WASHINGTON, D.C. – For their outstanding contributions to the cable industry, Nancy Dubuc, President, Entertainment & Media, A+E Networks, and Patrick Esser, President, Cox Communications, are the recipients of the cable industry’s top honor, the Vanguard Award for “Distinguished Leadership,” the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced today. 

The 2013 Vanguard Awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at a reception and awards ceremony during The Cable Show 2013 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Inaugurated in 1965, the Vanguard Awards are presented annually to individuals who excel in both business and personal commitment to their colleagues, and whose accomplishments merit the recognition of the entire cable industry. 

A complete list of 2013 Vanguard Award honorees, along with a description of each award, follows.

Distinguished Leadership

Each year, two awards are presented, to one man and one woman, who have consistently demonstrated the highest level of cable industry leadership. This year’s recipients are:

Nancy Dubuc, President, Entertainment & Media, A+E Networks.  Dubuc oversees all content creation, brand development and marketing for the entire A+E Networks’ portfolio including A&E Network, Lifetime and HISTORY and their affiliated brands. In addition, she oversees A+E Networks’ International and Digital divisions. Dubuc was appointed to the position in September 2012.  Previously, she was President and General Manager of HISTORY and Lifetime Networks.  Under Dubuc’s leadership since 2007, HISTORY has secured its place as an unparalleled leader in the media marketplace with five consecutive years of unprecedented growth. In May 2012, Dubuc oversaw the highest-rated miniseries in cable history, the multi-Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys.  Dubuc has also spearheaded the resurgence of Lifetime as a premiere entertainment brand, introducing an iconic new look and tagline, “Your life. Your time.™”, while propelling its original programming to ratings success.  In addition to Project Runway, Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva, Dubuc launched several new hit series including the cultural phenomenon Dance Moms; The Client List, cable television’s number one drama for women on Sundays; and Project Runway All Stars. Among her many honors, Dubuc was named by Multichannel News and WICT as a 2007 Wonder Woman; The Hollywood Reporter annually names her to their Power 100: Top Women in Entertainment, and Variety featured her in their annual Women’s Impact Report. In 2007, she received the Preserve America Presidential Award, the highest national award for historic preservation achievement, for HISTORY’s Save Our History initiative.  Prior to her tenure at HISTORY, Dubuc was Senior Vice President, Programming for A&E Network. Dubuc began her career at A+E Networks as Director, Historical Programming for HISTORY.

Patrick Esser, President, Cox Communications.  Esser brings more than 30 years of experience in cable and telecommunications to bear on his role as Cox’s top executive, a position he’s held since 2006.  He joined Cox in 1979 as director of programming in Hampton Roads, VA, and was part of the original management team that pioneered Cox's advertising sales division now known as Cox Media.  Named corporate vice president of advertising sales in 1991, Esser was presented with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau President’s Award just three years later.  Esser became vice president of operations for Cox’s Western Division in 1999, and a year later was promoted to senior vice president of operations.  In 2004, Esser was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer.  Cox has earned numerous accolades during Esser’s tenure as president, many tied to his personal passion for diversity and inclusion. In 2006, Cox debuted in Diversity Inc’s listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity; the company has placed in the Top 50 for five consecutive years.  In 2009, the Women in Cable Television (WICT) Foundation named Cox the Best Operator for Women in Cable for the seventh straight year.  In 2007 Esser was personally distinguished with recognition as Multichannel News’ first “Executive of the Year.”  Esser serves on the board of directors of NCTA and was Chairman of the Board from 2010 to 2012.  He also serves on the Boards of C-SPAN, CableLabs, and TCM Parent, LLC, and as an adviser to the Association of Cable Communicators and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.  Esser also serves as a Southeastern Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has served on the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council.  A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Esser holds a B.A. and M.A. in communications media, and in 2003 was presented the university’s Heritage Honors Alumni Achievement Award.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Cable Operations Management

