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Variety marks CTAM 2002

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s annual conference, Summit 2002, kicked off at the Hymes Convention Center in Boston on Sunday and runs through Wednesday.
Josh Bernoff, principal analyst for television and entertainment at Forrester Research, was gleefully awaiting it last week. He is chairing a Tuesday panel on new technologies-personal video recorders, digital programming and video-on-demand. Four of the television moguls on his panel are heads of companies that are suing the fifth panel member’s company, SONICblue, maker of ReplayTV. Ken Potashner, SONICblue chairman, CEO and president, wasn’t willing to comment on being the goat, but Mr. Bernoff thinks things could get interesting.
“Potashner has no stake in keeping cable operators happy. The more the cable industry deploys this technology themselves, the less reason there is for SONICblue. There’s going to be a whole lot of questions aimed at him,” Mr. Bernoff said.
This is the 26th annual CTAM conference, and about 2,500 people are expected to attend. Co-chair Katherine Lewis, senior VP of strategic market planning, Cablevision Systems Corp., says the goal of the planning committee was to make the summit relevant and practical. “We tried to focus on actionable learning, so people will get something that they can take back to the office and use to add immediately to the bottom line.”
The lineup offers an impressive number of CEOs and presidents, coming from virtually every cable perspective. “We definitely have something to appeal to everyone,” Ms. Lewis said.
Keynote speakers include Mel Karmazin, president and chief operating officer of Viacom; Mark Cuban, founder of HDNet and owner of the Dallas Mavericks; John Hendricks, founder, chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications; and Sergio Zyman, chairman, Zyman Marketing Group, and former chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola. Also among the speakers will be John Billock, vice chairman and COO of Time Warner Cable, who will be honored with a Grand TAM Award for lifetime achievement in marketing.
A number of sessions are planned to help attendees grapple with the industry’s commitment to launch HDTV channels on cable systems by January 2003. They include:
* A special briefing during a general session on the digital transition from NCTA President and CEO Robert Sachs.
* Keynote presentations on the topic by HDNet’s Mr. Cuban and Discovery’s Mr. Hendricks.
* A breakout session in the Deciphering Technology Track called “Clearing Up the HDTV Picture,” which will explain the technical and operational issues surrounding HDTV from the consumer perspective.
Three general sessions will feature panels focusing on marketing issues:
* It’s a Brand-New World, led by Marianne Paskowski, editor in chief of Multichannel News, will look at how to brand in a cluttered media environment.
* Reality Check: What’s Hot-What’s Not will consider technologies that didn’t make it (Qube, FSN, Sega, Your Choice TV, Stargazer, VCTV, Triplecast) and contrast them with iTV, VOD, telephony, and so forth, on which the jury’s still out. Rich Cronin, president and CEO, Game Show Network, will moderate this panel.
* Mr. Bernoff’s panel, Advertising and Marketing in a Changing Digital World, will examine how personal video recorders, digital programming and video-on-demand are changing consumer views, business models and marketers’ ability to compete.