Former Adelphia Call Center Finds Second Life

Call-center provider Empereon Marketing will serve up at least 450 new jobs over the next three years at The Tennis Center, the former Adelphia Communications operations hub now owned by Time Warner Cable in Coudersport, Pa.

After purchasing Adelphia last July along with Comcast for $17.6 billion, Time Warner closed the facility in February, effectively laying off about 500 former Adelphia employees.

“They have experience in all facets of what we were looking for,” Empereon CEO Travis Bowley said, regarding the area’s existing talent pool. “We’re doing outbound -- soon to be inbound there -- customer-service retention programs, cold calls, all of that stuff. And that’s exactly what they did out of that center before.”

In addition to Time Warner and Comcast, the major clients Empereon will serve from the center will be Bright House Networks, Charter Communications and Cox Communications.

The Tennis Center -- named for the full-sized tennis court underneath the first floor -- is a 30,000-square-foot facility with a capacity for 800 employees. Empereon committed to hiring at least 300 workers from the Coudersport area and a total of at least 450 employees over three years.

“As it looks right now, we’re going to be exceeding that,” Bowley added. “We didn’t realize the business was going to do what it’s doing, so I would say 450 on the low inside of three years.”

That may come as a relief to many former Adelphia employees whose unemployment benefits are scheduled to run out Aug. 7.

Time Warner is gifting The Tennis Center to the Potter County Redevelopment Authority, which, in turn, will sell to it to Empereon. The building is valued at

$3.5 million-$5 million, although Empereon and the PCRA are still in negotiations, likely for a fraction of that amount, according to Bowley.

Outbound telemarketing operations are scheduled to begin this fall, followed by inbound, customer service and technical-assistance services within the year.

While not supplying specifics, Bowley said the number of customer-service representatives he would hire per distributor would depend on the parameters set by the cable operators themselves. When a job for one operator is finished, those reps will be retained to work on other accounts. “We are gathering resumes now,” Bowley said. “As of Aug. 1, we will start hiring, and we’re going to hire by the droves.”

With three existing call centers in Phoenix; Aurora, Colo.; and Las Cruces, N.M., Empereon’s client list also includes media giants Tribune, Belo, McClatchey Newspapers and Gannett.