The Cable Pioneers will induct 21 industry executives into its ranks at an upcoming gala on September 19 at the Union League of Philadelphia, honoring industry veterans for their contributions to the cable business, innovation and community service.
While this year’s class is a bit smaller than the 24 that were inducted in Atlanta last year, Cable TV Pioneers chair Yvette Kanouff said when it comes to the event, volume doesn’t matter.
Each class is nominated by their peers and while the award itself honors the impact each inductee has made on the industry, Kanouff said it goes much deeper than that. She added that inductees also have made an impact on their communities, overall industry leadership as well as innovation across the industry as a whole.
“That’s why there is no set number,” Kanouff said of each class of inductees.
This also is the first year in the 56-year history of the Pioneers that the gala will be held in Philadelphia, home of the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast. Coincidentally, several long-time Comcast executives — including Charlie Herrin, who heads up Comcast’s Technology, Product and Experience organization; Xfinity president William Connors; retired VP Joseph Guariglia; Comcast Technology Solutions VP and general manager Allison Olien; and Comcast Cable executive VP, chief technlogy officer and chief information officer Richard Ribioli — are being honored as Cable Pioneers.
Outgoing Charter Communications vice chairman John Bickham also is being honored for his 35 years in the business, including stints at Cablevision Systems and Time Warner Cable. And perhaps as proof of the inductees commitment to their communities, former HBO executive VP, domestic networks and marketing and current Westfield, New Jersey, Mayor Shelley Brindle also is being honored.“We have such a strong class and it just goes to show that especially after COVID and after we’ve been through so much that the people in our industry are stepping up to say, we want to make sure that the people that got us here, that carried us through and continue to innovate, get the proper recognition,” Kanouff said. “I think that is really special.”
Kanouff added that joining the storied list of executives enshrined in the Cable Pioneers is not just an acknowledgement of individual accomplishments, but of those of entire organizations.
“I’ve heard this comment from high-level executives, that this is a symbol of accomplishment by the entire organization,” Kanouff said. “It’s not just me winning an award, but the work we did.”
This year’s class of Cable Pioneers are men and women involved in all aspects of the cable TV business, including CEOs, sales, marketing and technology executives and consultants. They are:
- Dale Ardizzone, chief operating officer and corporate secretary, INSP LLC;
- Janice Arouh, president, network distribution, Allen Media Group;
- Nomi Bergman, investor and strategic adviser, Advance;
- John Bickham, vice chairman, Charter Communications;
- Shelley Brindle, mayor of the town of Westfield, New Jersey;
- Ralph Brown, founder and principal, Brown Wolf Consulting;
- William (Bill) Connors, president, Xfinity, Comcast Cable;
- Matthew Deprey, VP of finance, C-SPAN;
- John Dowd, retired VP of operations, Dycom Industries;
- Jeffrey Finkelstein, chief access scientist, Cox Communications;
- Joseph Floyd, retired president, Midcontinent Communications;
- Camilla Formica, chief program officer, The Cable Center;
- Joseph Guariglia, retired VP, Comcast Cable;
- Charlie Herrin, president of the Technology, Product, Experience organization within Comcast Cable;
- Randy Lykes, chief technology officer, Viamedia;
- Ned Mountain, former president, Wegener Communications;
- Allison Olien, VP and general manager, Comcast Technology Solutions;
- John Piazza, president and CEO, Greyfox Services;
- Michelle Rice, president, TV One Networks;
- Richard Rioboli, EVP, CTO and CIO for Comcast Cable;
- Theresa Sauerwein, Western sales manager, Radiant Communications.
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.