The New Orleans Cable Connection

The sad and shocking situation that has unfolded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina this week is especially surreal for those of us in the cable industry. That facility has been the host of several of the NCTA's annual 'National Show' conventions in recent years, and was slated as the venue for the next convention, slated for May 2006. There couldn't be a starker contrast between have and have-nots. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, a former vice president and general manager for Cox Communications Inc.'s Southeast Louisiana division, ripped state and federal officials for their sluggish response to the crisis in a passionate radio interview last night on local station WWL-AM. 'They don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras É Goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed,' Nagin said. 'I've got 15,000 to 20,000 people over at the convention center. It's bursting at the seams É Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.' Thankfully, initial convoys of troops, food and water finally made it to the convention center today. Nagin was credited for leading a major turnaround for Cox, helping take the cable systems in Louisiana from some of the MSO's worst to among its best performers. We wish him the best as he works on the turnaround project of a lifetime: the rescue and rebuilding of his hometown, New Orleans.

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