Kyle McSlarrow may not have any experience in cable, but that did not stop the National Cable & Telecommunications Association from naming him its new chief executive.
He has other credentials that are apparently just as good: strong ties to the Bush administration and congressional Republicans. McSlarrow is deputy secretary of energy, credited with turning around the agency's management. Last week, he announced his plans to resign, effective next month.
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More Special Interests
He earlier served as deputy chief of staff and chief counsel to Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), when each was Senate majority leader.
Glenn Britt, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Cable and chairman of the NCTA board of directors, said yesterday that the group wanted someone with considerable experience on Capitol Hill and in the administration, someone with "proven executive experience" and someone whose personality meshed with the industry.
"Kyle has all those characteristics," Britt said. Although it would have been nice if he also had experience with cable issues, "Kyle has a demonstrative ability to learn a lot of things quickly."
Learning quickly about cable is especially key to the trade group this year. Industry folks are worried about increasing buzz on the Hill of interest in re-regulating cable television -- something the industry wants to avoid.
An NCTA spokesman said that McSlarrow, still at the Energy Department, was not available for comment. In a statement released by NCTA, McSlarrow spoke of the cable industry's "great benefit to consumers" and the jobs it provides.
He succeeds Robert Sachs.
More Republican Moves
Speaking of GOP coups . . . Timmons and Co., which hires a Democrat now and then but is known for its Republican ties, has hired Ginger G. Loper, President Bush's lobbyist specializing on the Senate side, health care, taxes and Social Security. She also managed the Senate confirmation process for many political appointees.
Loper earlier was a legislative assistant to then-Senate Majority Leader Lott. She comes from a GOP household: Her husband is Brett Loper, deputy chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).
Victor Kamber, the longtime labor advocate, has closed his 25-year-old public relations and communications shop, the Kamber Group, our colleague Michael S. Rosenwald reports.
Kamber has been hired by the Carmen Group to be president of a new PR and marketing company, Carmen Group Communications, a free-standing company affiliated with the Carmen Group, said Richard Masterson, who has moved from the Carmen Group, where he was marketing director, to the new shop.
The Carmen Group tilts Republican and is run by David M. Carmen, a friend of Kamber's for many years.
"It was a terrific opportunity to go over to Carmen and create a new entity," Kamber said. "You just decide to close parts of your life. It was a tough decision."