WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rob Stoddard, formerly senior vice president for AT&T Broadband in Denver, is joining the National Cable & Telecommunications Association as senior vice president of communications and public affairs, a newly created position that reflects the recent merger of the association’s public affairs and communications divisions.
The association’s vice president of communications David Beckwith and NCTA vice president of public affairs Jim Ewalt will report to Stoddard, who told a cable trade magazine that NCTA’s “public affairs’ initiatives are highly complementary with the communications side.” The combined department will be responsible for media relations and outreach; creation, deployment, and management of industry-wide public affairs programs; public relations support for industry-based community outreach and constituent relations activities; and promotion and publicity for NCTA events. It will also support Cable-in-the-Classroom, the industry’s education program.
Stoddard will report to NCTA president Robert Sachs. He previously worked closely with Sachs at Continental Cablevision, which after a series of mergers became part of AT&T Broadband. Sachs describes Stoddard as “a highly talented public affairs professional and the ideal candidate to guide NCTA’s combined communications and public affairs activities.”
Stoddard has been active in the cable industry since serving as press secretary for then-Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-Ks.) at the time of the industry’s deregulation in 1984. In 1985, he worked for Cardiff Publishing Company covering the telecom industry, and in 1995 he joined Continental Cablevision.   
He also served a vice president of communications for the former Cable and Telecommunications Association.
“I’m eager to return to Washington in the service of NCTA and Robert Sachs,” Stoddard says. “The chance to serve this great industry and work directly with so many talented friends and associates makes this a world-class job. My goal is to lead a great team of people in making communications and public affairs potent tools in supporting our public policy agenda.”
One of the first issues facing Stoddard is likely to be explaining the association’s position on the proposed merger of his former company, AT&T Broadband, with industry giant Comcast. The association takes the position that the deal will be good for consumers because it will promote “vigorous competition between the cable, telephone and satellite industries.”