CTAM Is Ending Summit, Insights Conferences

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing is pulling the plug on the annual CTAM Summit -- which will end its run after 37 years -- and Insights Conference, citing “structural changes” in the marketing organizations of its 90 corporate members.

The CTAM Summit debuted in 1976, while the Insights conference started as a research workshop in 1982. The 2013 CTAM Summit and Insights conferences had been scheduled for the end of cable’s Diversity Week in New York City.

In addition, the group said in an announcement Monday it will shift from its current mix of individual and corporate memberships to a corporate-centric business model. Corporate member MSOs, content providers and suppliers will designate employees to participate in corporate programs and have access to all CTAM benefits, without paying incremental individual dues, the association said. Individuals who are not employed by corporate members may continue to join CTAM at 2012 rates.

UPDATE: With the changes, CTAM expects to lay off eight of its 33 employees by year-end, or about one-fourth of its staff, president and CEO Char Beales said.

CTAM said it plans to transform the Summit and Insights conferences into a few smaller events. Those are to include an invitation-only “Executive Forum” for MSO and content marketers; a one-day open event targeted to midlevel executives; and working group business meetings where members engage in problem-solving dialogue.    

According to the organization, the cancellation of CTAM’s two flagship conferences represents an “inflection point” in a three-year evolution led by the CTAM executive committee and board in response to the changing needs of its members.

"For years, CTAM has played an important role in educating the industry about marketing and building cooperation among and between cable companies and programmers,” David Juliano, Comcast executive vice president of sales and marketing and CTAM chair, said in a statement. “As a board, we are pleased to see the organization evolve and continue to deliver on the programs that are so valued. We appreciate all the hard work that the executive committee, along with [CTAM president and CEO] Char Beales and the team, have devoted to creating this new business model."

Added Beales, “This change will enable us to build on our key strengths, while delivering innovative programs that super-serve our membership going forward.” 

CTAM will continue several cooperative marketing and educational services, including the Cable Mover programs -- which will deliver more than 1 million leads to member MSOs this year -- Advanced Products Working Groups, CES tours, TV Critics tours and the Cable Executive Management program at Harvard Business School. The organization also will continue its Unplugged education and networking regional events, Wired webcasts and the Mark Awards. 

The members of CTAM’s executive committee are: Beales; Comcast’s Juliano; Jon Hargis, Charter Communications executive vice president and chief marketing officer (and CTAM’s vice chair); David Preschlak, executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for Disney & ESPN Media Networks (and CTAM’s secretary/treasurer); Heather Baldino, senior vice president of Turner Networks marketing and revenue integration; Shelley Wright Brindle, executive vice president of domestic network distribution, HBO; Mark Greatrex, chief marketing and sales officer for Cox Communications; Jeff Hirsch, executive vice president and CMO of Time Warner Cable; and Gemma Toner, senior vice president of broadband product management at Cablevision Systems.

National Harbor, Md.-based CTAM is a not-for-profit professional association that provides consumer research, an interactive executive innovation series, conferences, awards and the CTAM SmartBrief newsletter to members.