Honoring Cable’s Pioneers
Each of this year’s 24 entries into the Cable Pioneers brings with them a story
of innovation, entrepreneurship and passion for the cable industry.
Their contributions range from technical and engineering innovations to
leadership in management and breakthrough marketing strategies.
All have provided invaluable services to the many cable-industry organizations,
while stamping their signatures on the cable industry and helping
shape its future.
Founded 44 years ago on the principle of preserving and celebrating
the industry’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, the expanding list
of Cable Pioneers now totals nearly 600. Each of the newly minted pioneers
will be honored during The 2010 Cable Show, specifically Monday, May 10, at
the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
During his 23 years brokering
cable systems for Cable
Investments and Communications
(CEA Associates), Denverbased
Bob Berger has been
instrumental in the sale of
more than 100 small independent
cable systems and
the fair-market appraisals
of numerous others.
As a limited partner in three startup cable companies,
Berger built systems in small towns throughout West Texas
and Oklahoma and assisted in forming partnerships and
investing in startup systems on the Gulf Coast of Alabama,
in Mississippi and in upstate New York.
WORLD EXTEND HOLDINGS
A true pioneer in cable-television
law, Terry Bienstock
has represented virtually
every MSO and cable programmer
as lead counsel in
numerous litigation projects
for more than 30 years.
He was one of the first
attorneys to assert cable
television’s First Amendment
rights in the context of the local franchising process
and pioneered theft-of-service litigation against widespread
theft of cable.
He recently invented two patented ideas for ondemand
as a screen saver for HDTV sets, and online video
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Since 1982, Roger Blakeway
has been instrumental in
advancing the role of the
Society of Cable Telecommunications
Europe and since 2002 has
acted as the organization’s
CEO in Europe.
He introduced SCTE
training courses and marketed
a Europe-wide program that attracted engineers
and technicians to the society.
Blakeway is a published author, contributing to Broadband,
the SCTE’s official journal, and serves on numerous
technical committees and international standards bodies.
Gary Bombalicki’s pioneering
of the fi rst in-house outbound
for a top-10 MSO has led to
numerous creative telemarketing
the “two-fer” pay-per-view
campaign, which spiked buy
rates by over 31%.
He was also the driving
force behind the MOST program, an independent cable
pioneering effort in Los Angeles, which allowed cable
customers to apply for cable service in the cable system’s
operating area following the customer’s move.
He is currently co-president of iq-West, a data-mining
PRESIDENT AND CEO,
In 1975, Steven Boyers
began his pioneering journey
into the cable business
by becoming a contractor
for numerous cable companies,
Cablevision and several
He turned those profits
into the building of his
own cable system in his hometown of Poplar Bluff , Mo.
and later built another system from scratch in nearby Lake
For the next 30 years, Boyers would go on to build 22
systems and continues to build out broadband in his rural
He was also instrumental in the passage of legislation
that repealed the 43-year-old Opinion Molder Clause.
DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS,
Since entering the cable
business in 1970 as a service
technician for Steel
Valley Cablevision in Pennsylvania,
Fran Bradley has
contributed his expertise to
the industry via his work
with the Society of Cable
and a variety of other
His cable career has taken him to the former Adelphia
Communications, where he served as general manager,
director of government relations and director of customer
service, and now to Comcast, where his duties include communicating
with franchise authorities in local markets.
SVP OF GOVERNMENT AND
During David Breidinger’s
30-year cable career, he has
advanced the positive
image of the cable industry
via his work in government,
regulatory and community
relations for Comcast operations
in several states.
He has championed
many industry initiatives
and has served on three different state cable associations,
along with contributing his time to several community
groups and organizations, including the Rotary Club
and the Salvation Army, and received the Spirit of America
Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT,
A 47-year cable-industry
veteran, Peter Chunka has
been involved in every
aspect of the industry,
from engineer to sales and
marketing and cable operator,
and has worked with
such legendary cable figures
as Ike Blonder and
He has been active in the Society of Cable Telecommunications
Engineers for 40 years and worked on several
standards committees and work groups. He has
made an impact throughout the industry by training
hundreds of technicians, which Chunka lists as his most
CONSULTANT, NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Charlie Dietz’s humble
beginnings as a cable
installer in 1969 led him to
a 40-year career in the
industry that would include
engineering and operations
positions with several cable
companies, lastly at Insight
Communications, where he
retired as chief technical officer in 2008.
