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Buckeye hires former NCTC CEO Abbas as new president

Fri, 04/19/2013 - 12:28pm
Mike Robuck

Buckeye Cablevision, which does business under the Buckeye CableSystem moniker, has brought former National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) president and CEO Jeffry Abbas on board as its new president and general manager.

At Buckeye CableSystem, Abbas will report to Joe Jensen, Block Communications’ executive vice president/cable and telecommunications.

Based on his NCTC experience, one area where Abbas could make an immediate impact at Buckeye would be negotiating retransmission agreements with programmers. While increased programming costs are weighing down cable operators of all sizes, they’re particularly egregious to smaller cable operators such as Buckeye.

“He brings a wealth of experience that will assist Buckeye CableSystem as it faces a very changing environment in the years to come,” Jensen said.

Allan Block, Chairman of Block Communications, Inc., Buckeye’s parent company, announced Abbas’ hiring today. Abbas will start his new job May 13.

“We are fortunate to attract a man of Mr. Abbas’ training and experience to lead Buckeye in these challenging times, as the cable industry faces pressure from unrelenting programming costs, rapidly changing technology, and increased competition from web-based programming sources,” Block said.

NCTC is an industry organization that negotiates equipment and programming contracts, among other duties, for smaller cable operators that serve 27 million cable customers nationwide. Buckeye is a member of NCTC.

Abbas stepped down as president and CEO of NCTC in 2011 to "to pursue other opportunities." He joined the NCTC board of directors in 1999 and was named senior vice president of business affairs for the organization in 2003, before assuming the office of president and CEO in 2005

In his new role as Buckeye’s president, Abbas will also oversee operations of the firm’s subsidiaries, Metro Fiber and Cable Construction, of Toledo, and Erie County Cablevision, Inc., of Sandusky, Ohio.

“I am looking forward to joining the team at Buckeye and getting back into the operations side of the cable industry,” Abbas said. “I’m eager to serve the Buckeye customers in providing them a robust suite of features and programming, and build on the excellent customer service that always has been a hallmark of the company.”

Prior to joining NCTC in 1993, Abbas was vice president of programming at Adelphia Communications Corp, of Coudersport, Pa., which at the time was the fifth-largest cable operator in the country.

Last month Buckeye CableSystem announced it was using Motorola’s Apex300 edge QAM to help provision its VOD and switched digital video services (SDV). In the long term, the Apex3000 also put Buckeye on a migration path to the industry’s converged cable access platform (CCAP).

Last year Buckeye bowed a DOCSIS 3.0 wideband tier that featured downstream speeds of up to 110 Mpbs. It’s also working on a TV Everywhere platform to serve Apple iOS and Android devices, as well as IPTV set-top boxes and gaming consoles, with the aid of Azuki Systems.  

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