CTHRA’s New President Reflects on the Year Ahead
Christopher R. Powell considers the evolving nature of professionalism and what it means for HR in the coming year.

Resource Spotlight :: Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard
Q&A with John Lansing, Scripps Networks Interactive President

CTHRA’s Compensation Surveys Find Cable Paychecks Outpaced U.S. Averages in 2012
From salary practices to incentives, check out highlights from CTHRA’s renowned surveys.


CTHRA Welcomes Our 2013 Board of Directors
Discover who was recently named to the board!

CTHRA’s 2013 Symposium Set for May 2

Participants Sought for CTHRA’s 2013 Human Capital Metrics Survey

Call for Nominations for CTHRA’s HR Excellence Awards

A Round of Applause for Members’ Achievements

CTHRA’s Newest Members

CTHRA’s New President Reflects on Professionalism
By Christopher R. Powell, Executive Vice President (EVP) of HR for Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) and CTHRA’s President

Each year the good folks at Miriam-Webster release a list of the most frequently looked-up words on its website, reflecting an interesting view of the public zeitgeist of the preceding twelve months.  One word on the 2012 list stood out for me: “professionalism.” The dictionary defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” We can’t fault the lexicographers for this weak definition because professionalism isn’t one thing. It’s a shifting combination of ever-evolving elements.  Trying to tightly define it may best be left to the words of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: “I know it when I see it.”

We all know it when we see it.  We strive to create the best workplace atmosphere, the strongest core values, the most competitive benefits and the most engaged workforce of employees — all to attract the most promising talent, equip and empower them to perform to the best of their capabilities and foster in them the professionalism that propels our businesses forward. 

As the lines between our personal and professional selves continue to blur, so too do some of the traditional markers of professionalism.  For instance, for many years, taking all of one’s vacation time was viewed as a sign of disengagement or weakness.  Now it often indicates an innovative, entrepreneurial mind refueling and taking time to consider things from new angles and through new experiences. 

In other words, it has become more difficult to know professionalism “when you see it.”  Just as a professional needs a cadre of skills and attributes to acquire professionalism, so too the HR professional needs a full toolbox to identify and cultivate today’s professionalism.

That’s why CTHRA is so important.  It is our aim to help members navigate the complex and changing landscape that is professionalism in 2013.  I’m excited about our many new members, and our talented new board members, who all bring with them new ideas and new opportunities for exploring the best ways to harness the opportunities to be found in these transformative times.

I truly believe that the role of HR is one of both guide and facilitator, helping our business leaders to compose the winning strategies that discover, attract and retain top talent.  To aid each of us in this mission, we must work together to ensure that the cable industry is an industry of choice for gifted professionals.

This is a role we need to constantly play better.  It’s about continually upping our game, it’s about being open to new ways of doing and seeing things, it’s about redefining what it means to be in HR. Back to professionalism, it’s about that gut feeling that says, “This is it.” 

To that end, I’d like to close by highlighting a new initiative that CTHRA will support along with NCTA and the US Chamber of Commerce. This year we are co-hosting an industry job fair for military veterans at The Cable Show 2013 in Washington, D.C.  The Hiring Our Heroes job fair is a bold venture into a growing segment of talent and will allow you access to hire these accomplished men and women.

You should also note the 2013 CTHRA Symposium will be hosted by Discovery Communications on May 2 in Silver Spring, Maryland.  I hope to see you there and engage with you in what promises to be a dynamic opportunity to share ideas and knowledge.

I know many of us pay dues and add our names to the membership rosters of several professional and personal organizations.  In this new year, I challenge you to really tap into all that CTHRA offers.  I’d love to hear your suggestions on ways that CTHRA can enhance your professional development as well as support your business. Here’s to a successful 2013!

Cable Executive Management at Harvard Business School
Q&A with John Lansing, President of Scripps Networks Interactive and Vice Chairman of the CTAM Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors

The Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School provides an intensive week of thinking and learning focused on business strategy, marketing and management principles that prepares cable industry leaders for the next generation of challenges. Recently, CTHRA’s Executive Director, Pamela Williams, CAE, posed some questions to John to get his insight on the innovative program.

Pamela: What is the purpose of the Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School?

John: Cable Executive Management is a world class management development experience for high potential cable and media executives in an elite business school environment. And simply put, the program is for the cable industry’s brightest rising stars.

