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Awardee Profiles - 2002

James Kennedy, Freedom of Speech Award
Ralph J. Roberts, American Horizon Award
Kathleen Q. Abernathy, Special Guest

James Kennedy, Recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award

James Kennedy is chairman and chief executive officer of privately held Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation's leading media companies. He is the grandson of former Ohio governor and presidential candidate James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898. He also serves as chairman of the board of publicly traded Cox Radio, Inc. and Cox Communications, Inc.

Mr. Kennedy has been with Cox since 1972. He held various positions with Cox newspapers in Atlanta and Colorado, and in 1985 became vice president of Cox Newspapers. He was named executive vice president of Cox Enterprises the following year, and in January 1988 became chairman and chief executive officer.

During Mr. Kennedy's tenure, Cox Enterprises' annual revenues have grown from $1.8 billion in 1988 to more than $7.8 billion at year-end 2000. The company has 74,000 employees throughout the United States and abroad, and operates 300 separate businesses. Cox's Internet portfolio includes an equity stake in AutoTrader.com (the largest online source of vehicle listings) and wholly owned Cox Interactive Media.

Mr. Kennedy serves on the boards of several organizations and is an advisory director of J. P. Morgan - Chase & Company (Texas Region). He is also president of Wetlands America Trust, Inc. A former competitive cyclist, Mr. Kennedy is a past Masters National, Pan American, and World Champion in the 3,000 meter pursuit, and holds world and national records for team events.

The Media Institute is pleased to honor Mr. Kennedy with its Freedom of Speech Award for his role in making Cox one of the nation's premier journalism and information organizations.

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Ralph J. Roberts, Recipient of the American Horizon Award

Ralph J. Roberts is chairman of Comcast Corporation, one of the three largest cable television companies in the United States. Starting with the purchase of a single cable system in Tupelo, Miss., in 1963, Mr. Roberts went on to create a company that now employs 25,000 people.

Comcast Corporation is engaged in the development, management, and operation of broadband cable networks and in the provision of program content. Comcast is the principal owner of QVC, Comcast-Spectacor and Comcast SportsNet, and the Golf Channel. The company holds a controlling interest in E! Entertainment Television and the fashion and design network "style."

Mr. Roberts has served as chairman of Comcast since 1989. Prior to that, he served as president and chairman. During the 1950s, Mr. Roberts was president and CEO of Pioneer Industries, a leading men's accessories company. Earlier, he was a vice president with Muzak Corporation and an account executive with Aitken Kynett Advertising Agency.

Mr. Roberts graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and served a four-year tour in the U.S. Navy.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Roberts sits on the boards of numerous civic, cultural, and business groups including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Albert Einstein Medical Center. Mr. Roberts is a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. His many awards include NCTA's Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership, the Cable Television Hall of Fame Award, and the Walter Kaitz Foundation Award.

The Media Institute is privileged to bestow its American Horizon Award upon Mr. Roberts for his visionary leadership of the cable television industry.

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Kathleen Q. Abernathy, Special Guest

The Honorable Kathleen Q. Abernathy was nominated by President George W. Bush, unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission within the one-month span of May 2001.

Prior to her FCC appointment, Commissioner Abernathy was vice president of public policy at BroadBand Office Communications, Inc. Before that, she was a partner at the law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Commissioner Abernathy had earlier served as vice president for regulatory affairs at U.S. West, Inc. and as vice president for federal regulatory affairs at AirTouch Communications, Inc.

In addition to her private sector experience, Commissioner Abernathy held several positions at the FCC. She was a telecommunications legal advisor to FCC Chairman James H. Quello, legal advisor to Commissioner Sherrie P. Marshall, and special assistant to the FCC's general counsel.

Commissioner Abernathy has long been active in various bar activities and academia. She is a member and former president of the Federal Communications Bar Association and a member of the Washington, D.C., Bar. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law.

Commissioner Abernathy is a magna cum laude graduate of Marquette University, and received her law degree from the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law.

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