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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

10:30 AM -- This is the latest installment of "Technically Speaking with SCTE," a new monthly blog of interviews and columns to provide Light Reading Cable readers with timely updates on the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) 's initiatives and activities.

This month's entry is a Q&A with SCTE Board of Directors Chairman Bob Foote (who also serves as VP of sales, major markets for TriNet Communications.) Today's topic: Why the SCTE recently decided to change the structure of its board.
(See SCTE to Shave Down Board Size.)

Light Reading Cable: The SCTE recently announced changes that will reduce the size of its board from 19 to 15 members. What's the key reason for that decision and what main benefit do you see the Society gaining from it?

Foote: The reduction in size of the SCTE Board of Directors was only one component of the recent board restructuring. There was a feeling that a smaller board would be better able to focus on the future vision of the SCTE and the execution of that vision. The SCTE standing committees will remain and some of the tactical functions of SCTE that the board has managed will be better served in the standing committees.

Light Reading Cable: In the announcement, you said the board believes the changes will increase operator, programmer and vendor support for SCTE training, initiatives and events? How will a smaller board help out in those areas?

Foote: The more important part of the restructuring was not the reduction in board seats, but in how those seats are filled. There's considerable value in the ability to seek board members to fill a specific need the board may have, and to maintain a good balance across large operators, small operators, technologists, operations professionals and other constituencies. We believe membership is best served by gaining a closer partnership with the key decision makers in the industry and being able to tailor programs and initiatives to align with the industry’s needs.

Light Reading Cable: What concerns have SCTE members raised about the decision, and what's your response to those concerns?

Foote: The great thing about SCTE is the many passionate members we have in our Society. As everyone is aware, change can be difficult. While taking all views into account, our challenge has been to find the balance of the future of SCTE and the needs of our members. The major concern was the breakdown of appointed versus elected board members. We listened to the feedback and modified the proposal to align with the concern voiced by some of our members.

Light Reading Cable: The board also approved a temporary policy that will allow SCTE to gracefully migrate to the new structure over the next 22 months. What are your top two or three priorities during that span to make sure everything’s ready to go when the switch is made?

Foote: While 22 months out is when all will be complete with the current restructure plan, the implementation starts immediately. We wanted to make sure no current elected seat was eliminated. Each board member will serve out their current term. As seats reach their term, the change will be made to that seat to align with the new structure. We will see the beginnings of that in the next board, which will be seated at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in November of this year. While this change is implemented, SCTE will continue to forge ahead with the many initiatives that are currently underway or being considered. The current board is certainly capable as seated to tackle the issues at hand and will continue to work hard doing that.

— The Staff, Light Reading Cable



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