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Document Details


Title: Ray V. Schneider
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Cable Center. Barco Library. Special Collections
Collection: Cable Center Oral History Collection
Description: Ray Schneider helped to build and served as general manger for the first large cable system built in a major U. S. city, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The system was financed by Jerrold Electronics and a group of financial backers, including Goldman Sachs and J.H. Whitney Co. It cost about $250,000 to build and served a town of about 10,000 homes. Prior to the construction of the cable system in Williamsport, the only systems in existence served communities of a couple of thousand homes. In his oral history, Schneider recounts the construction of the early system, the development of technology needed to serve it, and early marketing techniques, including the hiring of the first door-to-door sales force. Williamsport was also one of the first communities where more than one cable company attempted to start business at the same time. Schneider recalls starting construction in the middle-class areas of town while his competitor began in the wealthier sections. This proved to be an advantage for Schneider since cable proved to be a more successful service among middle class residents than among wealthier families who had other entertainment options and whose houses were farther apart. After it was constructed, Williamsport became a center for other cable operators to come and learn how to run the business and Schneider taught the business to many other leading cable operators.
URL: http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=258
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1993 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Schneider, Ray, 1918-
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 7-Aug-1918
Speaker place of birth: New York, NY; New York; United States; North America
Speaker occupation: Sales officer
Age at speaking: 75
Document date: Oct-1993
Interviewer: Froke, Marlowe
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Broadcasting; Cable television--United States; North America; Oral history; Public broadcasting; Television; Television programs; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Cable administrators
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0022842-24257