This award recognizes the efforts of cable's system managers, who work under intensely competitive conditions in today's dynamic telecommunications environment, and are critical to the cable industry's success at the local level. This year’s recipients are:

William Goetz, Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer, Residential Services, Time Warner Cable.  Goetz is an accomplished cable industry executive and a 30-year veteran in the business.  Currently he is responsible for operations of the company’s $18 billion residential services business, including marketing, sales, customer care and technical operations. Since joining Time Warner Cable in 2002, he has overseen, with few exceptions, numerous of the company’s major operations nationwide and has helped the company successfully navigate through a multitude of product launches and customer service initiatives.  Prior to his current appointment in January 2013, Goetz served as Executive Vice President of Operations for the company’s West Region, a position he assumed in 2009. Previously, he spent nearly 20 years at Comcast, where he held various executive positions in regional operations and general management, including Senior Vice President, Southeast Region.  Mr. Goetz received a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y., and a master’s degree in accounting from Syracuse University. He is active in the cable industry, including work with the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).

William Stemper, President, Comcast Business Services, Comcast Cable.  Stemper oversees Comcast’s Business Services division, the unit of Comcast Cable that provides businesses of all sizes with advanced telecommunications solutions, including Internet, Ethernet, voice, video, and other value-added products and services. Under his leadership, the division’s revenue has consistently increased 40 to 50 percent a year - from $265 million in 2006 to $1.8 billion at the end of 2011.  Stemper has over 30 years of leadership experience and an outstanding record of successfully delivering high-value solutions for business customers.  He previously served as Vice President of Cox Business Services for Cox Communications in Atlanta, where he more than doubled the size of their business market in less than three years.  Stemper also held key executive positions for AT&T Corporation that focused on serving the needs of business customers in the United States and Europe.  Stemper holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University.


Cable’s creative programming services make the industry a leader in the home entertainment and news and information business.  This award recognizes innovation, leadership and individual achievement of NCTA’s programmer members.  This year’s honoree is:

Edward Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, AMC Networks.  Carroll has built some of the most successful brands in television and has overseen the development of some of television’s most successful series, including: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Bridezillas, Inside the Actors Studio and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As chief operating officer of AMC Networks Inc. since January 2009, he has operating responsibility for AMC Networks’ national entertainment brands AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WEtv.  Under Carroll’s leadership, AMC has seen its greatest period of viewer gain and garnered unprecedented critical acclaim for its originals. AMC’s original drama series Mad Men made television history as the only television series ever to win the Golden Globe&Reg; Award for three consecutive years for Best Television Series – Drama, as well as the first cable network to win the Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series for four years in a row. AMC’s Breaking Bad became the first series in television history to win the Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (Bryan Cranston) for three consecutive years. Carroll has overseen IFC since its inception, a network with original series that air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and cult TV shows.  In 2008, AMC Networks acquired Sundance Channel and Carroll added oversight of the network to his responsibilities, strategically positioning the network for continued growth both domestically and abroad. Under Carroll’s direction, WEtv has become one of the fastest growing networks for women with increased focus on original programming and global expansion in Asia.  Previously, Carroll served as president of AMC Networks’ Entertainment Services, and general manager of IFC and Bravo. Carroll successfully transformed Bravo from a small pay channel to a commercial network available to more than 68 million subscribers and oversaw the development of breakout series such as the Emmy-nominated Inside the Actors Studio and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  Carroll has been honored with the PromaxBDA Brand Builders Award in 2011 and the Vanguard Award for Young Leadership in 2002. Carroll is a member of the Cable Advertising Bureau (CAB) and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Political Science from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Science & Technology

This award honors individuals who have played a significant role in product improvement as well as in the design and development of engineering techniques.  This year’s honoree is:

