PrimeStar Inc. chairman and CEO Carl Vogel said last week
he does not expect to announce any further layoffs over the next few months.
PrimeStar late last month told its employees it would lay
off 275 people.
Vogel declined to publicize details of the severance
packages offered to the displaced workers, although he did say he believed all involved
were treated fairly. He said he did not make the cutbacks merely to make the company more
attractive to a potential equity partner, "but so that we would have a better company
for the long run."
Vogel said he believes the new organization will serve
PrimeStar well, whether the company gets the government go-ahead to move to a high-power
direct-broadcast satellite business or whether it stays at medium power.
"As long as I'm in charge, I think this is the
best organization going forward," Vogel said. While he admitted that further layoffs
would be a possibility if PrimeStar changes its management team under a new owner, he
added, "I don't foresee a different management team."
PrimeStar has no plans to replace several senior executives
who decided not to make the move from Philadelphia. Vogel said that PrimeStar president
Dan O'Brien will take over many of the responsibilities currently held by senior vice
president of marketing and programming Denny Wilkinson.
Vogel would not comment on whether any -- or how many -- of
the employees who were laid off had recently made the move from Philadelphia, where
PrimeStar Partners was headquartered before the company rolled up into a single entity. He
also declined to name individual persons or positions that were affected by the
"Layoffs were across the board," he said.
PrimeStar's cable ownership is looking to sell down
its stake in the company to help facilitate a move to high-power direct-broadcast
satellite. Vogel would not comment on the status of any such talks.
PrimeStar hopes a deal with one or more new equity partners
will help convince the U.S. Department of Justice to give PrimeStar the high-power
go-ahead before an antitrust trial is scheduled to go to court in February.
"Timing is very important," said Vogel.
"Sooner is better than later."