What Are They Up to Now?

Apr 4, 2005  •  Post A Comment

  • Dallas Clement, senior VP of strategy and development for Cox Communications, won the Vanguard for young leadership last year, partly because he helped hammer out an agreement with the consumer electronics industry on the complex issue of plug-and-play.

    Since then, he and Cox have furthered those efforts through the support of one-way devices and are still negotiating to enable two-way devices.

    At the same time Mr. Clement has helped Cox successfully launch Voice over Internet protocol in the Roanoke, Va., market and elsewhere. “It’s cheaper than circuit-switch,” he said, “so that’s very exciting. And it converges our data and voice platforms, so operationally, it’s easier.”

    With Mr. Clement’s team leading the way, Cox is in the process of rolling out the platform in nine more markets.

  • Jennifer Mooney, who won a Vanguard last year for government and community relations, left her post at Time Warner Cable, Cincinnati, in May to join Bright House Communications as group VP for public relations and government affairs.

    Ms. Mooney said moving to Orlando, Fla., and stepping up to what is “essentially, the top communications job at Bright House,” the cable TV division of media conglomerate Ad-vance/Newhouse Communications, made leaving a position she loved at Time Warner worthwhile.

    “It was bittersweet for everyone,” she said of the change, which people at both companies knew was pending at the time she won last year’s award. “The two companies have a very close relationship. I had a great tenure there, but this was a good opportunity for me and my family.”

  • Recognized as the father of the cable modem, New Hampshire-based Rouzbeh Yassini and YAS Broadband Ventures, the company he founded in 1996, worked last year to develop technology that will expand cable’s benefits for consumers.

    “The good news is we are deeply involved with the cable industry, assisting Comcast with the creation of open set-top boxes,” said Mr. Yassini, last year’s Vanguard winner for associates and affiliates. “We are also working with the vendor community and Comcast to develop specs in which a set-top box could be designed and manufactured by multiple [companies].”

    In addition, Mr. Yassini said he’s been focused on trying to help cable operators adopt and accept wireless transmission as part of the broadband solution, and he has worked closely with Adelphia on VoIP deployment.

  • Ann Montgomery began 2004 as Southwest region senior VP, Comcast Cable Communications, leading Comcast’s operations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. Ms. Montgomery left Comcast and the cable industry since winning a Vanguard Award last year for cable operations management. She could not be reached for comment.

  • Sheila Mahony had al-ready announced her retirement last year from an active role at Cablevision Systems Corp. when she was honored as one of two Vanguard winners for distinguished leadership.

    She retained her title as executive VP of communications, government and public affairs, and her seat on Cablevision’s board of directors until early last month, when Chairman Charles Dolan replaced her and three other board members who reportedly had clashed with him over the company’s struggling satellite service, Voom. The board members voted against Mr. Dolan’s plan to keep the money-losing, high-definition service in operation.

    Ms. Mahony could not be reached for comment.

  • Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain, last year’s Vanguard programmer co-winners, had a busy year at C-SPAN, where they serve as co-chief operating officers and each is an executive VP.

    Ms. Swain and Mr. Kennedy celebrated the network’s 25th anniversary with a number of events, advanced new technology to expand coverage both on cable and the network’s mushrooming Web site and created a gamut of new programming, including more live Senate broadcasts on weekdays and guided coverage of the presidential election cycle. They even oversaw a makeover of the C-SPAN bus, turning it into a “Book TV” bus, which travels the country, spreading word of the network’s unique book programming at libraries and festivals and in stores.

    Mr. Kennedy, who also serves as C-SPAN’s chief financial officer, said he’s particularly pleased with the growing symbiosis between the network’s TV cablecasts and its Web site. “We’ve always had a big emphasis on streaming video,” he said. In the past year, he said, the site has added a link for news specific to Washington, and its ultimate aim is to provide links for all video shown on the network.

    “As our colleagues move more and more to big international stories and major trials, there is a lot going on in this town that’s not being covered elsewhere,” Ms. Swain said.

    Part of the network’s success undoubtedly stems from the duo’s teamwork. “We have a pretty unique partnership,” Ms. Swain said. “In May we’ll be celebrating 10 years of working together at C-SPAN, and we’re still talking to each other.”

  • Bob Zitter, HBO’s executive VP of technology operations and chief technology officer, said he spent the last year “doing the same stuff I was doing before-leading our team at HBO to try to find ways to use technology to improve our products and the services we have.”

    That includes the expansion of high-definition broadcasts to about 80 percent of HBO’s schedule and virtually all of the prime-time schedule on sister station Cinemax.

    “The other thing we’ve been focusing on is expanding the rollout of HBO on Demand and Cinemax on Demand,” said Mr. Zitter, who won his Vanguard last year for science and technology. “More and more cable systems have been rolling that out. We’re very proud of that.”

  • Michael Willner, one of two Vanguard winners last year for distinguished leadership, shook up the cable world last month when he announced he is part of a team trying to take the company he co-founded, Insight Communications, private. Mr. Willner is vice chairman and president and CEO of Insight, which, through its partnership with Comcast, is the ninth-largest cable operator in the U.S.

    “Our view is that this company is better off today as a private company,” said Mr. Willner, who said he is not allowed to discuss details of the transaction on the record.

    He said the past year has been a good one for Insight and its customers. “From a Washington, D.C., point of view, the FCC decision on digital must-carry was the right decision and good for consumers,” he said. “I also believe there are significant legislative and regulatory challenges yet to be dealt with.”

  • Joseph Rooney, senior VP of marketing for Cox Communications, said he and Cox have tackled a number of new challenges during the past year, including an update of the Only Cable Can initiative spearheaded by CTAM. Mr. Rooney, who won a marketing Vanguard last year, has represented Cox in working with CTAM and CableLabs on new standards and the labeling of independent devices.

    Mr. Rooney said he was particularly pleased with Cox’s move in the past year to bundle more of its services, which, he said, “clearly led to lower churn and higher customer satisfaction.”

    He said he expects to see new challenges in 2005 from the Regional Bell Operating Cos., which are gearing up to deploy fiber-based video. “We’re getting our products and services ready for a new round of competition,” he said.