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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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Viru's opinion on DravidVirender Sehwag on why he tknihs Rahul Dravid is the perfect cricketerTo me Rahul Dravid is the perfect cricketer. By the time I decided I would take cricket seriously and make it my profession, Rahul was already doing wonders with his bat. While I always wanted to be like Sachin Tendulkar, there have been plenty of things I have learned from Rahul.His technique and temperament always fascinated me and now it is clear that his success abroad is because of those two factors. His technique is so good that he can be at ease on any sort of wicket and in any sort of conditions. His temperament and discipline allow him to adapt to different situations without discomfort.But it was only when I met him that I realised he is a special player because of more than just these two qualities. I read somewhere that attitudes are contagious; if that's true, his is definitely worth catching. Everything about him is so solid his character, his technique, everything. He is precise about his practice, and even in his speech he is to the point. There is nothing wasteful about him. Any kind of match is a battle to be won for him. You won't find any difference in his level of commitment, whether it's a domestic game, a Test match or even a practice game.I still remember my debut at Mohali. Rahul tried his best to make me comfortable in the dressing room. For a youngster these things make a lot of difference. When you are out of form, he is the best person to go to. His knowledge, about cricket and about things outside it, means that he can answer all sorts of questions, address all kinds of insecurities you can have at this level of cricket. For younger players, he is a psychological guru and motivator.Last year in Mohali when he was captaining the side, he told me: whenever you go out to bat, think that this is your day. When I got out after making 195 at Melbourne, Rahul said I wouldn't realise then what I'd done on that day but would understand the worth and the implications of what I had done only later, and that sooner or later I would come to terms with it. It didn't take very long for me to realise that if I had stayed at the crease a bit longer we could have made history. I think those two things really helped me plan my innings in Pakistan.Rahul understands people so well that when he talks to you it's in a language you understand; he communicates not only with you but with your personality in a way. To me, he always gives small goals. He says, Veeru, you stay here for an hour and the scoreboard will be full of runs.' When I play a rash shot he comes and says, Yaar why are you in a hurry to go to the dressing room? What will you do there? You'll have to sit and watch others and think, O Shit, I've lost a golden opportunity to get a big one.' Things like that immediately bring your focus back. Batting with him makes things simple. Like in a Test match when you see him bat and he's looking rock solid, you start to think, These guys can't even beat his bat; the bowling's not that great.'He is the pillar of our team and the batting revolves around him. Whenever we have done well as a batting unit, whether in Tests or one-dayers, it's largely due to Rahul. Front foot or back, spin or pace, he has all the shots. But it's his judgment about what shot to execute and when that makes him special.Whenever he gets out, the first thing we think is that we have lost almost fifty overs worth of batting. You know he puts a price tag on his wicket. Whenever he does lose it cheaply, he gets really upset. Everyone gets sad after losing his wicket, but after a while we forget and think ahead. But with Rahul he will think about it, work it out in the nets and make sure that it doesn't happen again. You won't see him get out in the same way very often. It just shows that he is quick to learn from his mistakes. There is a lot of passion in his performance. He got so emotional after winning the Adelaide Test last year he didn't want to take off his whites, and I remember he wore them to the bar that night also.


Thanks JD for your unjustified atssreion that comparing US and French internet costs is stoopid . Why should they be any different? If anything it should be more expensive here given much of the content comes *from* the US rather than vice versa.If I were in the US and paying 150 $local_currency every month then I'd be very interested to know that the people on the other side of the water were paying 30 $local_currency a month for a better, faster, cheaper product (with a bunch of extra features like unlimited, free international calls to most of the world).Sam


Hi Ed thanks for your cemmont! I hope you're doing well. My social media outburst here and on Twitter caught the attention of their Social Media Relations people. A resolution is in progress and once I get written confirmation my blog will be updated as well. It's all going to work out just fine.

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