John Schanz, Executive VP & Chief Network Officer, Comcast Cable.  Schanz oversees national engineering for network and systems operations for the company’s video, high-speed Internet and voice cable services for both residential customers and businesses. He also plays a leadership role in technology strategy for the deployment of new, complementary communications products and services.  Under his leadership, the Xfinity products are now delivered over one converged, fiber-rich network. In 2012, IDG’s InfoWorld recognized Schanz with a Technology Leadership Award for his role as the strategic architect and designer of Comcast’s network, systems and service delivery infrastructure platforms that deliver Xfinity products.  Prior to joining Comcast in 2006, he served as Executive Vice President of Network and Data Center Operations for America Online (AOL), with responsibility for architecture, planning, design and operation of AOL’s global network infrastructure, including the AOL service, Netscape, CompuServe, AOL Web properties, messaging systems, telephony, rich media and digital streaming services.  He previously held senior management, operations and engineering positions with leading technology and communications companies, including Sprint, GE Information Services and Transaction Network Services.  Schanz holds a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering from Manhattan College of Engineering. He also completed General Electric’s Information Systems Management Program, an intensive two-year program combining business rotation with practical training and formal coursework in advanced information technology and systems. An active member of the community, Schanz spends time focusing on non-profit educational endeavors including Comcast’s initial participation with FIRST, which inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Government & Community Relations

This award recognizes individuals who have had a significant impact on promoting a positive public image and advocating public policy positions for the cable industry at the national, state and/or local levels.  This year’s honoree is:

Ellen East, Executive VP & Chief Communications Officer, Time Warner Cable.  East provides strategic counsel on companywide public relations, corporate communications and industry affairs.  She also oversees a staff responsible for national media relations, issues management, product communication, public policy communication, employee and leadership communication, community relations and corporate philanthropy. East joined Time Warner Cable in October 2007 from Cox Communications, Inc., where she served as Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs.  Prior, East was Assistant City Editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter and editor at a number of daily newspapers.  East serves as co-chair of NCTA’s Public Affairs committee, and is a member of the boards of the T. Howard Foundation and the Families and Work Institute. She has served as chair of the national board of directors for Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and as President of the Cable Television Public Affairs Association (now the Association of Cable Communicators). She was a fellow in the 2001 class of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, and subsequently served as chair of that program.  East has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including: 2002 Vanguard Award for Young Leadership; “Woman to Watch” and “Wonder Woman” by WICT; and a “Rainmaker” award from CTAM.  She has received two Silver Anvil Awards for issues management and integrated communications from the Public Relations Society of America. Ms. East graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism.


This award honors an individual who has been instrumental in the development of marketing approaches that significantly enhance cable's public image and increase customers.  This year’s honoree is:

Henry Ahn, Executive VP, Content Distribution & Marketing, Scripps Networks Interactive.  Ahn is responsible for the distribution strategy for Scripps’ portfolio of lifestyle networks – HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country (GAC) – and related content across all platforms. Ahn also serves as a member of Scripps’ management committee and diversity council.  Prior to Scripps, Ahn was at NBC Universal for 17 years, where he oversaw various aspects of affiliate sales management, business development and financial management.  Most recently he held the position of executive vice president of TV networks distribution and oversaw key distribution deals for 16 of NBCU’s cable networks including USA, Syfy, CNBC, MSNBC and Bravo, as well as the Olympics on cable.  He also worked with NBC Universal’s digital distribution division to deliver digital services to the company’s TV networks distribution partners.  A graduate of Boston College with an MBA from Fordham University, Ahn’s prior professional experience includes working as a financial analyst at HBO and Comedy Central, and managing strategic planning and analysis for EMI Records Group.  Over the years, Ahn has earned numerous industry honors, including being inducted into CableFAX’s 2010 Sales Hall of Fame and ranking second among CableFAX’s "Most Influential Minorities in Cable." In 2009, Ahn was selected as the 2009 "Co-Affiliate Sales Person of the Year for Large Network Groups" by CableFAX.

