MSOs Kick In to Help Disaster Victims

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New York— AOL Time Warner Inc. last week said it would donate $5 million to be distributed among six relief organizations helping victims and family members affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The company, one of several media players donating funds to aid the relief effort, said it is giving to the American Red Cross, the September 11th Fund, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the New York Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund, The National Organization for Victim Assistance and The Twin Towers Fund.

AOL Time Warner also said that it will match employee contributions to the six organizations, up to $1,000 per employee.

The company's America Online Internet service also created a section that allowed subscribers to donate money to three of the relief organizations, and have the donations billed directly to their AOL accounts. By Friday, the online service said its subscribers had contributed $14.5 million to the American Red Cross, the International Association of Fire Fighters and The September 11th Fund.

Comcast Corp. president Stephen Burke said the Comcast Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, every employee contribution to the American Red Cross or the United Way's September 11th Fund.

Employees were asked to forward copies of receipts from online donations, or copies of personal checks by Sept. 30 to Diane Tuppeny-Hess, Executive Director, The Comcast Foundation, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19102.

Comcast also said it would contribute $1 million worth of commercial inventory on its cable systems to aid organizations supporting relief efforts. Comcast planned to join the NCTA-coordinated program to air public service announcements. And employees were encouraged to take part in related voluntary activities, in consultation with local management.

"Comcast has a long history of responding to the needs of our communities. These needs will be ongoing, and we will continue to dedicate our resources to these efforts in the weeks ahead," Burke said in a letter to employees on Sept. 14. "With your support, we can make a real and positive difference at this difficult time. Thank you for everything you do."

New York-based Insight Communications Co. last week established a relief fund in response to the terrorist attacks in New York.

Entitled the "Insight New York Relief Fund," it allows all Insight employees to make contributions by check or through automatic payroll deduction. In response to requests, the New York-based MSO also indicated donations would be accepted from friends and business associates of the company as well.

Insight committed to matching all donations by its employees. All proceeds will benefit the Twin Towers Fund, established by the New York City Public/Private Initiatives Inc., a City Hall-based organization, in order to assist families of fallen city rescue workers.

"As both corporate citizens and members of the New York community, the catastrophic events of last week had a tremendous impact on our company," Insight CEO Michael Willner said in a statement. "While we're extremely fortunate that our employees were all unharmed, we all felt the need to reach out to the many people of New York who are in tremendous need right now."

Anyone interested in making a donation should make a check payable to "Insight N.Y. Relief Fund Inc." and forward it as follows: Insight Communications, 810 7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019. Attn: Relief Fund.