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2009 Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner to Honor Commitment to Diversity



Raven and Rutledge Named Co-Chairs as the Dinner Moves to Denver

for the First Time



WASHINGTONDC – Comcast Corporation and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. will be honored as Diversity Champions at the 26th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at ColoradoConvention Center in DenverColorado.


 Abbe Raven, President & CEO of A&E Television Networks, and Tom Rutledge, Chief Operating Officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation will co-chair the dinner.  Other industry executives joining Raven and Rutledge on the Dinner Committee include: George Bodenheimer, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, ESPN, Inc. & ABC Sports; Rocco Commisso, Chairman & CEO, Mediacom Communications Corporation; Jerald Kent, Chairman & CEO, Suddenlink Communications; Ken Lowe, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive; Judith McGrath, Chairman & CEO, MTV Networks; and Brad Siegel, Vice Chairman, Gospel Music Channel.


The Diversity Champion Award goes to individuals or organizations that act as catalysts for diversity within their respective organizations or throughout the cable industry.  These organizations or individuals motivate the cable industry to embrace and value diversity, by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities.


Comcast Corporation

Comcast exemplifies the Diversity Champion Award through its commitment to diversity from its senior leadership, implementation of a significant supplier diversity program, execution of community investment endeavors, diversity in programming content, and a commitment to a diverse workforce.

·        Commitment from Senior Leadership.  Comcast’s senior leadership has proven to be a critical component of its successful diversity efforts.  The Comcast Diversity Steering Committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss upcoming initiatives, review successes to date, share best practices and drive internal awareness. 

·        Supplier Diversity.  Since the inception of its Supplier Diversity Program in 2003, Comcast has successfully increased its total spending with diverse suppliers.  To achieve these results, Comcast has been proactive in developing an extensive network of diverse suppliers and has worked to make this network easily available to purchasing agents across the country.  In 2008, Comcast spent nearly $550 million with women and minority business enterprises (WMBE).

·        Community Investment Initiatives.  Through both national and local initiatives, Comcast has an impact on the communities it serves with a focus on women and people of color.  Not only does the company provide financial support to a wide range of organizations around the country, but its employees volunteer a substantial amount of their time to help their communities nationwide.  For example, since the inception of Comcast’s annual company-wide day of service called Comcast Cares Day in 2001, Comcast’s employees, their families and their friends have devoted well over one million hours of service to communities across the country.  Comcast has also formed numerous partnerships with national organizations, including the Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Islander Institute for Congressional Studies, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, City Year, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, and One Economy. 

·        Diverse Workforce.  Comcast has shown a commitment to attracting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce through proactive recruiting efforts and strong leadership development programs.  To assist its diversity efforts, Comcast has implemented a company-wide diversity scorecard; leveraged integration of talent management and diversity and inclusion to increase development opportunities for women and people of color; and utilized NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Program and WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute to create opportunities for rising leaders.

·        Diversity in Programming Content.  Comcast has shown a deep commitment to delivering programming that reflects the diverse interests of its customers, often customizing offerings to reflect the demographics of the markets where it does business.  Numerous multicultural networks are represented on its channel lineups around the country.


Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Turner Broadcasting’s commitment to diversity is reflected in the company’s people, programming and perspective.

·        Commitment from Senior Leadership.  Turner’s diversity strategy is spearheaded by the most senior executives of the company.  With their support, the company incorporates diversity into all of its business practices, including hiring, employee development, content creation and acquisition, marketing and promotion, and vendor sourcing.  As part of this overall strategy, Turner Broadcasting fosters a professional environment and corporate culture of understanding, acceptance, diversity, inclusion and respect.

·        Diverse Workforce.  Turner’s career management strategy informs talent programs across all business groups and is spearheaded by the executive team and respective diversity councils.  Through this program, corporate human resource executives partner with human resource generalists to advance Turner’s “Diversity Drives Innovation” initiative, focused on the business case for diversity.  Turner also has introduced a quarterly diversity scorecard that measures key performance indicators to identify trends and to prioritize goals and investments.

·        Diversity in Programming Content.  Customers flipping through a channel line-up every day see Turner’s success in diversifying its programs across all of its networks.  Each business unit focuses on programs that appeal to diverse domestic and global markets.  Viewers see and appreciate the company’s commitment to accurately and respectfully reflect the full range of experience and identity embodied in its consumers.

·        Supplier Diversity.  Through innovative, award-winning mentoring and partnership programs that have been adapted across Time Warner and the industry, Turner has forged mutually beneficial relationships with diverse suppliers.  Turner Broadcasting is closely affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC), the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and other influential groups furthering supplier diversity as a business advantage and imperative.

·        Corporate Philanthropy.  Turner Broadcasting supports community efforts through employee volunteerism, large-scale community service and charitable contributions.  More than 10 years ago, the company formalized its commitment to supporting employee volunteerism by forming the Turner Volunteers Program, which has donated approximately 100,000 hours of volunteer time to complete some 200 projects.  The annual Turner Volunteer Day engages employees in Turner locations around the world in hands-on service within their communities.  Turner employees at every level give of themselves to important community and industry philanthropic efforts.


“Both Comcast and Turner are excellent examples of how companies in our industry are creating better places to work for women and minorities,” said David Porter, Executive Director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation.  “Our industry looks forward to saluting both companies inDenver as part of Cable Connection Fall.”


Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Turner and Scripps Networks have committed to sponsorships for this year’s dinner. 


The annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner is the cable industry's most prestigious fundraising event for diversity.  Each year, the dinner typically raises more than $1 million to fund diversity-oriented programs and initiatives for three industry-based diversity organizations: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation; the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC); and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).


Ticket sales for the dinner are now under way.   For information on sponsorship opportunities or for other questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at (202) 222-2490, or email Michelle Ray, Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives for the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at mray@walterkaitz.org.  Full information about the dinner can be found at www.walterkaitz.org.



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