Here's to the Winners


If you're in the cable business, it is the award to get. Last week, at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual show in Chicago, the organization bestowed its prestigious Vanguard Awards to nine men and women who have brought that certain special something to the cable business. They are profiled on the pages to follow.

Two of the Vanguard Awards—for Leadership—are extra special. The Larry Boggs Vanguard award, named after the famed cable pioneer, and the Idell Kaitz Vanguard Award, named for the woman who made such an impact on cable policy, are given annually to the top man and woman, respectively, in the business. This year, Nick Davatzes, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks received the Boggs Vanguard, and Debra Lee, president and COO of Black Entertainment Television (BET), has been honored with the Kaitz Vanguard award.

Davatzes joins such impressive past winners as Charles Dolan (last year), Leo Hindery, Ted Turner, and John Malone.

Lee's in good company, too. Past winners of the Idell Kaitz award include Christie Hefner (2002), Judith McHale, Ann Carlsen and Geraldine Laybourne.

The awards were presented to all of the winners by Maggie Wilderotter, chair of the NCTA Vanguard Awards Committee and Microsoft senior vice president of business strategy. Wilderotter herself received the leadership award in 2000.

Begun 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.

As you read about the nine winners, it's impossible to miss the fact that not only have they made impressive contributions to their businesses but also have found time, somehow, to give their time and abilities to other causes.