Bellville Leaving Charter

Charter Communications Inc. executive vice president and chief operating officer Margaret Bellville has resigned after less than two years on the job, the nation’s fourth-largest MSO said last Friday.

Bellville, one of cable’s highest-ranking female operations executives, joined Charter Dec. 4, 2002, as executive VP of operations after a short stint as CEO of streaming-media provider Incanta Inc.

She became COO about two weeks later, after predecessor Dave Barford was terminated for his part in an accounting scandal. Barford and former Charter chief financial officer Kent Kalkwarf were indicted on fraud charges in federal court in St. Louis in July 2003. Those charges are still pending.

Prior to Incanta, Bellville spent six years at Cox Communications Inc., including about two years as COO, before resigning in January 2001. Her cable career began at Century Communications Corp. in 1993.

Bellville is the fourth senior Charter executive to resign in the past three months. Senior VP of marketing and advertising sales Kip Simonson and senior VP of Midwest operations Lee Clayton resigned in July. And CFO Michael Huseby left in August to take the same title at Cablevision Systems Corp.

“We have appreciated Maggie’s positive contributions over the past two years, and we respect her decision to depart the company,” Charter CEO Carl Vogel said in a prepared statement.

Charter spokesman Dave Mack said Bellville left on her own accord. He added that it hasn’t been determined whether or not the company would seek a permanent replacement.

In the meantime, Bellville’s duties will be split among several executives.

Mike Lovett, senior VP of Midwest-division operations, has been promoted to executive VP of operations and customer care, reporting to Vogel. Bellville’s other responsibilities will be split between senior VP of marketing and sales Jim Heneghan executive VP of advanced services and business development Tom Cullen and senior VP of programming Sue Hamilton.

For more on Bellville’s resignation, please see Mike Farrell’s story on page three of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.