Skip to main content

How Cox Chief Pat Esser Saved Steven Tyler's ‘Idol' Party In Vegas

Cox Communications has a well-earned reputation for customer service, demonstrated once again last week with an assist to rocker and American Idol judge Steven Tyler.

Tyler was in Las Vegas, where the show was shooting. With season 11's opening episode debuting on Fox Wednesday night (Jan. 18), Tyler wanted to have a premiere party in his hotel suite for fellow Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, host Ryan Seacrest and all of the show's producers, Tyler's manager Eric Sherman told Multichannel News's Through The Wire column.

Only problem was the suite at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (née Hilton) lacked a high-definition digital video recorder, and Tyler was concerned there wouldn't be time to get from taping to party before the season opener (produced earlier in Savannah, Ga.) aired at 8 p.m.

Cox provides TV service in the hotel. So Sherman, the former head of VH1 Classic, emailed his friend, Cox president Pat Esser, about the situation on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, seven technicians from Cox showed up "and basically rewired the suite so all the TVs run off a newly installed HD cable box," Sherman said.

"That's customer service," he added.

While the technicians did their thing, Tyler provided entertainment, playing Beatles tunes on the suite's grand piano. He also posed for a photo (enclosed) with Cox technicians (from left) Joe Risco, Joe Hays, James Haynes, Dustan Shambaugh, Dale Corson and Mike Tabat.

Esser, through a Cox rep, explained a DVR is not standard hotel issue, but the situation was unusual.

"We always do our best to meet the individual needs of customers and the Cox Las Vegas team did a great job to respond to Mr. Tyler's request," Esser said. "You know times have changed when the only things rock stars are asking for in their hotel rooms are DVRs."

Postscript: Sherman reports [an] "amazing time was had by all" at the party. And when Aerosmith comes through Cox hometown Atlanta this summer, "Pat will watch the show from on stage."