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Michael S. Willner spent his entire career in the cable television industry. He co-founded Insight Communications in 1985 and served as its CEO, a director and vice chairman of the board until the company was sold to Time Warner Cable in February, 2012.

As a young boy in Miami, Florida, Michael had a fascination with the television business at a very early age. He often rode his bicycle to the local NBC affiliate after school where the staff allowed him to help out in the studio while they produced and aired a live children's puppet show and the local news. Michael began his career in 1974 as the program director and news reporter for a small suburban New York cable system after graduating from the Boston University College of Communications. Soon after, he shifted his focus to general management and eventually became the chief operating officer of Vision Cable Communications, a cable company owned by a division of Newhouse Newspapers.

After starting Insight Communications, Michael quickly developed his hands-on style of management as CEO. He is a firm believer in open, honest communication. He personally ensured that employees and customers were always well-informed and had input and influence over important Company decisions. This commitment led to a secondary career - that of a leading man in a number of Insight television commercials in which he comfortably played himself with a great sense of self-deprecating humor.

Michael also became very active in industry affairs and has been one of cable's most active and effective ambassadors on Capitol Hill, testifying regularly before Congress on industry issues and pending legislation. He has served two consecutive terms as chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the cable industry's trade lobby and currently served on its executive committee for many years. Michael also served as chairman of the board of the Cable Center from 2007 through 2011. He served on the executive committee of CableLabs; on the board of directors of C-SPAN, and the Walter Kaitz Foundation.

A recipient of the NCTA's 2004 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership and a 2005 inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, Michael has yet to achieve his greatest goal of winning an Emmy for his leading role in Insight's commercials.

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But don't you think most pay-tv consumers would do the same? Then those other cnhnaels become obsolete, which is fine for consumers, but not necessarily the television industry itself. This is doubtful to happen until TV is truly in dire straights (might be soon, might be not)


It is time to end this re-trans fee nonsense for once and for all.

The public air waves used by the television stations, to broadcast to the people of the US BELONG TO THE PEOPLE.

The cable companies are mandated to carry locals in most cases.

There should be ZERO RETRANS FEES for local stations to be carries by providers who cover the local market.

Let the local stations make money the old fashiond way - EARN IT instead of stealing it.

Nate Hiatt

Ugh, sounds like Fox knew cablevision was in a rough spot with the playoffs going on and tried to extort them, Cablevision called their bluff and everyone feels the pain..... 200-300% increases, dear lord. Even the 68.5% increase is excessive. I feel for the cable companies, they are the ones that take the heat from the consumer when they're the ones trying to protect the consumer. They could easily fold to their 300% increase and just carry the cost over to us.


"We need less regulation!"
How many times have we herd this nonsense and people actually buy in to this cr@p.
ALL of us *including cable industry* can expect more cost with this new "pay as you go" democracy shakedown.

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