A Remembrance: Salute to Tom & Scott

We are continuing our memorial to two well-loved and seminal figures in the interactive/advanced TV industry, Tom Hagopian and Scott Higgins, with this remembrance from Allison Dollar, CEO of the ITV Alliance:

By Allison Dollar

It’s hard to fathom that our community has lost two of its leading lights so early and almost literally at the same time. Our comrades in arms, Tom Hagopian and Scott Higgins were fundamentally committed to interactive television, both as a business, and as a social cause, the latter of which is over overlooked. Their contributions have been beyond measure for our industry as it has taken root, and will live on in the fruits to come as it blossoms.  

Tom Hagopian embodied the term ‘an officer and a gentleman.’ He was a very correct person in the best old fashioned sense, correct in demeanor, dress, decorum. You could trust Tom to offer sage advice and considered counsel without injecting undue emotion or his own best interest into the equation. He was the original standup guy-- straightforward, organized and loyal, with an underlying understated gentleness that balanced out his solidity. His word was his bond, and he knew how to manage and navigate these waters toward measureable success without distraction.    

Scott Higgins glowed with a ball of energy, bowling us over with his enthusiasm. He never objected to leaping ahead in the vision. Scott always had a kind and friendly word, and even when politically risky, was willing to consider collaborating with the competition. He showed up with his full A game every time. Scott’s left and right brain were highly in sync, and we all appreciated his creativity in figuring out how to fill the round holes of corporate objectives with the square pegs of new models. 

As I knew them, these guys were grown-ups, refreshingly consistent and reliable, standouts in what is often unfortunately a ‘bro’ culture. Along with their smarts and acumen, they were true and unabashed believers in the ITV cause. Not incidentally, when we formed the ITV Alliance in 2002, they were early champions. OpenTV was a founder, with EchoStar not far behind. And from there we had a board in which Dish, DirecTV and other competitors sat in companionable harmony around the table in service to the larger goals which we’d identified collectively. These rooms were among the first times all the stakeholders—advertising, content, technology, distribution--had voluntarily taken a seat together to build an ecosystem which depends on these interdependencies. Scott and Tom understood how it should be done for the business, and why it must be done for society. We love them for their vision and commitment, and, most important, for themselves as good people.

We will miss them terribly.

Allison can be reached at allisondollar@gmail.com.


North America