Come Stream With Me

Many of you have responded positively to our ongoing electronic enhancements on our Web site ( On top of our daily and weekly news offerings, we've launched two targeted e-mail newsletters on local cable ad sales and the exploding Hispanic television marketplace.

Today, we're taking the wraps off a pet project of mine. It's a new streaming video which features an interview with a prominent cable executive each week, as we discuss This Week in Cable.

So please take a couple of minutes to catch our first guest today, NBC Universal Cable president David Zaslav. Our camera crew and I made the trek to tony Englewood Cliffs, N.J., to tape Zaslav in his well-appointed office, replete with a spiffy cigar humidor.

Zaslav talked about the vagaries of a changing and challenging cable industry. He had plenty to say about the economics of video-on-demand, a new business metric everyone is struggling with. He's looking for a better economic model. Aren't you, too? So tune in.

Meanwhile, I just returned from a taping with Showtime Networks Inc. chairman and CEO Matt Blank. Just before the cameras rolled, I spent some quality time with Blank in the stairwell as the company conducted its mandatory fire drill.

Blank was sporting disaster-ready gear. It was a big orange shoulder bag, filled with a flashlight, water, radio and other neat things to help get out of the building safely. That was a corporate initiative that came after last summer's blackout, which crippled New York.

But I digress. Blank and I had a nice sit-down chat about the seismic changes afoot at Showtime, starting with the hiring of programming guru Bob Greenblatt. He's been there a year plus change, and the fruits of his development slate are about to appear. You'll get a better idea of where this network is going with the premiere of Huff on Nov. 7.

You'll be surprised to hear what Blank, probably the funniest suit in cable, has to say about that. He'll be up on your RealPlayer next Monday. Don't miss some good laughs and pithy commentary from Blank.

And now I'm asking you for your input to make This Week in Cable a more interactive experience for all. So circle this date on your calendar: Nov. 11. That day I'll be taping newly appointed MTV Networks president Judy McGrath. If you have any burning questions for her, e-mail or call me.

She'll be fresh back from being honored at the Women in Cable & Telecommunications fall gala. That's an event which should be far less stressful than her brush with regulators over Janet Jackson's costume malfunction.

So let's all have some fun and gain some insight from our This Week in Cable guests. Future confirmed guests are Lifetime Television's champion for women, Carole Black and Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau president Sean Cunningham, who is in your camp, spreading cable's compelling success story to Madison Avenue.