Stung by a smarting economy and declining attendance at its formerly bustling Western Show, the California Cable & Telecommunications Association has announced that this year's show, slated for December 2–5 in Anaheim, Calif., will be the final one, ending a 36-year run.
CableNET, a CableLabs-sponsored technology showcase that was a Western Show fixture and a favorite among techies for the past 11 years, will move to the National Show.
In the interim, the CCTA is urging the industry to come to Anaheim and help make its last confab memorable. "We want to end this tradition on a high note," said Spencer Kaitz, CCTA's president and general counsel.
The association already has attendance commitments from some high-profile CEOs, including Time Warner Cable's Glenn Britt, Cox's Jim Robbins, Bresnan Communication's Bill Bresnan and Insight's Michael Willner.
The key now will be convincing the programmers and hardware vendors that they should attend, too. "Given the strong support for the final Show from senior leaders at the MSOs, we expect that programmers and equipment suppliers will find compelling reasons to likewise embrace the show," Kaitz added. CCTA said its decision to mark 2003 as the final Western Show was based on changing conditions in the marketplace, coupled with economic pressures on cable programmers, suppliers and operators to significantly reduce costs.