Linda Brodsky Cooper, whose long cable TV career included speechwriting for prominent industry executives and leadership of the Women in Cable TV& Telecommunications (WICT) organization, died on July 26 in Philadelphia. She was 76 and had battled cancer for several years.
Known professionally as Linda Brodsky, she is survived by her husband, Frank Cooper; both were inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers.
Brodsky's cable career began at the University of Pennsylvania, where she wrote a paper about the nascent "pay TV" industry in the 1960s. That led to a public relations and marketing job at Jerrold Electronics (later General Instruments and Motorola), from which she jumped to the operations side of the industry.
She was VP public relations for Warner Cable Corp. and speechwriter for Alfred Stern, its chairman/president in the early 1970s. She then moved to BroadBand Communications Inc., holding a similar role for nearly 15 years.
Among her tasks at BroadBand was writing speeches for the legendary Irving B. Kahn, chairman of the company. When Kahn returned to the industry after serving a prison term in connection with earlier cable franchise activities, Brodsky drafted the speech he delivered to a state cable TV association meeting, starting, "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted..." The line brought down the house and eased Kahn's reentry to the cable business.
When that company was sold, Brodsky moved to Bresnan Communications, remaining there from 1991 to 2010, serveing as a consultant to chairman William J. Bresnan and providing speechwriting and PR strategy for the public affairs department.
Brodsky was a founding board member of WICT (national) and founding president of the New York chapter. She served as chairman of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's public affairs committee in the late 1970s and early '80s, and was active in many other industry groups.
Brodsky's quick wit and passionate activism came through as executive producer and writer of "The Cable Follies," WICT’s annual satirical musical fundraiser for the cable industry from 1982 to 1985.
A video of Brodsky's oral history about her top-level cable recollections is in the Cable Center.
Brodsky also was active in Volunteers for Israel, where she provided non-military support services for the Israel Defense Forces for three weeks annually from 1991 to 1998, handling repair and maintenance of military vehicles.
Memorial arrangements have not yet been confirmed.
Contributor Gary Arlen is known for his insights into the convergence of media, telecom, content and technology. Gary was founder/editor/publisher of Interactivity Report, TeleServices Report and other influential newsletters; he was the longtime “curmudgeon” columnist for Multichannel News as well as a regular contributor to AdMap, Washington Technology and Telecommunications Reports. He writes regularly about trends and media/marketing for the Consumer Technology Association's i3 magazine plus several blogs. Gary has taught media-focused courses on the adjunct faculties at George Mason University and American University and has guest-lectured at MIT, Harvard, UCLA, University of Southern California and Northwestern University and at countless media, marketing and technology industry events. As President of Arlen Communications LLC, he has provided analyses about the development of applications and services for entertainment, marketing and e-commerce.
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