-working rental space. Doing so would significantly offset the cost of building upkeep, offer collaboration opportunities for our mission programs and increase awareness of The Cable Center’s assets. Income from renting this space and re-establishing our fundraising efforts will help ensure The Center’s healthy financial future.
The last few months have also seen The Cable Center re-engage with numerous constituents. I have increased communication with our board of directors and executive committee as well as other industry organizations including CableLabs, CableLabs Europe and Cable Europe. I am also serving on the SCTE Expo Advisory Committee.
As you know, The Center is home to renowned and unique assets, and I’m not talking just about our archives, collections, staff and gorgeous building. Our greatest asset is YOU, our supporters and advocates. We are extremely appreciative of our industry “village” who have offered financial support, volunteer hours and general enthusiasm about our work here at The Center. Thanks to all of you, we have some great things coming down the pipe and I look forward to sharing them with you in the coming months.
Originally from Mississippi, with a BA in Accounting, an MBA and CPA, Chipley, who has been with The Cable Center for more than three years, does indeed help The Cable Center keep “spinning” by leading a multitude of areas. In her role as CFO, Chipley is responsible for the business and finance department which handles all the accounting and nonprofit compliance and best practices for The Cable Center. Her main focus in this role is to make sure The Center is a good steward of its donor dollars. Additionally, Chipley is responsible for the events department, HR, IT and facility management in her role as senior vice president. Chipley takes her role as ‘land lady’ seriously, ensuring that The Center is spending resources prudently and is fiscally positive.
“One of the ways we help support the mission is by renting out Cable Center facility space for events. The for-profit money the events department brings in goes to upkeep of building and support of the nonprofit programs,” said Chipley.
The Center’s gorgeous contemporary building, made possible by the generous gifts of cable trailblazers, is the perfect setting for events for our industry partners. Charter, Comcast, Emma Bowen, Liberty Global, NAMIC, RMCA, Shaw, SCTE and WICT have all held events in the building in the last year.
While the two different sides of The Cable Center are kept separate, including different websites and social media channels, the events team still works closely with the mission team to be good neighbors to our local industry friends and provide The Cable Center at a reasonable rate.
The Denver metro area also uses the facility for social, weddings, corporate and nonprofit events.
Recently, the events team combined resources with the mission centric virtual reality (VR) team to secure Google Street 360 View inside The Cable Center building. This will offer a significantly more robust online presence showcasing the event space and in turn, the VR team can use the images for their ongoing archive project. It will also allow for cross promotion between multiple platforms.
“There were a lot of cable entrepreneurs who had a vision to build this gorgeous facility and we want to showcase it as a state of the art building and continue to showcase the industry’s legacy for long into the future,” said Chipley.
The Cable Center is currently accepting reservations through Dec. 31, 2017. Mention this article to receive 15 percent off the event rental fee when booking. And if you happen to sponsor a rendition of “Cabaret” in The Center’s Malone Theater, you may be able to talk the CFO into being part of the chorus line; Chipley enjoys tap dancing in her free time when she’s not running, painting or spending time with her two children, husband and dogs.
CELEBRATING THE LIVES OF LEGENDSThe industry recently lost two Cable TV Pioneers and legends, Robert (Bob) M. Rosencrans and Linda Brodsky Cooper.
“Robert Rosencrans played a key role in three of the most important events in cable television during its first 50 years: the development of satellite distribution of cable programming, the founding of C-SPAN and the creation of the first ad-supported national cable programming network. He was a true cable pioneer and a maverick in every aspect of his career and will be greatly missed by everyone in the industry,” said Jana L. Henthorn, President and CEO, The Cable Center.
Rosencrans was inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers in 1977 and The Cable Hall of Fame in 2000.
He was considered by many to be the father of Madison Square Garden Network, BET, USA, C-SPAN, a fantastic entrepreneur and one of the real founders of the industry.
Among his many other notable accomplishments, in 1974, Rosencrans, head of UA Columbia Cablevision at the time, was the first to purchase eight units of the earth stations. In turn, he helped make telecommunications history with the first satellite distribution of cable programming, the “Thrilla in Manilla” on HBO in Vero Beach, Florida, in 1975.
Linda Brodsky Cooper began her cable career at the University of Pennsylvania, where she wrote a paper about the nascent "pay TV" industry in the 1960s. That led to a public relations and marketing job at Jerrold Electronics. From there, she took her skillful PR strategy and notorious speechwriting ability to the largest operators in the industry including: TeleVison Communications Corp., Warner Cable Corp, BroadBand Communications Inc. and Bresnan Communications.
Brodsky worked closely with The Cable Center during her time at Bresnan Communications and was a key advisor in the creation of The Cable Center’s Bresnan Ethics in Business Award bestowed annually at The Cable Hall of Fame.
Diane Christman, senior vice president programs and development at The Cable Center said, “Our paths would cross fairly often. I thought she was the consummate wordsmith and a great wit. During Bill Bresnan’s tenure as Board Chair for The Cable Center, Linda and I collaborated many times. She was always one of my Bresnan favorites. It was an honor to work with her when we developed the Bresnan Ethics in Business Award. She really was one of a kind.”
Brodsky was a founding member of WICT (national), served as chairman of the NCTA’s public affairs committee in the late 1970s and early '80s, and was active in many other industry groups.
Both Rosencrans and Brodsky taped oral histories for The Cable Center’s Hauser Oral History Project Collection.
The Cable Center celebrated the end of summer by hosting a gathering for our industry friends and colleagues.
CALLING ALL MEN's LACROSSE FANSThe Cable Center is renting out the Bresnan board room and balcony for the spring 2017 University of Denver Pioneers NCAA Division 1 Men’s lacrosse season.
The gorgeous Cable Center building was built on the University of Denver campus by donations from many cable mavericks. The Center is taking this “maverick” notion to heart and following in the footsteps of the innovative cable entrepreneurs who helped build us by capitalizing on the view the building provides to the lacrosse field.
The Bresnan board room and balcony have a perfect uninterrupted 180 degree view of the Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium where the 2015 NCAA champions and Big East competitors play. It offers the perfect box seats for clients to enjoy the game in comfort with amenities. Don’t worry about braving the unpredictable Colorado weather- you’ll have the best seat in the stadium, snow, rain or shine!
The Center is looking to rent out the space for the eight game season, or on a per game basis. The season goes from February 2017 – April 2017 with options for playoffs. Highest consideration will be given to industry partners and friends.
Virtual or Real?The Cable Center developed a panel at Cable Congress on June 29 titled: Virtual or Real? The Business of Virtual Reality. This was an exciting opportunity to engage conference goers with a thoughtful and robust look at the varied aspects of VR and the positive impact it can have on the industry. The panel discussed whether VR is a passing fad or here to stay (it’s definitely sticking around), its industry applications and why it is so much more than gaming.
Jana Henthorn, president and CEO of The Cable Center introduced the panel and gave a short synopsis of the VR activities The Center is working on. The expert panel was compromised of renowned European and American VR and cable industry leaders: Benjamin de Wit (Moderator), Festival Director and Creative Producer, Dutch VR Days; Ike Elliott, Chief Strategy Officer & SVP of Strategy and Innovation, CableLabs; Alain Nochimowski, Executive VP of Innovation, Viaccess – Orca; Ankur Prakash, vice president, Liberty Global Ventures; and Emma Svalin Sahlman ,Acting CTO and Director Operations, Com Hem.