If Dick Tauber had a catchphrase, it was, "Hey, it's Tauber" - he said it every day, multiple times a day, so often that it's like a permanent recording in my mind. That's how I'll always remember him - through the cadence of his voice speaking that phrase.

Dick hired me onto the CNN Satellite desk in the summer of 1996. I knew nothing about satellites and I was overwhelmed, but Dick was immediately disarming. He had that rare mix in a leader; somebody who had gravitas and exuded competence, but who also didn't take himself or the job too seriously. He created an environment where you were encouraged to take chances and where it was okay to fail as long as you learned from your mistakes. I never in my life ever saw or heard him yell at a subordinate or second-guess a decision. One example that stands out in my mind was during the lead-up to Gulf War Two. We were in a planning meeting at CNN with all the bigwigs, and there was pressure to execute with the same kind of technological touchdown that Dick managed back during the first war with the famous 4-wire system. I was not a guy who would normally speak up in those types of meetings but I found myself saying, "We can do mobile video via Inmarsat from a vehicle embedded with a fighting force." This turned out to be the "wave of steel" technology that CNN used the first night of that conflict - but what I remember most about it was that when I basically promised we could do it (with no proof we could), Dick let me speak, took me aside after the meeting, and said, "I hope you know what you're talking about because you just promised something that's never been done before and we have 3 months to do it." And then he laughed and said, "Let's go get lunch." That was Dick to a T. He's was like a second father to me - with all the ups and downs such a relationship could have. As time went on we didn't always see eye to eye. Dick was perpetually calm and friendly, a guy who would try to avoid friction. ...
see more If Dick Tauber had a catchphrase, it was, "Hey, it's Tauber" - he said it every day, multiple times a day, so often that it's like a permanent recording in my mind. That's how I'll always remember him - through the cadence of his voice speaking that phrase.

Dick hired me onto the CNN Satellite desk in the summer of 1996. I knew nothing about satellites and I was overwhelmed, but Dick was immediately disarming. He had that rare mix in a leader; somebody who had gravitas and exuded competence, but who also didn't take himself or the job too seriously. He created an environment where you were encouraged to take chances and where it was okay to fail as long as you learned from your mistakes. I never in my life ever saw or heard him yell at a subordinate or second-guess a decision. One example that stands out in my mind was during the lead-up to Gulf War Two. We were in a planning meeting at CNN with all the bigwigs, and there was pressure to execute with the same kind of technological touchdown that Dick managed back during the first war with the famous 4-wire system. I was not a guy who would normally speak up in those types of meetings but I found myself saying, "We can do mobile video via Inmarsat from a vehicle embedded with a fighting force." This turned out to be the "wave of steel" technology that CNN used the first night of that conflict - but what I remember most about it was that when I basically promised we could do it (with no proof we could), Dick let me speak, took me aside after the meeting, and said, "I hope you know what you're talking about because you just promised something that's never been done before and we have 3 months to do it." And then he laughed and said, "Let's go get lunch." That was Dick to a T. He's was like a second father to me - with all the ups and downs such a relationship could have. As time went on we didn't always see eye to eye. Dick was perpetually calm and friendly, a guy who would try to avoid friction. I was the opposite, confrontational, and could be a hothead. But we made a good team all those years, and I would not be where I am today in this industry without DT. That's an ultimate truth. I don't know what I'd be doing right now, but it wouldn't be in the satellite industry, and it wouldn't nearly be as rewarding.