& cplSiteName &

Charter Jumps Gun on TWC Restructuring

Mari Silbey
4/26/2016
100%
0%

Although Charter is still waiting on official approval to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, integration plans for both MSOs are already well underway.

According to a document shared by an internal source, "New Charter" sent a communication to Time Warner Cable employees about a month ago detailing plans to shift operations from select TWC and Bright House network centers to existing Charter facilities in St. Louis, Mo. and Austin, Texas. The source reports that regional TWC executives appeared to be "blindsided" by the mass email and had little reassurance to offer existing employees beyond encouraging them to explore potential job opportunities in the new locations.

Affected Network Operations Centers (NOCs) as detailed by the mass email include Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) facilities in: Charlotte, N.C.; Herndon, Va.; and Syracuse, N.Y. A Bright House Networks NOC in St. Petersburg, Fla. is also among the sites affected. The overall transition is supposed to begin six months after the two Charter acquisitions close and could take as long as 18 months to complete.

Asked about the restructuring plans, a Time Warner Cable spokesperson did not deny any details, but did suggest that communications had been smoother than the recount above implies.

In a statement provided to Light Reading, the spokesperson said: "Over the last several months, we've worked closely together on integration planning and communications. The Charter team is very respectful of TWC employees and we are pleased with the process."

A Charter Communications Inc. spokesperson expressed disbelief that any executives had been blindsided by communications about the planned merger transition, saying that "the management teams of all three companies have been working in lockstep," including the communications departments.


For more on cable market trends, join us at the Video Summit, part of our upcoming Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, May 24-25. Register now!

Corporate mergers inevitably produce friction, and it's not unexpected to see Charter planning to close certain offices to reduce redundant operations. What's interesting to see is how much of the plans to consolidate MSO facilities appear to have been decided and widely communicated internally before regulatory approval was virtually assured.

The US Department of Justice approved the Charter deals with conditions yesterday at the same time that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced he is also recommending approval with conditions in place. The full Commission still has to vote on the matter, but with Wheeler's endorsement, approval by the FCC is expected. The final hurdle for Charter is likely to be overcome on May 12 when the California Public Utilities Commission hands down its regulatory decision. As with Chairman Wheeler, a state judge in California has already recommended approval with conditions. (See Wheeler Recommends Charter Deals.)

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 11:14:45 AM
I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
 

There are limits to how an acquirer can act before a deal closes.  Integration plans are supposed to be developed, but it could be argued that this doesn't allow TWC to act as an independent company.  People will leave critical positions based on the information and the vote still needs to happen and it can fail.

seven

 
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
4/26/2016 | 11:26:40 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
brooks7- I wonder this too, though it doesn't appear that Charter is worried about acting ahead of approval. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 11:47:10 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
From the outside, this looks poorly handled. I imagine it looks even worse from the inside for TWC employees. Anyone who's been involved on the short end of a corporate merger can empathize. The situation is bleaker when the acquirer is somewhat unsophisticated.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 1:30:30 PM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
Mari,

The aren't exactly acting and this would be a super gray (or grey) area of the law.  The companies are supposed to act independently before the deal actually closes via the shareholder vote.   Charter hasn't given anyone an order - they have provided information to what will become (if the vote passes) new employees.  

The theoretical problem happens if the vote fails.  A number of people will have quit by the time the deal closes.  That means that it will be difficult for TWC to execute its business and make people more like to vote to merge.

The people at Charter may have considered it a kindness.  A type of early severence.  You know your job is going away and so "head's up go get a new one".  Lots of G&A people will be facing the same challenge.

seven

 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/3/2016 | 10:49:03 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
Yes, it is a bit curious that communication among the entities was not handled better. Although, it's not clear that it was as confusing as may have been reported, jumping the gun before the regulators's approval must as been embarassing after it was reported.
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 80-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.