Skip to main content

Georgetown Update: Comcast Removes Controversial Boxes

Comcast has quietly removed the utility boxes that got Georgetown residents’ knickers in a twist.

As The Wire reported last week, Comcast had installed the boxes without clearing them with the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts and the Old Georgetown board.

Our roving D.C. photographer — name withheld on request — said that by last Monday (Nov. 12) at least one of the boxes had been removed.

A Comcast spokesperson confirmed the removal but, in a statement, suggested that was not the end of the story: “We removed the recently installed pedestals as we work through the additional permitting requirements.”

Comcast has said it already has a city permit, but was unaware of the architectural review process.

One wag pointed out Comcast has been on the other end of the cabinet critique. In 2008, Comcast took aim at U-Verse VRAD (videoready access device) cabinets in ads that drew the ire and a false advertising suit from AT&T. Comcast defended the ads in court, according to a story on at the time, saying the boxes were large and unsightly and had “generated significant public controversy in these communities.”

Diversity in Digital: Advocacy Group Has Cable Roots

The executive leadership of a new, digital-media diversity organization has a decided cable flavor.

The founding directors board of the Digital Diversity Network (DDN) — a nonprofit trade association trying to bring more minority owners and top executives into the digital media world — counts such familiar names as former Viacom and Fox Cable executive TracyLawrence; Disney/ABC Television Group executive vice president and CPO of Digital Media Albert Cheng; and former Time Warner Cable executive and current Warner Bros. Entertainment EVP of worldwide human resources Kiko Washington.

“We want to make sure there’s full diversity participation in the digital and high-tech sector,” former National Association for Multi- Ethnicity in Communications president and DDN chief operating officer Kathy Johnson said. “Part of our mission will be focusing on encouraging young people to pursue careers in media and technology.”

While DDN is not aimed specifically at cable, Johnson said the digital media focus touches all aspects of the entertainment industry.

The group’s “Cloud Gathering Conference” last Wednesday in New York drew 150 attendees and such media sponsors as News Corp., The New York Times, Time Warner Inc., Comcast/ NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, the Walter Kaitz Foundation and the Minority Media and Telecom Council (MMTC). Look for DDN to offer more high-level leadership forums, online education, socialmedia and networking events in the near future.

— R. Thomas Umstead


An impromptu reunion of early Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau employees in New York went ahead the weekend before the superstorm hit, despite some iffy travel. The CAB, which promotes cablenetwork advertising, was founded in 1980, and some alumni have died in the past few years, “suggesting time always marches on, so get together while we still can,” organizer Jim Boyle told The Wire. Pictured in front of 767 3rd Ave., their former workspace, were (l. to r.): Lela Cocoros; Bruce Hoban (first director of research); Lynn Nordone (longest tenured executive at CAB); Boyle; Saralee Hymen Rosenberg (an original CAB executive); and David Barr.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.