The Cable Television Hall of Fame will induct six members
May 3: cable pioneers Bill Daniels, Bob Magness, Irving Kahn, Martin Malarkey, George
Barco and Milton Shapp
In addition, Yolanda Barco and the estate of her late
father, George Barco, pledged $2 million to the National Cable Television Center and
Museum in Denver, and the gift will be extended by $250,000 with a cash gift from the
Barco was a cable pioneer based in Pennsylvania who founded
Meadville Master Antenna Inc. in 1952, and he served as general counsel of the
Pennsylvania Cable Television Association for 25 years. He was also co-founder of what is
now known as Pennsylvania Cable Network, a 24-hour public-affairs and education network.
Yolanda Barco practiced law with her father from 1950 until
his death in 1989, and she is currently president of PCN.
William Bresnan, chairman of the Cable Center's board
and chairman and president of Bresnan Communications Co., said $1 million of the gift
would be earmarked for the design and construction of the international headquarters
building of the center, where the center library will be housed. The library will be named
after Yolanda Barco and her father.
The other $1 million is set to be an endowment to provide
ongoing financial support for the library. The $250,000 cash gift is being used for the
center's current operational expenses.
Daniels, chairman of Daniels Communications Inc., who is
known as the 'Father of Cable,' was an early cable-system builder, and he owned
one of the largest and most prominent brokerage firms in the cable industry. He is the
only Hall of Fame inductee still living.
Magness, who died in November 1996, was founder and
chairman of the board of giant MSO Tele-Communications Inc.
Kahn, founder of TelePrompTer, entered the cable business
in 1958. He became one of the largest cable operators in the country, and he pioneered
pay-per-view events on cable TV, the wiring of urban areas and innovative financial
strategies to purchase cable systems.
Malarkey, a radio and television retailer in Pottsville,
Pa., was inspired by a wired master-antenna-television system that he saw at the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in 1949, and he built a cable-television system in
Pottsville a few years later. He pioneered the concept of a fee for installation and a
monthly fee for service, as well as municipal franchising. Malarkey was also a founder of
the National Cable Television Association, and he served as its first chairman from 1951
Shapp founded Jerrold Corp. in 1947. By 1960, Jerrold sold
well over one-half of the equipment used in the construction of cable systems, and it had
also become the largest cable operator in the country. The Justice Department forced
Jerrold to sell most of its systems the following year, but the company remained a leading
supplier, and it was the forerunner to General Instrument Corp. Shapp left the industry in
1966 to concentrate on politics, and he served two terms as governor of Pennsylvania from
1971 to 1979.
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