...And irked Malone exits AT&T early

AT&T Corp. director John Malone resigned from AT&T's board a month earlier than planned, saying that he's been cut out of the process considering Comcast's $58 billion bid for the company's cable unit.

Malone, Liberty Media Corp. chairman, is annoyed that he was excluded from two board reviews of Comcast's earlier approaches to buy the company. But AT&T attributed Malone's early exit to the fact that the Comcast process was likely to extend well beyond his original resignation date.

AT&T honcho Michael Armstrong thanked Malone for his service to AT&T "John Malone is a unique figure in American business history and we have been fortunate to have the benefit of his insight and vision," Armstrong said. In his resignation letter, Malone said the Comcast bid was "insufficient" and urged Armstrong to demand that any deal cover AT&T's stakes in Time Warner Entertainment and Cablevision Systems Corp., assets worth $15 billion to $20 billion that Comcast would rather not deal with. - John Higgins