For those in the cable industry, CTAM has been the industry group for marketers. Once representing just cable television, the group expanded its reach when its initials were renamed to represent the Cable AND Telecommunications Association for Marketing. I was fortunate enough to have been both a member of the organization as well as a part of the local New York Chapter, involved on a number of committees, including the Blue Ribbon Breakfast, and on the local board as Membership Director and as Vice President. It was a great experience.
But the role of CTAM has changed a great deal in the last decade. Controlled by the cable operators, CTAM pushed out alternative distribution providers from becoming members. In 2011, the CTAM board voted to close all the local US chapters. For me, it was the nail in the coffin for CTAM as the local chapters created multiple in market events and represented a cable community for its members. Whether it was an educational panel or a holiday party, local members came together to learn, talk, and share. And it enabled real relationships to form and grow. Without the chapters, CTAM lost its real connection for me.
So it is with a sad heart to read that CTAM's president and CEO, Char Beales, will be leaving the helm of the ship she has guided. For me, she is CTAM. Whether it is her own decision or one that has been decided by the cable operators who manage the board of directors, Char probably knew that the best days of the organization were behind her. The last straw for her may just have been seeing the end of the CTAM Summit.
The industry has changed greatly and there are far fewer cable operators to oversee. The loss of local chapters and the Summit and other conferences makes the role of president much less impactful. Perhaps the board felt that a "less expensive" salaried president was necessary too. While Char will help find the next president, the future of CTAM seems to me to be a short one and I predict that it will close for good in a couple of years.