Cable, Wireless Cable Entrepreneur George Ring Dies

George Ring, an entrepreneur in cable systems in the 1970s who later embraced wireless cable technology, died on June 10, according to published obituaries and tributes.

Born in 1943, he started a cable company, Cross Country Cable, in his native New Jersey in 1976 and built cable systems in that state as well as in Virginia, Illinois, Puerto Rico, Arizona, California and England, according to an obituary on the Star-Ledger newspaper’s Web site.

Cross Country sold its wired cable systems in 1981 and expanded into multichannel multipoint distribution system (MMDS) operations as Cross Country Wireless, from a base in Riverside, Calif.

Cross Country Wireless was sold in 1995 to Pacific Telesis, and Ring later founded Wireless Cable International Inc., according to obituaries.

A lifelong New Jerseyan, Ring served with distinction in the Vietnam War. As a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Air medal with V first oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with V first oak leaf cluster, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, according to a tribute on the Seton Hall University web site.

He entered the U.S. Army as an O.C.S. candidate in the spring of 1966. After his military service was concluded, he was inducted into the O.C.S. Hall of Fame at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga.

In 1971, he earned an M.B.A. at Seton Hall, and he became a lending officer at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City. Determined to go into business for himself, he identified the cable-TV industry as having “a lot of potential,” he told Seton Hall in a videotaped interview after being named to the university’s entrepreneur’s hall of fame in 2010 (pictured).

He first went to work for an equipment maker in the sector called Coral Inc., in order to learn the business, he and obituaries said.

He co-founded Cross Country Cable in 1976 by securing a business loan for $850,000 from a former Chase Manhattan Bank colleague. He added $350,000 in equity to that amount for a total of $1.1 million then set to work securing franchises and building and operating cable systems. Signers of an online guest book recalled dealings with him in his office at the cable system in Bound Brook, N.J.

Memorialized in New Jersey earlier this month, Ring was slated to buried at a date to be determined at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, according to his obituary.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.