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Charter goes for Vogel

As expected, Charter Communications tapped Liberty Media executive Carl Vogel to replace ex-chief Jerry Kent.

Vogel was named not just president, but also CEO, something that had been a point of negotiation two weeks ago.

Since the departure of the highly-regarded Kent has crushed Charter's stock price, Charter Chairman Paul Allen is desparate to project confidence in the stability of Charter's management team.

Vogel recent gig was essentially - as one cable executive put it - "fighting fires" for Liberty Chairman John Malone, taking on projects or crises as needed.

He was most recently a senior vice president of liberty and chief executive officer of Liberty Satellite, an amalgam of investments in broadband satellite and ailing hotel pay-per-view provider On Command. Absent from the Charter-issued resume is Malone's installation of Vogel as CEO of alternate access provider ICG. But Vogel quickly exited after just a month when he discovered that the place wasn't just on fire, but in a financial free-fall.

Charter's pumps up Vogel's earlier post of executive vice president and COO of field operations for AT&T Broadband where "he oversaw and managed the operations of all AT&T's cable broadband properties which serve more than 11 million customers." But he held that post less than six months.

Before that, he served as president of PrimeStar, the ailing, MSO-backed DBS service. From 1994 to 1997 Vogel was COO, then president, of DBS service EchoStar Communications, reporting to petulent Chairman Charlie Ergen. He spent a decade at Jones Intercable, including a stint as chief financial officer.

"With the addition of Carl, Charter has one of the strongest and most experienced management teams in the cable business," said in a statement.
- John M. Higgins