Affectionately known by alumni as CTAM U., Cable Executive Management at Harvard Business School is supported by the CTAM Educational Foundation. Participants study with top Harvard Business School professors in a week-long curriculum built on the famous HBS case-study method. The Cable Executive Management program is a unique opportunity for cable’s finest, from among all industry disciplines, to interact with executives who may be known only as distant figures on convention stages or a headshots in trade publications.

Contrary to industry perception, Cable Executive Management is not just for cable marketers and that’s something the CTAM Educational Foundation Board of Directors is working to change. With an eye on current industry dynamics, the Foundation has expanded the scope of the program in recent years, attracting high-potential executives from a wider cross-section of disciplines.

Pamela: Who should the companies send?

John: Companies should send their best and brightest employees from finance, operations, engineering, programming, product development, communications, HR and legal disciplines, as well as marketing. Aspiring Cable Executive Management attendees and cable human resource professionals can learn more about the program at www.ctam.com.

Pamela: What does an attendee walk away with?

John: This is a stimulating, demanding program that challenges conventional thinking and invigorates careers. Attendees benefit from an intensive week of learning focused on business strategy, management and marketing principles to ready them for the next generation of challenges. It’s been called a “mini MBA on steroids” and a “boot camp for problem solving.”

But more importantly, I recommend seeking out alumni to ask how the program has changed their careers for the better. I’ll bet your company has at least one alum. You’re likely to hear that Cable Executive Management is an unparalleled opportunity to stretch your mind, while empowering you to contribute new and bold ideas to your organization.

Pamela: Why do you support this program?  What have Scripps executives gotten out of it?

John: The program steadfastly exceeds expectations of both the participants and the Educational Foundation Corporate Patron companies, with demand annually outstripping availability. Last year all seats were filled by February, with 83 senior executives from 38 cable, content and technology companies. In addition, the program welcomed its 1,000th student in 2012.

At Scripps, we have witnessed the impact of the program among our employees, who return with a larger view of our industry, important new business relationships, and unbridled enthusiasm to apply the lessons they learned. As a proud member of the 2004 class, I can personally attest to the power of the Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.

CTHRA’s Compensation Surveys Find Cable Paychecks Outpaced U.S. Averages in 2012

In spite of the sluggish economy, in 2012 cable industry employees saw their salaries increase for the second year in a row. Results from CTHRA’s Annual Compensation Surveys revealed that base salaries in our industry once again outpaced gains in the broader U.S. employment population, with programmers seeing their largest increases in four years. Technology and marketing jobs at multiple system operators (MSOs) and managerial positions at programmers earned the highest salary increases in 2012. Short-term and long-term incentives continued to be popular planks in compensation platforms, with most MSOs and programmers offering incentives. [view all of the survey highlights]

CTHRA to Co-Host Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair at The Cable Show

In an effort to educate skilled military veterans about the U.S. cable industry and connect them with companies that are seeking workers, dozens of companies will be participating in a job fair for U.S. Veterans, Guardsmen and Reservists hosted June 11 during The Cable Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The Hiring Our Heroes™ job fair will be conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with CTHRA, NCTA and other local and industry partners.

Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Since March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 390 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.; more than 14,100 veterans have been placed in jobs.

By invitation only, qualified cable operators and programmers as well as technology and software companies (NCTA and CTHRA members and companies exhibiting at The Cable Show 2013) will conduct on-site interviews and testing for jobs across the nation.

Registered job seekers will receive complimentary access to The Cable Show’s exhibit floor and have the opportunity to attend career guidance sessions aimed at improving important job applicant skills such as resume writing and interviewing.

Later this month, CTHRA will send qualified employers an invitation via e-mail to participate in the Hiring Our Heroes job fair. For more information, please contact [email protected].


CTHRA Welcomes Our 2013 Board of Directors

We’re excited to welcome CTHRA’s 2013 leadership, which includes new officers and two new board members! Christopher R. Powell, Executive Vice President of HR for Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), has taken the helm as President. He has served on CTHRA’s board since January 2010 and received CTHRA’s Excellence in HR Award in 2012 for his transformative leadership during SNI’s spin-off from E.W. Scripps and subsequent growth on its route to becoming a $2 billion business. According to Pamela Williams, CAE, CTHRA’s Executive Director, “Chris brings a wealth of HR experience to the role of president. He recognizes the importance of aligning HR initiatives to support a company’s business, and that will translate into his vision for CTHRA.”

