Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Bill Rosendahl-Adelphia Communications Corporation Collection of Public Affairs Television Programs
Collection number: 104
Creator: Rosendahl, William Joseph "Bill" (1945-)
Creator: Adelphia Communications Corporation
Creator: Century Communications Corporation
380 linear feet
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.
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.
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
[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
Gift of Bill Rosendahl. 2010
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.
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
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.
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
||William (Bill) J. Rosendahl born.
||John Rigas establishes Adelphia Communications Corporation.
||Rosendahl begins hosting and producing public affairs programs for Century Cable.
||Adelphia Communications Corporation purchases Century Cable Communications.
||Rosendahl leaves Adelphia.
||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,
Beyond the Beltway,
The God Squad,
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.
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.
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"
Public affairs television program--California
Public-access television--United States