Windstream Cuts Back

Service Provider To Eliminate 350 Jobs
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Windstream Communications announced last Thursday (November 20) that it plans to eliminate 350 positions by December 1, with about 120 of those affected jobs being eliminated through a voluntary buyout initiative.

Windstream, which has about 13,000 employees, said it was cutting back as it looks to improve its cost structure and to streamline its operations. The company said the decision will result in annualized savings of about $20 million and that it expects to incur a charge of $7.5 million in the fourth quarter for severance and other employee benefit costs.

“Today’s actions are difficult, but necessary to effectively manage costs. While we are eliminating certain roles across the company, we continue to invest in strategic areas of our business to grow revenue, better serve customers and create value for shareholders,” company president and CEO Jeff Gardner said, in a statement.

One of those strategic areas of focus is video. In October, Windstream announced plans to launch “Kinetic,” a next-gen TV service powered by Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform that will initially be offered to more than 50,000 homes in Lincoln, Neb.

Windstream, which competes with Time Warner Cable in Lincoln, expects to roll out Kinetic to other markets in 2015, but hasn’t identified them. Windstream will continue to offer a video service bundle through its existing partnership with Dish Network.

In July, Windstream’s stock got a boost when it announced plans to spin off its network assets as a real estate investment trust (REIT), a move that could give it big tax breaks.