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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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I'm with Larry on this, profit has nhnoitg to do with costs. In a free market, prices are determined by the millions of buyers and sellers interacting, thus the vast majority of economists agree that prices (and value) are subjective, i.e. that each of us values things differently.But being in the entertainment business, I do know that cable, satellite and other distribution mediums are all heavily regulated and given monopoly status by governments (local, county, state, etc). Does anyone have options when it comes to cable service? I never have. Some will say it's impossible to have competition, but what about cell phone service, where competition continues to improve quality and services and costs drop or stay the same. We need more of this in the TV and internet distribution industries.But when you dig deep enough, you see that it's the big cable companies that lobby for all these regulations, as they help write up the restrictions that keep competition out of the picture. I sure wish I had the power to keep competition away, as I could be rich too.

Roger Chui

@Steve: I had a similar issue. The techs were very helpful and found no problems as well, but they escalated the issue because they suspected a problem with the fiber-coax node. They confirmed it, put in a maintenance order, and lo and behold, a few days later, I had my full 20Mbit service!


LOL, how can insight ever deliver speeds above 30 is beyond me. I live in Middletown and pay for 20.0 but only get up to 5mb/s daily. Insight has had techs come out 3 times and they say everything is fine. According to insight there must be a "cluster" of users in Middletown causing the speed to slow down. DON'T CHARGE FOR A SERVICE IF YOU CAN'T DELIVER IT

Brian Cail

With all due respect, it would seem Insight's issue is how to price higher speed services that strikes the right balance between "incremental cost" vs "incremental margin".

The pricing Insight has announced for 50 Mbps service does not give me high hopes that Insight is truly motivated to increase the speeds of its users.

As good-will move, Insight should consider a speed bump on the existing tiers.

Until you get the pricing model right (hint: current price model is not at a customer-friendly point), talk of extreme speed levels has no meaning for your customers.

From Louisville, KY 40241

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