WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Cable Television Association will host a local & regional programming symposium in conjunction with this year's Community Spirit Awards. The workshop, entitled "Thinking Outside the Box," will take place in Washington, DC, March 27 and 28 - followed by the third annual Community Spirit Awards Ceremony and Luncheon (March 28 from noon to 2:00 p.m.) as the closing session.

The two-day event will highlight current industry trends and the latest technologies in local and regional programming. Speakers and moderators include city mayors such as Brian Aungst (Clearwater, FL), Alex Stevens (Danville, KY) and Anthony Williams (Washington, DC, invitee) and cable industry leaders such as Patrick Dolan (Senior Vice President of Regional News, Cablevision Systems Corp.), Rob Stoddard (Senior Vice President of Public Relations, AT&T Broadband) and Pam Euler Halling (Senior Vice President of Marketing, Insight Communications and Chair of NCTA's Community Spirit Awards Committee).

Registration for the symposium is complimentary for employees of all systems and regional networks that entered the 2001 Community Spirit Awards. There is a nominal fee of $150.00 for non-entrants. Forms are due by Friday, March 9, 2001 to NCTA's Industry Affairs department.

"This symposium is a natural extension of NCTA's Community Spirit Awards program, which recognizes excellence in local and regional cable programming," said Barbara York, NCTA's Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs and Chief Administrative Office. "While local programming has traditionally held a lower priority amidst the vast array of projects faced by local cable systems, in recent years, it has clearly become one of cable's most competitive tools."

Sessions are as follows:
  • Local Programming: Key to the Community - A mayoral forum on the value of local and regional programming to communities.
  • Case Studies in Local and Regional Programming - Three case studies on using local programming to create a valuable, recognized brand.
  • Digital Solutions for Local Production - Demonstrations and discussion by industry experts. A look at the latest digital tools and solutions available and how they can enhance program quality.
  • Click on This! - How Time Warner Cable uses its website to supplement local television programming and augment cable modem service.
  • The News About Local News - An in-depth examination of local and regional news operations from small to large budgets, soft to hard news.
For further details about the symposium or to request a registration form & brochure, contact Michelle Ray, Director of Special Events (NCTA's industry affairs department), at (202) 775-3669.