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RealTime IT News

Comcast Aligns Cable Operations

Cable giant Comcast is filling in its ranks out East to beef up its cable operations in preparation for some new customers.

The Philadelphia-based cable TV and broadband Internet provider announced Thursday the promotion of Kevin Casey to president of the newly formed New England division of its cable operations. The company also expanded its Eastern cable operations with Michael Doyle as president.

The New England division will encompass systems in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Western Pennsylvania and Maine. The Eastern division will handle customers in metro and central Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Virginia.

The management shuffle comes as officials announce the departure of former Mid-Atlantic division President Steven Burch, who will move on to take over as CEO of U.K.-based broadband provider NTL International.

Burch, Casey and the presidents of the three other cable divisions -- Midwest, Southern and Western -- report to David Watson, Comcast executive vice president of operations.

What was the Mid-Atlantic division has been divvied up among the others to better align cable customers to the geographic region they live. For example, the Mid-Atlantic region included cable customers in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as systems in Southern California.

"This will let us better geographically cluster our systems, which will create operating efficiencies," a Comcast spokesperson said.

Comcast is also getting ready for a wave of new customers in the wake of its April announcement to acquire competitor Adelphia.

The company, along with Time Warner , fronted a $17.6 billion cash-and-stock deal to carve up Adelphia's operations and approximately 5.3 million cable customers. As part of the deal, 1.8 million Adelphia customers would go to Comcast.

Comcast and Time Warner also struck a deal to swap cable customers in certain geographic regions, with Comcast also agreeing to wind down its ownership stake in Time Warner and Time Warner Entertainment.

Rumors in October suggested Comcast and search giant Google were negotiating to buy Time Warner's stake in AOL.

Comcast said it's too soon to discuss Adelphia integration plans at this time; the company doesn't expect the deal to close until the spring 2006. When the deal was announced, Comcast executives said they expected to spend $150 million upgrading Adelphia's network.