Adelphia Shuffle for Comcast, Time Warner


With its $17.6 billion purchase of Adelphia Communications Corp. expected to be approved by the end of the first half of 2006, Comcast Corp. said it will restructure its operating divisions into five units, creating one new division (New England) and expanding four others.

Gone is the Atlantic division -- its president, Stephen Burch, has agreed to become CEO of British cable operator NTL Inc. -- and a new division, New England, will be created.

The New England division will take some systems from Comcast’s Eastern division -- New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Connecticut -- and one from the defunct Atlantic division (western Pennsylvania). The new division will be headed by president Kevin Casey, formerly regional senior vice president for New England, and it has about 3.5 million customers.

Comcast’s Eastern division will expand to include some systems from the Atlantic unit -- Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware and Virginia -- and will retain existing systems in metro Philadelphia and central Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The unit, currently headed by president Michael Doyle, will have about 5.3 million customers. CN8: The Comcast Network, Comcast’s regional news, talk and entertainment channel, will continue to report to Doyle.

William Connors will head the Midwest division, consisting of 4.1 million subscribers in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri, and John Ridall will lead the Southern division (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina) with 4.7 million customers.

Rounding out the divisions is the Western division, headed by Brad Dusto and including systems in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California, New Mexico and Utah with 5.4 million customers. New Mexico was formerly in the Atlantic division.

All five divisions will report to Comcast executive VP of operations Dave Watson.

Time Warner Cable -- which will receive about 3.5 million customers from Adelphia and Comcast as part of the Adelphia deal -- has also been restructuring its regional divisions to accommodate the additional subscribers.

The Los Angeles region, which will have about 1.9 million subscribers after the Adelphia deal closes, will be headed by executive VP of operations Roger Keating. Keating was previously president of the Los Angeles operation.

In November, Keating announced the presidents of three new Los Angeles-region divisions that will be created after the Adelphia closing -- North (Ventura County and northwest Los Angeles County), Metro (city of Los Angeles) and South (Orange, western San Bernardino and Riverside counties).

Former Rochester division president Jeffrey Hirsch will head up the Metro division, former southern Los Angeles VP and general manager Fred Stefany will head up the South division and former Comcast senior VP for southern California Debi Picciolo will head up the North region. All of the appointments are subject to the successful close of the Adelphia deal.

Time Warner Cable continues to flesh out its regional operations in anticipation of a successful closing of the Adelphia transaction.