To the Editor: The Great Centralization Debate


We were surprised to read your characterization of ourrecent move to create a National Markets Group ("MediaOne Closes Southeast RegionalOffice," April 13, 1998, page 20). The contention of the writer that we engaged in a"push toward centralization" is simply wrong.

Due to a system trade that will result in a significantincrease in our presence in south Florida, we will establish a Miami regional-managementoffice later this year. As that market will dominate what is currently our Southeastregion (now based in Jacksonville, Fla.), we felt the need to make some additionalorganizational changes designed to support the systems outside of south Florida. Inaddition, we are successfully pursuing a long-held strategy -- shared by several othercompanies in the industry -- to strengthen system clusters in our major markets. In fact,by the end of this year, more than three-quarters of our customers will be in majorclusters served by market-based management. The remaining systems, while not sufficient insize to support stand-alone regional organizations, still require strong managementsupport.

Our response to this has been to create a National MarketsGroup that will provide support to our systems in markets such as Jacksonville and Naples,Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Ossining and Wappinger Falls, N.Y. Each of these systemscontinues to be headed by a strong general manager and a local management team.

Due to the geographic spread of these systems -- andpotentially others that could be added to the group -- we chose to locate the NationalMarkets Group in Denver. This group will be independent of our corporate management group,and it will, in fact, operate very much like other MediaOne regional-management teamsthroughout the country.

The creation of a National Markets Group is a byproduct ofour work to bring management closer to customers, which, we believe, is vital to oursuccess in the marketplace.

Ron Cooper
Executive Vice President

<p> <strong id="d9e35-18-b"><br> <em id="d9e36-18-i">Editor's Response:<br></em><br> </strong> </p>

Mr. Cooper had the opportunity to state his point of view in the story, but he did not respond to repeated calls asking for comment before deadline. MediaOne acknowledged that it plans to run a number of local systems from its headquarters in Denver through a new "National Markets Group." Characterizing this move as a "push toward greater centralization" hardly seems inaccurate.