Joining Powell on CTHRA’s executive committee are these newly elected officers who will serve two-year terms: Vice President/President-Elect Sheryl Anderson, Executive Vice President of HR and Administration for Starz Entertainment; Secretary Abby Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President (SVP) of HR for Charter Communications; and Treasurer Janice Turner, SVP of HR for WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone. In addition, William Strahan, Executive Vice President of HR for Comcast Cable, was appointed as at-large member of the Executive Committee.

In addition to its new slate of officers, CTHRA has several new board members: Seth Feit, Regional Vice President of HR for Time Warner Cable–East Region; Scott Murphy, SVP of HR for Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc.; Rhonda Taylor, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Cox Communications; and Tom Tooker, Vice President of HR for A+E Networks. This quartette joins CTHRA’s continuing board members from 2012: Pamela Hagan, Corporate Vice President of HR for Bright House Networks; Eric Hawkins, SVP of HR for Discovery Communications; Catherine Houser, Executive Vice President of HR for Viacom Media Networks; Lisa Kaye, President and CEO of greenlightjobs; Joanne O’Brien, SVP of HR for NBCUniversal News Group; and Paul Richardson, SVP of HR for ESPN Inc. and Chief Diversity Officer for The Walt Disney Company.

CTHRA’s 2013 Symposium Set for May 2

This year’s Symposium, with a theme of “The Power of Perspective,” will take place on Thursday, May 2 at Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. As always, you will be treated to a full day of dynamic speakers, interactive sessions on the hottest topics in cable and the chance to network with your peers and some of the biggest names in our business. Save the date and stay tuned for all of the details!

Participants Sought for 2013 Human Capital Metrics Survey

Wouldn’t it be nice to have industry-specific benchmarks for turnover, cost per hire, salary increases, promotions and other crucial HR data? You can! All you need to do is enroll to participate in CTHRA’s 2013 Human Capital Metrics Survey conducted by Pearl Meyer & Partners. It provides the most comprehensive information of its kind for the cable and telecommunications industry, including headcount information for key functional areas including customer service, sales and marketing, field service and information technology. What’s more, the survey collects data regarding the HR department to assess staffing and productivity by discipline, such as compensation, benefits and generalist. The cost to participate in CTHRA’s Human Capital Metrics Survey is $3,000. Data collection has begun and closes on March 18, 2013. Survey results will be released May 15. For more information, or to enroll to participate, please visit http://www.cthra.com/surveys.

Call for Nominations for CTHRA’s Excellence in HR Awards

It’s that time again! Time to nominate one of your colleagues—or a team of them—for a coveted Excellence in HR Award. CTHRA is currently seeking nominations for the Aspiring Leader, Team Innovator of the Year, and Leadership Excellence awards. All award nominations must be received by March 8. Detailed award criteria and nomination forms are available at www.cthra.com/awards.

A Round of Applause for Members' Achievements

Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI)—parent company of HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and GAC—has promoted four of its talented HR Business Partners to Vice President, Human Resources.  Hats off to Laura Schmidt and Sharon White in SNI’s New York offices, Alaka Williams in the Chevy Chase (DC-area) office and Cheryl Middleton Jones in SNI’s Knoxville headquarters!

Hearty congrats to Time Warner Cable, which has just made The Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index as one of the country’s “Best Places To Work” for LGBT people.

DeRetta Cole is a member on the move! She advanced to Vice President, HR, Technology and Operations at Turner Broadcasting System. She was director of HR. Congratulations, DeRetta!

Alan Lui was named Senior Vice President, HR centers of expertise at Time Warner Cable. He was Group Vice President of Video Strategy. Congrats to Alan on the promotion!

CTHRA Welcomes Our Newest Members

Carl Bernadotte, CNBC - NBCUniversal
Mindy M. Busler, Bright House Networks
Andrea Darweesh, The Weather Channel
Mary C. Hutchinson, Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc.

Megan S. Kaplan, Time Warner Cable
Frank Livoti, Cablevision Systems Corporations
Jade A. Martinez, A+E Networks
Steve Milovich, Disney ABC Television Group