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Technology Association of Georgia
Tony Cooper
(404) 920-2008



Satellite and Cable Television Pioneer, Sidney Topol, to be recognized as ‘Icon on the Industry’ at 2017 TAG DME Summit




ATLANTA (September 20, 2017) The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) will honor Satellite and Cable Television Pioneer, Sidney Topol, with an ‘Icons of the Industry’ Award at its 2017 Digital Media & Entertainment Industry Summit.

An innovator and entrepreneur, Sidney Topol's career spanned the nuclear age and space age and helped spur the globalization of telecommunication. His work on microwave systems with Raytheon in the 1950s and with satellite in the 1960s and 1970s helped lay the foundation for overseas broadcasting and made the cable television industry into a practical reality.

In 1971, Topol joined a small, twenty-year old telecommunications manufacturing firm in Georgia, Scientific-Atlanta. Given "free rein and the ability to make decisions" autonomously, Topol was able to focus his attention on communications technology, rather than the military applications that were core activities at Raytheon. Drawing on his expertise in satellite systems, Topol recognized an opportunity in the cable television industry, allowing cable companies to use satellite links to deliver content ranging from uncut films to sports broadcasts, but also an opportunity to develop television receiving equipment. By stepping up production of earth stations, he helped make satellite communication cost effective for cable companies, using "forward pricing" -- selling dishes for what they would cost when the economy of scale kicked in rather than the actual cost of production -- he helped spur investment in his approach. During his 19 years with Scientific-Atlanta, Topol oversaw the expansion of the firm from $16 million in sales to over $600 million, due in large part to his success in strategically positioning the company to become a global force in the satellite and cable television industries. As President (1971-1983), CEO (1975-1987), Chairman of the Board (1978-1990), and Director (1971-1997), Topol was instrumental in the merger of cable and satellite, which along with programming developed by HBO and the development of transportable earth stations developed by TelePrompTer and manufactured by Scientific-Atlanta, helped establish satellite-delivered television for the cable industry.

The event will feature a keynote address from Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. Lee Thomas is the Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  In 1996, she began working for the Georgia Film and Videotape Office as a project manager, and then became a location specialist for the office in 1998. After finding locations for film and television projects for 12 years, Lee became director of the film division in 2010, and was then promoted to Director of Film, Music & Digital Entertainment in 2011. Films that Lee has worked with include The Hunger Games: Catching FireThe Blind Side, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, Footloose, Fast 5, The Conspirator, and Zombieland.

Representatives from the various sectors of Georgia’s growing digital media and entertainment industry will discuss relevant topics and current industry trends, including education, investing and building on the success of Georgia’s Innovative Tax Incentive Program.

Sponsors for this event are Turner, Google, Comcast Business and Verizon. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact Barbara Martin for more details.


The event will be held, Wednesday, November 15th 11:00am – 4:00pm at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park, Hank Aaron Terrace 800 Battery Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30339. Registration and more details can be found at

About TAG Digital Media and Entertainment society

TAG Digital Media & Entertainment society helps companies embrace convergence, learn about the latest trends, and find investors interested in helping them grow.  Anyone looking to create content, deliver or consume online entertainment will find membership in TAG Entertainment very helpful.  We discuss emerging technologies, new business models, bilateral investments and distribution opportunities.

About Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 35,000+ members and hosting over 200+ events each year. TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 33 industry societies, each of which provides rich content for TAG constituents. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, influence and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides members with access to networking and educational programs; recognizes and promotes Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology. Additionally, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG’s charitable arm) focuses on helping science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives thrive. For more information visit the TAG website at or TAG’s community website at To learn about the TAG-Ed Collaborative visit


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