As one of the early pioneers in the first days of cable,
he helped develop, build and launch new products, including
the industry’s first interactive server-based guide and
system-wide commercial launch of video-on-demand. He
also spearheaded one of the first launches of high-speed
Internet in 1999 with @Home.
C. RONALD DORCHESTER
ANCHOR PACIFIC CORP.
As a management trainee
for American Television &
Communications in 1973,
Dorchester’s cable career
would include positions as
general manager, regional
VP, and president abd
founder of Anchor Pacific,
He was awarded the prestigious Vanguard Award for
Young Leadership by the National Cable & Telecommunications
Association in 1987. He built the first cable TV system
in metropolitan Hartford, Conn., and built out the first
cable system in Orlando, Fla.
In addition, he built a microwave system throughout
Florida to deliver the first HBO signals.
PRESIDENT AND CEO,
Starting his cable career as
an RF design engineer for
Vikoa in 1968, Mark Dzuban’s
long career in cable
would include such notable
industry contributions as
designing the first return
path amplifier and the first
He also pioneered the
use of magnetic ferrite coupling transformers and helped
develop voice services for the cable industry through his
work with Bell Labs, where he convinced then-AT&T chairman
C. Michael Armstrong of the viability of telephony
over the cable plant.
MASSILLON CABLE TV
As a long-time member of
a family of cable operators,
Bob Gessner’s role in the
industry was preordained
in 1965 when his father,
Richard, launched the Massillon,
Ohio, cable system.
Since 1979, when Bob
joined the family business
as operations director, he
has overseen the rollout of satellite services and helped
guide the company through three decades. He has served
on the Ohio Cable Television Association board of directors
for 25 years and was chairman in 2002.
Under his leadership, Massillon Cable became one of
the first all-digital systems. He has also been one of the
cable industry’s most strategic thinkers and visionaries.
Since 1983, Bill Haggarty
has been active in the cable
industry through his work
as general manager of
Hearst Cablevision, regional
manager for South Bay
Cablevision, director and
partner for InterMedia
Partners and others.
He has been active in
the California Cable Television Association. He served on
the board of California’s version of C-SPAN, the California
Channel, and chaired its programming committee.
He is currently CEO of Allegiance Communications,
which develops and implements strategic direction and
SVP, PROGRAMS AND EDUCATION FOR
THE CABLE CENTER
During her 27 years in
the cable industry, Jana
Henthorn has worked for
two cable operators, a
an industry non-profit
and has contributed
efforts in the customercare
She has also worked to establish graduate-level and
distance-learning courses in customer experience management
with the University of Denver and the Cable
In addition, Henthorn has successfully designed and
implemented customer-satisfaction studies and established
new call-center operations protocols.
PK NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS
During her 30-year career,
Patricia Kehoe has impacted
the cable industry in a
number of ways, including
by developing innovative
marketing programs such
as community outreach
and teaching Women in
Cable & Telecommunications
cable classes for
Her service to the industry also includes work with the
national Cable Positive organization; and she was voted as
a founding co-chair of the CTAM Agency Council.
In 1989, she built PK Network Communications, a registered
CO-PRESIDENT AND CFO FOR C-SPAN
As co-president and chief
financial officer of C-SPAN,
Robert Kennedy’s journey
to the network took him to
positions as manager of
general manager and marketing
director for Centel
Cable Television and ATC.
After being “loaned” to
C-SPAN to help develop the fledgling cable network’s first
operating budget and long-term plan, he returned to CSPAN
to serve as the network’s CFO.
He received the Vanguard Award for Programmers
in 2004 and is a board member of the Emma L. Bowen
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS,
Beginning his career as an
account manager for what
was then Scientific-Atlanta
in 1981, Jim Lysaker has
taken a leadership role in
developing the company’s
sales efforts, including
regional market analysis,
annual sales forecasts and
He successfully implemented the first automated forecast
system on portable computers and was instrumental
in working with the National Cable Television Cooperative
to bring more cost effective pricing for CATV equipment to
independent, small and medium-size MSOs.
