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Bill Rosendahl-Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs
104  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Custodial History
  • Administrative History
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bill Rosendahl-Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs
    Dates: 1987-2006
    Collection number: 104
    Creator: Rosendahl, William Joseph "Bill" (1945-)
    Creator: Adelphia Communications Corporation
    Creator: Century Communications Corporation
    Collection Size: 380 linear feet
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: The Bill Rosendahl-Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs consists of videotapes and DVDs, which document the public affairs television programming of Century Communications Corporation and Adelphia Communications Corporation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area between 1987 and 2006.
    Languages: English

    Access

    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University. Duplication of program tapes for research use is required in accordance with departmental policy regarding the formats of the videotapes of this collection: "Certain media formats may need specialized third party vendor services. If the department does not own a researcher access copy, the cost of reproduction, to be paid fully by patron, will include 1) any necessary preservation efforts upon the original, 2) a master file to be retained by Archives and Special Collections, 3) a researcher viewing copy to be retained by Archives and Special Collections, and 4) the patron copy. Pricing and project time-frame will be quoted upon individual request." The length of time for duplication of tapes will depend on vendor services and the payment for these services by the party requesting the duplication of a videotape.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box number, Bill Rosendahl-Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs, Collection 104, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Bill Rosendahl. 2010

    Custodial History

    In custody of University Relations from January 2010 to February 2011. The deed of gift for the materials was signed in January 2010, and they were transferred to the William H. Hannon Library from University Hall, on 25 February 2011.

    Administrative History

    Century Communications Corporation, a major provider of cable television services, was founded by Leonard Tow in 1973. Century Communication's first acquisition was four lagging cable TV markets in California, which were owned by Cablecom General. During the late 1980s, the company acquired new markets and improved its existing operations. Its cable subscribership ballooned to 721 million in 1988 as company revenues soared past $160 million.
    Century's regional subsidiary in Southern California was named Century Cable Southwest. Century Cable Southwest produced hundreds of public affairs programs for its cable access channels. As senior vice president of Century Cable, a show producer, and on-air host, Bill Rosendahl was a major driving force behind the development of these programs.
    In 1999, Adelphia Communications Corporation purchased Century, acquiring Century’s assets, including its local cable access programming.
    John Rigas established The Adelphia Communications Corporation in 1952. Before filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2002, Adelphia was one of the largest cable television providers in the United States. Adelphia Communications Corporation also provided services in high-speed internet access, long distance telephone service, and home security.
    The company’s headquarters were located in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Its cable operations were located in 31 states, with significant clusters in Los Angeles, New England, Western New York, West Palm Beach, Cleveland, Western Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia and Colorado Springs.
    Despite becoming a public firm in 1986, the company remained a family-run business. Founder John Rigas was the CEO and chairman of the board. His sons, Tim (CFO), Michael (VP of Operations), and James (VP of Strategic Planning), solidified the family stronghold within the company. In May 2002, Adelphia disclosed that federal grand juries from New York and central Pennsylvania were probing into the company's finances. Adelphia also released details showing that the Rigas family used the company’s assets for personal use.
    The company filed for bankruptcy in June 2002. In July 2002, John, Michael, and Timothy Rigas were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud.
    In 2005, the majority of Adelphia’s assets were acquired by Time Warner Cable and Comcast. The company officially dissolved after an auction sold off Adelphia's remaining assets on July 31, 2006.
    In the Southern California region, Adelphia Communications Corporation purchased Century Southwest Cable, a regional operator of Century Communications in 1999. With this purchase, Adelphia Communications became the largest cable provider in the Los Angeles area. The regional offices of Adelphia operated out of Santa Monica and produced thousands of public cable access television programs, primarily focused on local public affairs coverage. Bill Rosendahl also joined Adelphia as regional vice president in 1999. Rosendahl was a mainstay in Adelphia's cable access public affairs programming from 1999 to 2003. In 2001, Rosendahl's position has reshuffled to director of the firm’s political affairs. His heightened success on-screen and in the producer’s seat made it difficult to manage Adelphia's services in Southern California.
    Adelphia and Rosendahl offered a high level of professionalism to public affairs programming. Rosendahl's election specials and interviews with policy makers filled an important gap in broadcast journalism in Los Angeles by featuring in-depth coverage of local and state campaigns that was virtually non-existent on commercial outlets. He strove to use television as a means to foster greater participation in the electoral process.

