Colorado native and marketing executive Charlotte Bockstahler is leading the effort to change the former Rocky Mountain Cable Association, much as the pay TV industry has evolved, to include streamed video platforms, satellite and telco providers and other media and tech categories. The RMCA began in 2012 in Denver and succeeded a local CTAM chapter, mostly keeping membership within companies in the cable TV business.
Now, the rebranded Media+Tech Collective will welcome new members to join the existing core of 300 members in the still-vibrant cable community. Bockstahler, who worked at HBO and Altitude Sports before founding the boutique marketing agency Vérité Strategies, wants to expand programming, too, while maintaining popular events including a case-study competition (formerly “The Cable Apprentice”) and a golf tournament. Go to mediatechcollective.com for more details. Her conversation with B+C content director Kent Gibbons was edited for space and clarity.
In expanding RMCA beyond cable, what are the categories you hope to bring into the mix? The cable industry is evolving, and so we're really trying to evolve with the cable industry. It's video, it's streaming data, voice, IoT, any of those players that are involved. In the past, I think a lot of people looked at RMCA as an extension of CTAM. And there was a big emphasis, in the early days, on sales and marketing. Now we really want to be more inclusive of people of all different disciplines, whether that's finance, HR, product teams.
Was there encouragement from within the group for this expansion? Was this expansion encouraged by your existing members? Yes, starting in 2017, the feedback from members was that the industry is changing. We talked with our members, we talked with our member companies and our sponsors, and said, ‘What do we need to do to best serve?’ This expansion is part of the answer to that question. We’re hoping to see people from all different disciplines, and really connect people of all levels of their careers as well.
TV shows on your watch list? The Queen’s Gambit, Cobra Kai, The Mandalorian.
All-time top TV show? Breaking Bad and most of Game of Thrones.
Favorite app? Recently it’s been Pinterest because I’m planning my wedding.
Destinations on your vacation bucket list? New Zealand. Ireland. And Tanzania — I’ve always wanted to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.
A recent memorable meal — where and what did you eat? My fiancé made a huge breakfast spread complete with mimosas. (I LOVE brunch!) This was at home because … COVID.
Over the past year, have you been gathering virtually and how has that worked out? We’ve been getting our toes wet with doing virtual events. We actually did a drive-in event as well. We rented out a big screen, and did a screening of The Goonies to try to socially distance but still bring everybody together. Everyone was able to stay in their cars but still get together. We're going to kick that in the higher gear this year. We've also planned our annual golf tournament, always one of the biggest events of the year. It’s slated for Aug. 12. Fingers crossed, we can move forward as we’re hoping.
What are the plans for expanding or evolving the former Cable Apprentice competition? We’ve been able to expand beyond just working with one university —historically, the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. Last year, we started creating more of a competition between local universities. We’ve got the University of Colorado, Denver, involved, as well as the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Historically, there have been dozens of students that participated in this case competition and then have gone on to have internships and careers in the cable industry. The competition will be kicking off here at the end of January. Students will start working on cases that they'll present on March 5.
Is cable still a big part of Denver’s identity? I absolutely believe so. You've got companies like WOW! and Dish, and Comcast and Charter have a huge presence here. We are also seeing a lot more with digital advertising happening locally. There’s tons of growth in Denver in the tech sector just in general. We had Google move to Boulder, Amazon has a huge presence here. So it’s just continuing to grow and, unfortunately, making the housing prices go up.
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