Jerry Laufer – A Perspective on the Cable Industry – from 1960 to the Early 1980s

Jerry Laufer describes his career from the early days in Oregon repairing televisions and building tube amplifiers for an early cable system to his days at Tomco, where he developed some of the first frequency modulation systems used for video transmission in cable television. Along the way, he worked with some cable luminaries, including Monty Rifkin, JC Sparkman and John Malone, building cable systems where none existed in areas as diverse as Great Falls, Montana to Buffalo, New York. His career parallels the go-go years of the young cable industry from the 1960s to 1980s.

He settled in San Jose for after rebuilding the Gill Cable system. Then, after developing a low-cost spectrum analyzer, based on a set-top box, he and John Messmer moved to Tomco, where this author had the pleasure of meeting him. Later, after Catel’s purchase of Tomco, this author had the good fortune to directly work for Jerry. His positive attitude, diligent work ethic and words of wisdom made a big impression, making him one of the best bosses ever.