Charter Communications Inc. CEO Jerry Kent last week denied
reports that the expected merger between the St.. Louis-based MSO and Marcus Cable will
result in 200 Marcus corporate employees being shown the door.
Calling from the Bahamas, where he was vacationing last
week, Kent said "no decision" had been made on how many Marcus employees --
beyond the obvious executive types -- will be relocating to the new St. Louis
"But a number of these people are individuals that I
hired into the cable business," Kent said.
Rumors of massive cutbacks in personnel have been
circulating since Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced that he would purchase Charter
for $4.5 billion and merge it with Marcus.
Kent said several possibilities are being considered,
including keeping Marcus' national service center in Dallas open to complement
Charter's existing center in Missouri. Another is keeping Marcus' accounting
functions in Texas. Eliminating those positions would only require filling them again
elsewhere, he said.
"And in this market, that's not too easy,"
Sources inside Charter said that Kent had asked his
employees to contact anybody they knew at Marcus and reassure them that "the merger
doesn't mean they're automatically out."
"Jerry doesn't believe you double the size of
your company, then try and run it with the pathetic souls you have on hand," said one