He was also named the organization’s Vendor of the
Year in 1987.
Since 1972, Harry Perlow
has been advancing cable’s
technology through his
work with several cable
operators and his pioneering
work on the causes and
effects of cable plant outages,
which led the way to
new standards for grounding
and bonding rules.
His design of beam-bending technology helped deliver
HBO and other programming services to western regions
of New York state. He has also received three awards for
technology achievements from the New York State Commission
on Cable Television.
In 1993, he implemented two-way high-speed Internet
using cable technology in the MMDS microwave band.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER,
From door-to-door salesman
to Cox Communications’
officer, Joe Rooney’s pioneering
cable career has
led to his overseeing of the
company’s national marketing,
marketing sciences and
He helped create a bundling strategy for tripleplay
services, considered to be the first of its kind in the
nation, and in 2006 entered CTAM’s Hall of Fame for Marketing.
He received an NCTA Vanguard Award for Marketing
Rooney is also the co-chair of SkiTAM, the cable industry’s
fund-raising effort for the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team.
CEO AND CHAIRMAN,
Following a variety of positions
in the cable industry
beginning in 1969, Stanzione
led AT&T’s first efforts
at leveraging cable HFC
networks for high-speed
data and telephony long
before the introduction of
DOCSIS or PacketCable.
In 1995, he agreed to
lead a start-up VoIP/cable joint venture called Arris Interactive
which led to the industry’s first carrier-grade cable
voice platform, Cornerstone Voice.
Stanzione would lead the joint venture through a number
of acquisitions and mergers and in 2002 was named
chairman of Arris. His vision has allowed cable operators
to compete on a level playing field with incumbent telephone
VP OF SALES,
For 22 years, Pat Tylka has
played a critical role as liaison
between cable MSOs and Scientific Atlanta/Cisco Systems,
where he began his career in
1988 as Northeast regional
He has pioneered equipment
deals for every major bandwidth
upgrade — from 330 Megahertz to 1 Gigahertz. He
has also coordinated crucial information between MSOs
and SA in the groundbreaking areas of fiber optic and HFC
networks, digital video compression and broadband.
He has also become of the cable industry’s leading
SHARAN WILSON RESOURCES
For more than 30 years,
Sharan Wilson has made a
mark on the cable industry
through her innovative marketing
strategies and her work
with Daniels & Associates as
the company’s general manager
and senior vice president
of the Daniels cable systems.
Her vision and leadership were vital components to the On-
Time Guarantee Program, the joint initiative by the industry to
positively change customer perceptions about cable.
She also played a key role in establishing cable-specific training
programs through the CTAM Foundation and in 1994 was recognized
by the NCTA with a Vanguard Award for Leadership.
TIME WARNER VENTURES
As a pioneer who began his
career in cable in 1976, Rossetti
played a key role in the
development, launch and
operational execution of
multi-pay services at Oceanic
Cable in the early 1980s,
including pay per view.
At Full Service Network
in the early 1990s, he played
a key role in launching VOD services and later pioneered
local news and cablecasting in various Time Warner Cable
markets, along with the company’s high-speed data service,
He has earned several Time Warner Innovation Awards
and has been a business leader in virtually every new
growth opportunity for Time Warner Cable.
MARSHALL BROMDEN (DECEASED)
MARSHALL’S CABLE TV
One of the truly inspirational cable pioneers, Bromden, who
was blind since the age of 6, built his own cable system in
Milltown, Mont., in 1965. For the system to work properly,
he ran the cable up and back down the poles, so that the
amplifiers, line extenders and power supplies were chesthigh
for easier access.
Friends and associates remember Bromden (whose wife,
Mary, also is deceased) as a classic example of the early entrepreneurial
cable operator, who put customers — and, in
Bromden’s case, his family — first. Bromden, who never married,
gifted his cable fortune to the Association for the Blind.
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