Charter Execs Exit in Reorg

Two vice presidents and two regional general managers lost their jobs in reorganizations at Charter Communications, the nation's third-largest cable multiple-system operator.

In all, 20 to 30 jobs were lost in a marketing reorganization and a “key market areas” consolidation, the company said. The best-known may have been Cathy Fogler, Denver-based general manager of video services, whose job was eliminated as the company flattened its marketing organization chart.

Jeff Jay, vice president of Web services, also saw his position eliminated, senior communications director Anita Lamont confirmed last week.

In an internal memo sent on April 18 and obtained by Multichannel News, Charter chief marketing officer Bob Quigley said “the structural changes that we are making today are designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our marketing execution and leverage the accomplishments of the past.”

Quigley did not agree to be interviewed last week to elaborate, but under him Charter has experimented with variously priced bundles, partly to stem basic subscriber losses. In March, the St. Louis-based operator reported it lost 66,400 basic subscribers in 2007's fourth quarter, ending the year down 116,300.

In the memo, Quigley pointed to increased numbers of telephone customers, improved high-speed Internet portal revenue and higher digital-video profit margins. “It is now time to realign our marketing assets to capitalize on these accomplishments and enhance our ability to maximize the effectiveness of our execution and thereby, our ability to compete.”

Quigley's memo noted that Ted Schremp, who had run Charter Telephone, oversees video and high-speed internet business lines, too, and the Charter Business product portfolio, as senior vice president of product management and strategy.

Lamont said that change occurred within the last few months.

At the field offices, Charter consolidated some key market areas, Lamont said. Louisiana and Tennessee operations now will operate as a single key market area, and several key market areas in Michigan were combined into one, run by Joe Boullion.

Lamont confirmed a report last week that Alabama general manager Don Karell was leaving after a combination among George and Alabama operations that left Matt Favre in charge there, and that Louisiana general manager Kip Kraemer left as well. Aimee Pfannstiel runs the enlarged Tennessee operation.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.