    Biography

    Bill Rosendahl, Regional Vice President of Adelphia, television program producer, and donor of this collection, was born in 1945 and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. Rosendahl became active in politics as a student in the 1960s involved in the civil rights movement. As a graduate student, Rosendahl took a leave of absence from his studies to work for the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter brought Rosendahl into his administration to be chief of operations in the trade and development program. When Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, Rosendahl relocated to Los Angeles and entered broadcasting. Before signing on with Century Cable, Rosendahl worked for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company.
    Rosendahl began hosting and producing public affairs televisions shows in December 1987 for Century Cable Southwest’s cable access channel in Los Angeles. Rosendahl also served as Chief Operating Officer and as Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the system's parent company, Century Communications Corporation.
    When Century was purchased by Adelphia in 1999, Rosendahl remained a cable executive and television journalist. He became vice president of operations for Adelphia Communication Corporation’s Southern California region and continued to produce and moderate a number of public affairs television shows.
    His television show “Week in Review” became a staple in the lineups at Century and Adelphia. Some of the other shows that he hosted included "Beyond the Beltway," "Local Talk," "The God Squad," "Mideast Perspective," and "Personal Best." During his 16 years in cable, he produced over 3,000 programs.
    Rosendahl was honored with numerous awards, including a Cable Ace Award, The Diamond Award, the Freedom of Information Award, the Los Angeles League of Women Voters Public Service Award and the Beacon Award for Cable's Free Air Time Project.
    In 2005, Rosendahl was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 11th District, which includes the communities of Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, West LA and Westchester.

    Chronology

    1945 William (Bill) J. Rosendahl born.
    1952 John Rigas establishes Adelphia Communications Corporation.
    1987 Rosendahl begins hosting and producing public affairs programs for Century Cable.
    1999 Adelphia Communications Corporation purchases Century Cable Communications.
    2003 Rosendahl leaves Adelphia.
    2006 Adelphia Communications Corporation dissolves.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Bill Rosendahl, present Los Angeles City councilmember, hosted various public affairs programs from 1987 to 2003 on cable access channels run by the now defunct Century Communications Corporation and the now defunct Adelphia Communications Corporation. Rosendahl was also a top executive for regional operations within both companies. This collection consists of program tapes from these companies that Bill Rosendahl granted to Loyola Marymount University.
    The Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs comprises videotapes and DVDs of cable access programs broadcast by Century and Adelphia between 1987 and 2006. Rosendahl worked for Century from 1987 to 1999. When Adelphia Communications Corporation acquired Century in 1999, Rosendahl joined Adelphia. He hosted and produced programs at Adelphia until 2003. The material in the collection spans Rosendahl’s time at both companies. It also includes programs that Adelphia produced after Rosendahl left the company in 2003 through its dissolution in 2006.
    About 3450 programs are found in the collection on various formats including U-Matic, BetacamSP, Digital Betacam, DVCPRO, VHS, and DVD. Besides highlighting Rosendahl's role in public affairs television for Century and Adelphia, the collection also offers an illustrative view of the broad range of programming on the cable access channels from these two companies.
    The collection contains extensive coverage of local, regional, and state politics and issues within Los Angeles, Southern California, and California, respectively. National and world affairs are also addressed in many programs. The collection holds episodic television shows such as Week in Review, Local Talk, Beyond the Beltway, The God Squad, Mideast Perspective, AIDS Update, and Personal Best. Most of these shows are formatted around discussions amongst expert panelists with a host/moderator. The collection also contains over a thousand special programs reporting on public events, campaign races, procedural meetings, and public affairs issues. The collection covers a wide range of public policy topics and issues, including tax reform, healthcare, education, housing, and crime.
    Many programs in the collection were hosted by Rosendahl. Other hosts of programs in the collection include Dan Blackburn, Bob Jimenez, Lila Garrett, Patt Morrison, Bob Stern, Tom Elias, and Terry Anzur.
    The Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University does not have a complete record of guests and program moderators. From existing documentation on tape and DVD labels, some relevant names have been discerned. In most cases, we only have the surname of guests appearing on the programs. Videotapes have not been viewed by staff to verify contents.
    Videotapes will be duplicated upon request for viewing. Researchers will be charged a fee for videotape duplication. Contact the Department of Archives and Special Collections for further information.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged into twenty-one series, one of which has been further arranged in subseries. For convenience of research access, the videotapes and DVDs are arranged chronologically in this finding aid. Physical storage of the videotapes and DVDs is arranged by format size and then chronologically within each format size.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Adelphia Communications Corporation
    Rosendahl, William J. "Bill"
    Cable televison--California
    Public affairs television program--California
    Broadcasting--California
    Public-access television--United States