Associates & Affiliates

This award recognizes the important contributions of equipment manufacturers and service suppliers to cable industry innovation, growth and progress. This year’s honoree is:

Tim Baxter, President, Samsung Electronics America.  Baxter is responsible for the continued growth and success of both consumer and enterprise offerings, as well as customer service, financial operations and HR. Product categories under Baxter include: TV, home audio, digital imaging, home appliances, tablets, PCs, monitors, printers, signage solutions, and memory and storage. Baxter is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of sales, marketing and leadership experience in consumer electronics.  He joined Samsung in 2006 as the executive vice president of sales and marketing for the consumer business division before being promoted to president in January 2009. Prior to joining Samsung, Baxter spent 10 years at Sony Corporation of America, where he rose to become senior vice president of strategic marketing. He led several product marketing divisions and Sony’s Blu-ray efforts, including the Hollywood studio support negotiations and its cross company launch strategy, advertising, promotions and public relations activities. At different points in his tenure, he was responsible for P&L and marketing for Sony’s TV, home audio/video and telecom businesses. Baxter also spent 13 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies leading marketing, product management, and sales for various categories in their residential phone businesses. Baxter graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and is a current Board of Trustee for the University.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Young Leadership

The growth of cable is in large part due to the energy, vitality and creativity of the many young people working within the industry, and the Young Leadership Award recognizes those individuals who already have made a mark on the industry and its constituents.  This year’s honoree is:

David Preschlack, Executive VP, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks.  Preschlack oversees all aspects of domestic distribution of Disney and ESPN's cable and satellite networks, which include: ABC News Now, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPNU as well as all associated HD simulcast services.  He also handles the retransmission consent agreements for The Walt Disney Company's ten owned ABC stations as well as the distribution of company's advanced products and services, such as video on demand and interactive television services. In addition, Preschlack oversees the licensing of broadband, mobile and audio content, which includes ESPN3.com, ABC News Now, ABC Mobile, SOAPnetic, Disney Connection, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio and the cable and broadcast syndication of ESPN's regional sports content.  In 2010, Preschlack’s team launched the first-ever live, authenticated networks, making ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater and Goal Line available online to fans with service from affiliate operators. Preschlack's many accomplishments include the recent distribution growth of ESPNU and ESPN3 and the launch of new services like ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Goal Line and Disney Junior. These newer services are a priority for Preschlack’s team and are designed not only to serve ESPN’s fans, but grow the businesses of The Walt Disney Company’s affiliate partners. He was instrumental in securing unique VOD and subscription VOD deals, a first for the industry.  He also oversaw affiliate-related aspects of the successful rebrand of Toon Disney to Disney XD, and has increased the distribution of Disney Media Network’s mobile video distribution business to new heights.  Previously, Preschlack was senior vice president, overseeing field sales, national accounts, affiliate ad sales and affiliate marketing for all Disney and ESPN products and services in the U.S.  He was formerly senior vice president, National Accounts, with responsibility for all domestic distribution and licensing efforts for The Walt Disney Company’s assets within the Media Networks Group at the corporate level, a position he held since September 2004.  He first joined ESPN as a videotape librarian in July 1995 and has been with the company since that time. Preschlack’s past awards include: Sports Business Journal’sForty Under 40” distinction three times; Multichannel News’ “40 Under 40” list in 2007; and TV Week’s“Hot List.”  Preschlack was graduated from Denison University with a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1995.

Attending the Awards Ceremony

Admission to the Vanguard Awards ceremony and reception at The Cable Show 2013 is by ticket only.  Tickets may be purchased at $50 per ticket or $500 per table of 10 seats. Please visit www.thecableshow.com/Vanguards for purchasing instructions. If you have questions or require assistance, please contact Katie Mousavian at 202-222-2355 or [email protected].

Media Attendance:  The Vanguard Awards event is open to the media at no cost, but reservations are mandatory. Reporters and editors may make reservations by contacting Pam Ford at [email protected], no later than June 10, 2013.