Cable Veteran Nate Garner Dies

Longtime cable executive and NAMIC board member Nate Garner has died at the age of 75.

Garner began his long cable career in 1978 with Time Inc’s American Telecommunications and Cable (ATC), where he served in numerous executive roles within Time Warner Cable’s Manhattan Cable system. He was named President of Manhattan's Paragon Cable in 1986, making him the first African-American president of a cable system in New York.

In 1994, he served as Senior Vice President of USA Network’s eastern region affiliate sales, playing a key role in the launch of the SYFY channel. Garner also launched several start-up companies, including a broadcast venture in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1999.

During his tenure within the cable industry Garner also worked to ensure access and equality in the media and entertainment. In the early 1990s Garner was instrumental in helping to launch the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Cable diversity organization. As a founding member and eventual board member of NAMIC, Garner used the organization’s strength and reach to raise awareness regarding pathways to cable system ownership.

“NAMIC would not exist today if it were not for Nate Garner,” said Douglas Holloway, former NBCUniversal executive and current founder of the UKW Media Roku channel. “Nate was a true cable pioneer and in particular a black cable pioneer. He set a standard for excellence and was a person that mentored so many, including me. He led the industry in advocating Black ownership of cable systems and entrepreneurship. He will be sorely missed.”

Garner is survived by his five adult children, including A+E Networks executive VP, content licensing and business development Mark Garner. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.