Bresnan Communications Co. won't have to toot its own
horn when the time comes to introduce itself to 29 communities currently served by
Instead, the New York-based MSO will rely on regulators
from one-dozen cities where it offers cable to testify about its reputation for service
and responsiveness to community needs.
Their endorsement will come in the form of a 13-minute
video produced by Bresnan, featuring officials from towns in three states virtually raving
about the company's service and its willingness to work with municipal governments on
Pending an expected first-quarter definitive agreement with
TCI, the video will be distributed to 29 communities with more than 440,000 TCI customers
-- systems that Bresnan proposes to operate under a joint venture with the Colorado-based
As such, it will soon be approaching the city officials
that are responsible for transferring those franchises and introducing itself as the
prospective new operator in town.
Who better, then, to attest to the company's
capabilities than other satisfied regulators, insisted chairman Bill Bresnan.
'It's one thing to say something about yourself:
It's another to have people that you've worked with over the years say it,'
City officials watching the tape will hear from the likes
of M. Cameron Howes, mayor of Marquette, Mich., who said his city has reached 'a
level of comfort and trust with Bresnan that if they say something, we believe it.'
Another venue heard from will be Mackinac, Mich., a
community that lacked for cable service until Bresnan 'stepped up to the plate and
brought us into the 21st century,' according to Mayor Margaret Dowd.
Elsewhere, Gary Doty, mayor of Duluth, Minn., commended
Bresnan for taking an interest in the community, despite being the only operator in town,
while Bonnie Cumberland, mayor of Brainard, Minn., reported that a lack of consumer
complaints testifies to Bresnan's service.
'In politics, no news is good news,' Cumberland
said on the tape. 'If people aren't complaining, then they're satisfied
with the service.'
Meanwhile, Norm Gruber, Marquette city clerk, will be heard
complimenting a state-of-the-art Bresnan system that has relieved the city from having to
worry about its future telecommunications needs.
'The city hasn't had to become involved, because
Bresnan is doing everything that you might reasonably expect in a market like this,'
Bresnan said he hopes that the video will mollify some
local officials in communities that may have had strained relationships with TCI in the
'There are some relations that could be better,'
Bresnan conceded. 'The idea is to show them how we operate and what changes
we're going to make.'
In the end, the company hopes that the tape will help to
sell officials in its new locations on a 'corporate culture' built on common
'Operating a cable system is not rocket science,'
Bresnan said. 'It's simply doing right by people.'