Jerry Kent — seemingly recruiting a management team for the future cable systems he hopes to buy — has hired programming chief Patty McCaskill away from his old MSO, Charter Communications Inc.
McCaskill, Charter's veteran vice president of programming and pay-per-view, tendered her resignation last Monday, Feb. 3. She immediately started work at Kent's company, Cequel III. Kent has already brought three other executives over from Charter, which is in a cutback mode.
Cequel III declined to offer any specifics about McCaskill's role at the company.
"Right now, the company has made it clear all along that its intention is to examine, invest in and look for management opportunities in both cable and telecommunications areas, and as they are getting busy, they are hiring up the talent they anticipate they'll need," a Cequel III spokesman said.
Diane Schneiderjohn, Charter's senior vice president of marketing and programming, and the MSO's existing programming-department staff will handle McCaskill's duties until a replacement is named, according to a Charter spokesman. McCaskill had reported to Schneiderjohn.
Charter senior vice president of operations David McCall, responsible for the MSO's Southeast division, also resigned, on Jan. 31. Terry Cordova, vice president of engineering for the Southeast, has replaced McCall on an interim basis, the Charter spokesman said.
There has been some shuffling of longtime MSO programming executives in the past few months, and there could be more. Matt Bond, who had been AT&T Broadband's executive vice president of programming before going to the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, joined Comcast Corp. in December. He was named Comcast's executive vice president of programming.
There has been speculation for weeks that Bond's successor in the programming department at AT&T Broadband, Allan Singer, will be part of William Schleyer and Bob Cooper's new team at Adelphia Communications Inc. Schleyer and Cooper, of course, are also ex-AT&T officials.
Singer, whose title at AT&T had been senior vice president of programming, left the company after it completed its merger with Comcast. He resides in Denver, where Schleyer is moving Adelphia's headquarters from Coudersport, Pa.
Singer couldn't be reached for comment last week. An Adelphia spokesman declined to comment.
Regarding McCaskill, word that she might be leaving Charter first surfaced at the Western Show in December, according to sources. She raised the ire of programmers earlier in the year when she sent them letters seeking pricey rebates for non-paying disconnect subscribers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation later queried programmers about those letters as part a probe into the way Charter was counting its customers.