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CTAM Ends Mark Awards After 30 Years

CTAM, the cable-industry marketing association, said it has ended a 30-year run for the Mark Awards, which honored marketing excellence by cable operators, programmers and their agencies.

The award, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this past September when 156 awards were presented, was originally created to help encourage cable companies to market effectively, assisted by commentary from Mark Award judges, CTAM senior vice president of communications and marketing Anne Cowan said.

Over the years, campaigns for networks and cable companies have reached the level of world-class marketing, so in a sense the awards have fulfilled their purpose, she said. She likened it to the old CableACE Awards, which ended a 19-year run in 1997 when cable programming started winning Emmy Awards.

The Mark Awards also had been a centerpiece of the CTAM’s annual Summit, a conference that ended in 2012. This past September’s Mark Awards ceremony was a cocktail event in New York City.

Entries would have started coming in in February, Cowan said, so word has gone out to CTAM members that the awards have been discontinued.

She said the awards were still popular: more than 700 entries were fielded in 2013 and more than 150 judges assisted with the process. The decision was a hard one to make by CTAM's board, she said, as was ending the annual Summit and Insight research conferences.

CTAM has not made the decision yet about whether to continue its Hall of Fame, which rewards exceptional marketing campaigns, Cowan said.

CTAM itself is in transition to a corporate-membership, more targeted mission. As a result, about 300 people who had held individual memberships have been told their memberships won’t be renewed after the end of the year. Those were mostly individual consultants, researchers and employees of small, emerging networks, Cowan said. CTAM still has about 3,000 individuals on its membership roster, representing corporate members.