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 ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- TV Guide On Screen(TM) president Bruce Davis announced today that William L. Thomas has been named vice president of Product Development. Thomas joins the company from Nielsen Media Research in Dunedin, Fla., where he served as vice president of Engineering and Technology for the past five years.
 "Bill is a great technologist and manager who will be instrumental in readying TV Guide On Screen's services for introduction to the market and in continuing development of our portfolio of on-screen applications," said Davis. "He has developed a solid understanding of the engineering and technology issues facing the cable television industry from many years of experience in the fields of consumer demand monitoring and analysis, as well as set-top converter engineering."
 Thomas is a graduate of Purdue University where he earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering, with a special emphasis in communications, in 1974 and 1975.
 After college he became a research engineer with Zenith Electronics, where he participated in the development of television ghost canceling systems, digital television technologies, as well as teletext and videotext systems.
 He was named manager of Videotext Engineering in 1980 and later served as manager -- and then director -- of CATV Communications for Zenith, where he played a major role in the creation of the industry's first true impulse two-way cable TV system. This development gave Zenith clients the opportunity to employ customer response units on set- top cable converters, allowing them to order pay-per-view events and respond to interactive programming.
 A Visionary Who Helped Develop the First Digital Audio Music System
 for Cable TV
 Thomas is a visionary who has played a key role in the development of digital cable TV communications systems in use today -- systems that were far ahead of their time when first developed in the mid-1980s. He began work on one such project in 1984 when he joined American Television and Communications (ATC), now a division of Time Warner Inc., where he spearheaded the design and development of DCAT, the first digital audio music system for cable television.
 Later, while still at ATC, Thomas became the project leader for "Media Watch," a new media research venture designed to rival services provided by A.C. Nielsen and BAR. Under his leadership, the ATC computer programming group developed software for remote minicomputers that would be used to measure the content of broadcast programming in key television markets across America. Largely in recognition of the success of the Media Watch venture, Nielsen recruited Thomas to the post of vice president, Engineering and Technology in 1988.
 While at Nielsen, Thomas was responsible for all technical and engineering aspects of media research and at-home surveying systems which gather information about viewers' watching habits, the impact of advertising, channel preferences and demographics.
 Thomas led the development of the Nielsen passive people meter, a leading-edge image recognition system. He also led efforts to design "consumer friendly" monitoring equipment and accelerated engineering efforts to integrate monitoring systems into traditional set-top converter boxes used in Nielsen households.
 He has also experimented with the use of wireless control systems that can be utilized to monitor multiple household entertainment centers. At Nielsen, Thomas promoted a vision of program and commercial encoding for easy identification and tracking through various delivery systems.
 Thomas has authored more than 20 technical papers in the areas of microprocessors, amateur radio, digital communications, ghost canceling teletext, vidwdata, two-way cable, digital audio, media research technology and HDTV. He has been granted five patents and two more are pending.
 About TV Guide On Screen
 TV Guide On Screen was formed in April of 1992 as a joint venture between News America Publications Inc., parent of TV Guide Magazine, and Liberty Media. The company is currently developing three on-screen programming services: "On Screen" -- passive listings for today's analog set-top converters; "On Screen Interactive" -- for the digital age to dawn in 1994; and "On Screen Interactive Plus" -- with advanced graphics, personalized interfaces, editorial coverage and other features of TV Guide Magazine, to meet the demands of technology and television enthusiasts. The first in-home consumer trial of the On Screen Interactive service was completed in August of 1993 with customers served by TCI Cablevision of Colorado. Beta tests and nationwide deployment of TV Guide On Screen services are scheduled for 1994.
 -0- 12/01/93
 /CONTACT: Beverly Voelz of TV Guide On Screen, 303-267-6803; or Gary Quackenbush or Bill Freed of Neale-May & Partners Inc., 415-328-5555, for TV Guide On Screen/

CO: TV Guide On Screen; TV Guide Magazine; News America Publications ST: California, Colorado IN: ENT SU: PER

PK-RB -- SJ004 -- 9087 12/01/93 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 1, 1993

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