News, Notes & Commentary on the world of HRTS

A New Season dawns, The Kids Are Alright, and Farewell to one of the Good Ones

Dave Ferrara

Dave Ferrara

As awards season mercifully comes to an end, I find myself looking forward to spring with conflicting emotions. First off, it’s kind of weird looking forward to spring when there’s a blanket of snow on our local mountains. Got to say…it makes for an amazing view as I drive in to work in the morning, but really? Think traffic gets bad when it rains? Drop some snowflakes on Angeleno’s windshields and apparently it’s okay to just stop right in the lane to get out and experience the rare weather phenomenon!

Secondly, spring means the second half of our HRTS Season is upon us. In the coming weeks it looks like I’ll be as busy as Charlie Sheen’s publicist as this year we’ll be squeezing 4 HRTS panels into and around pilot and upfront season. The old saying… be careful what you ask for, you just might get it is apropos as we have seen a tremendous increase in members and activities for our organization in the past year. I’ll apologize to my staff in advance for the long hours…and the occasional tantrum as we gear up for the busiest spring season yet at HRTS.

And before I close the books completely on the winter portion of our season… I want to take a moment and congratulate our junior membership on a tremendous accomplishment. As many of you know our junior membership puts on their annual JHRTS Holiday Party Benefit every December. This event, now in its 8th year, has become a fixture on the holiday party circuit and is not only a good time for the hundreds of assistants, coordinators and junior executives who attend, but also raises money for a partner charity... This year… they joined the senior membership in supporting My Friend’s Place, Hollywood’s premier resource center serving homeless youth on the streets of our city.

Last year, the JHRTS holiday party benefit raised nearly $15,000 for Feeding America. This year’s party co-chairs Missy Machala, Felicia Bargman, Carmen Wong and all of the JHRTS volunteer team vowed to raise the bar a bit. Through their hard work, and the generous support of the individuals and companies that comprise the HRTS, JHRTS did indeed raise the bar. Prior to last week’s HRTS Cable Summit luncheon, the party co-chairs, along with JHRTS officers Sam Miller, Audrey Gordon and Steve Cousineau presented a check to My Friend’s Place in the amount of $25,000.00!  On behalf of all of us at HRTS, I wish to congratulate the team on an amazing effort that will directly help the many youth that My Friend’s Place serves on a daily basis.

JHRTS presents check to Michael Kass of My Friend's Place

JHRTS presents 25K check to My Friend's Place

Now. As noted above we have a very busy spring HRTS season planned. We just held our Cable Summit last week (see the recap later in this edition as well as view the on-demand video online for members at and it was a great success. Moderator Brian Lowry led the panel featuring USA’s Jeff Wachtel, Showtime’s David Nevins, FX’s John Landgraf and BET’s Loretha Jones on a wide ranging discussion on the state of the cable network business. This informative panel was a great way to kick off the spring portion of our season.

Cable Summit panelists

Cable Summit 2011

Still to come later this spring are panels featuring Unscripted Hitmakers, hosted by Larry King (April 12) and our annual State of the Industry luncheon, this year to be a “First Amendment Throwdown” where we address the challenges that our industry faces dealing with First Amendment issues. (June 8th)

News and announcements on all will be forthcoming via email, this publication and on

In addition to our regular Newsmaker Luncheons, we are also working with the National Association of Broadcasters on presenting a special “Super Session” at the NAB conference in Las Vegas (April 13). This panel, led by HRTS President Kevin Beggs will look at the opportunities and challenges to be found creating content in a multi-platform world. HRTS members will receive special discounts on registration for NAB 2011. More details will be forthcoming.

I encourage all of you to visit the website often to stay up to date on events and activities that are in the works for your HRTS.

Nancy Carr

Nancy Carr

On a final note. It is with great sadness that I acknowledge the recent passing of long-time HRTS member, professional colleague and friend, Nancy Carr. It has been my sincere honor to get to know Nancy through her work with Hallmark and before that CBS and Fox. A big part of my job is coordinating top execs’ appearances on our luncheon panels and it was always a pleasure to work with Nancy. Whether her exec was cast on my panel or not, her grace and professionalism were always forefront and her support for our industry and our organization never wavered. I will miss her regular calls to discuss when I would be casting one of her execs, as much for her personable charm as for the industry insight she freely shared purely for the benefit of our organization. Nancy was a good friend and colleague who touched many lives. On behalf of all of us at HRTS, I extend our deepest condolences to her family and hope they may find peace and comfort in knowing that her loss is felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her. 

Dave Ferrara
Executive Director

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