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Tough Ticket: Dressler Sendoff

Are you on Fred Dressler’s invite list for the “Godfather’s Retirement Party” Thursday night at Le Cirque in Midtown Manhattan? (The Wire isn’t.) If so, get ready for a three-hour tour de force with friendly roasts by some of the recently retired Time Warner Cable chief programming negotiator’s closest industry buds.

Affiliate bigwigs Lindsay Gardner of Fox Cable, Bill Goodwyn of Discovery Networks and Andy Heller of Turner Broadcasting System, as well as David Zaslav (NBC Universal Cable’s affiliate chief before ascending to the Discovery Communications CEO post), are picking up the check.

Instead of bearing gifts, Dressler asked guests to consider a donation to a scholarship fund in his name at the longtime cable executive’s beloved alma mater, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

“Hopefully, people are sending money to Syracuse. I know people who are writing checks,” Gardner said after an inquiry from The WireFriday.

Verbal tributes will begin with the four hosts and proceed around the room, Gardner said, disavowing any knowledge of the planned cuisine (Le Cirque’s regular menu).

Time Warner tossed its own tribute dinner in Dressler’s honor last Thursday in Greenwich, Conn. Attendees included Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons, who toasted the guest of honor, as did the aforementioned Goodwyn, Heller and Zaslav, according to Mark Harrad of the MSO’s public-relations team. Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt emceed.