The following post was submitted by Steve Jones, ACC Executive Director.
Last week, on November 3, the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) announced it is in the process of merging operations with CTAM following the unanimous votes and support of both Boards. The association’s top programs and member services will be integrated into CTAM as well as the ACC membership.
Originally founded as the Cable Television Public Affairs Association, in 2016 the name was changed to the Association of Cable Communicators following a number of strategic planning and repositioning sessions held by the Board of Directors. The first planning meetings for the organization were held in 1983 and 1984 when you could fit nearly all the industry’s full-time public affairs professionals into a small room.
During the 1984 NCTA Show in Las Vegas, and in the summer of 1984, approximately 20 of the industry’s PR professionals held the first organizational meeting in conjunction with the CTAM Summit in New York. This group which represented virtually the entire population of the industry’s dedicated PR staff at the time, fit around a conference table. In comparison, CTAM drew more than 1,200 industry marketers that year, marking its tenth anniversary. There was discussion of making the organization part of CTAM from the beginning; however, the founding executives recognized the importance of the public affairs function and the need for human and capital resources to implement public affairs programs within the industry.
Motivated by this and the broader interest demonstrated at the earlier meeting, the core members reconvened to develop bylaws and formally established an independent organization in 1985. CTPAA filed papers as a Colorado non-profit and was certified as a 501 (c)(6) by the IRS in 1987. In 1992 the organization’s bylaws were reviewed and re-registered as a Delaware corporation.
Over the years the organization held its FORUM educational conference with numerous educational sessions, keynote speakers and networking opportunities for the industry’s communications executives. The Beacon Awards®, originally called the Crystal Awards in 1989, celebrated the best of the best initiatives and programs in cable communications and public affairs. And annually the Golden Beacon Award® recognized a communications or public affairs initiative that made an impact within the cable industry, while enhancing cable’s image nationwide.
The industry over the years has changed and grown through technical and programming innovations as well as riding the rolling waves of government regulations and economic conditions. In 2009 the industry weathered the great recession and continued to change with the advancement into the internet age and the start of industry consolidation. Now in 2016, following a number of major company mergers and economic changes, ACC has gone full circle and will now join forces with CTAM.
For the past 31 years, the association has been dedicated to supporting the learning, growth and development of cable industry communications at all levels. Thank you for your support. The Board and I are confident the combined organization will provide the industry’s communicators and marketers with a stronger, more robust association serving both disciplines and providing added value to all.