Time Warner Cable Eyes Two Divisions: Sources

Time Warner Cable operations are consolidating to two divisions - East and West - from five regions in the coming months, in an effort to increase efficiencies that also could result in some operational executive vice presidents leaving voluntarily, people familiar with the plans have said.
Some job losses, beyond retirements, are also expected to occur as a result of the combinations, one person said.

Time Warner Cable communications executives would only say last week that no external announcements of any such moves were planned at this time. According to three people familiar with the activity, though, some executive moves connected with the changes have already occurred, and a broad outline of the consolidation to two divisions was announced internally weeks ago.

The East division, headed by executive vice president of operations Carol Hevey, is expected to absorb the New York City and Midwest regional operations.

The West division, headed by EVP of operations William R. Goetz Jr., will absorb the Texas region, people familiar with the moves said.

It's expected that the Texas region's elimination will happen this year and the Midwest move will happen later, possibly 2011, the people said. Timing of the New York City move into the East division was unclear, but it was said that the Midwest move would take the longest to be completed.

The company has been moving toward a more centralized approach in areas such as marketing (including media buys) and digital channel lineups, partly to save money. These moves are described as a continuation of that effort.

Regional consolidations have already been happening at Time Warner Cable. Last November, the East region was created when the Carolina region absorbed the former Northeast region (upstate New York and Portland, Maine).

Also last fall, the West region grew by absorbing the National division, which was a catchall for systems scattered among a dozen states.

At that time, Steven Pagano, who had been executive vice president of operations in the West, took on a corporate EVP role, working on initiatives involving customer care and local programming. Goetz succeeded him in the West.

The other regional EVPs of operations are Barry Rosenblum in Texas, Terry O'Connell in the Midwest, which includes Ohio and Wisconsin, and Howard Szarfarc in New York City. Their future plans have not been announced, but Rosenblum, for example, is said to have openly discussed leaving the company when his current contract expires.

Within the new East and West divisions, certain executives have already been assigned key posts.

They include Brian Kelly as chief marketing officer in the East. He had been residential services president in the former Carolina region.

John Keib, who had been residential services president for the former Northeast region, becomes residential services president in the West, again according to people familiar with the moves.

Time Warner Cable has not confirmed any of these changes.

In the same vein, it is said that Mike Munley, who had been president of network operations/engineering in Carolina, becomes president of residential services in the East.

The second-biggest U.S. cable operator, Time Warner Cable has about 12.8 million video subscribers.

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 Nexttv.com. 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.