Washington -- David Beckwith, a former Time reporter
who held high-profile press-relations jobs with Vice President Dan Quayle and the
presidential campaign of Texas Gov. George W. Bush, was named vice president of
communications for the National Cable Television Association.
Beckwith replaces Josie Martin, who resigned in December to
pursue other interests.
Beckwith will oversee the NCTA's new communications
department, with a focus on press relations, while the public-affairs department will
concentrate on the management of the industry's public-service programs.
"Recruiting a professional of David Beckwith's
high caliber is intended as a strong statement that our industry plans to place a
heightened emphasis on external communications as we roll out new services including
digital video, high-speed data and local telephony," NCTA president Robert Sachs said
in a prepared statement.
Beckwith left the Bush campaign under a cloud in July after
national media outlets complained that he understated the amount of money the camp had
raised in order to keep expectations low and reap big headlines when the true number was
According to The Washington Post, Beckwith knew Bush
had raised $36 million, but he allowed campaign reporters to go with a smaller figure,
between $20 million and $23 million.
After leaving Time as a national correspondent,
Beckwith served as press secretary to Quayle, who struggled with his media image
throughout his four-year term. Quayle was in the running for the GOP presidential
nomination in 2000, but he bowed out of the crowded field in September.
In another appointment, James Ewalt was named vice
president of public affairs. He will oversee various NCTA and industry initiatives,
including the program to provide free high-speed Internet connections to schools and
Ewalt, who joined the NCTA in July as special counsel from
the Cable Telecommunications Association (CATA), became acting vice president of public
affairs in the wake of Martin's departure.
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