Dec 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

When word came down a few months ago that this year’s Western Show was going to be the event’s swan song, it became very clear to us here at TelevisionWeek who our Cable TV Executive of the Year must be: Spencer Kaitz.
Unfortunately, marketplace conditions-including consolidation and the reality that cable is a very mature, successful industry-have dictated that the California Cable & Telecommunications Association stop producing the show. But the fact is, pure and simple, that under the leadership of Mr. Kaitz the Western Show for a number of years was one of cable’s premier events. It was a place where major deals were made and major news was broken. As you leaf through these pages, you’ll see the wonderful heritage that has been the Western Show.
Besides all his marvelous work as president and general counsel of the CCTA, Spencer is the founding director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, which is named for his dad, the cable pioneer who was the CCTA’s first general counsel.
The foundation has long been the pre-eminent organization pushing for diversity in cable.
And with Spencer working quietly behind the scenes, the Kaitz Foundation fund-raiser dinner has become yet another cornerstone of the cable industry, raising millions of dollars while honoring such cable VIPs as Ralph and Brian Roberts, Ted Turner, Decker Anstrom, Bob and Betsy Magness, Jerry Levin, Bob Johnson, Jim Robbins and Chuck Dolan, to name a few.
Spencer himself is not a household name in the same sense that a lot of these folks are. He’s not someone who is in the headlines. He’s actually a rather shy, quiet man who has spent a lifetime letting his actions speak for him, and making sure that others get into the spotlight.
Now it’s time for us to thank him for his long service to cable and for making it a better industry.
Bravo, Spencer.
Chuck Ross is publisher and editorial director of TelevisionWeek.