BY JON LAFAYETTE As Charter Communications awaits the names of those being laid off and the results of a federal grand jury investigation into subscriber counts, another key executive has walked out the door: Jim Holanda, who, as regional VP, Central division, was charged with the vital task of integrating and upgrading St. Louis, the MSO’s largest cluster and headquarters market. Holanda joins Steve Simmons this week as president and GM of the new Patriot Media and Communications with 80,000 subs in suburban New Jersey. Holanda worked closely with Bill Shreffler, SVP of operations, Midwest division, who left a month ago citing personal reasons. “Bill had left. This restructuring was happening. I didn’t know what the outcome would be,” says Holanda, who most likely would have wound up overseeing the St. Louis area as a system VP. Meanwhile, Charter’s senior management team met in St. Louis last week as plans to restructure in the first quarter were being finalized. Late last month, Charter president and CEO Carl Vogel fired CFO Kent Kalkwarf, just two weeks after the two made major presentations to financial analysts, and COO Dave Barford, who had been on leave since October. According to the company, the firings came after a review “of various matters, including those relating to the previously disclosed grand jury investigation.” Kalkwarf and Barford have not been identified as targets of the investigation. Recently hired cable veteran Maggie Bellville took Barford’s place as COO. Steve Schumm, who joined the company when Jerry Kent was CEO, added acting CFO to his responsibilities as chief administrative officer. Turner Broadcasting and most of the major MSOs appeared to reach year-end agreements that enabled subscribers to see NBA basketball and other sports events on TNT. Some operators, including Comcast and Cable One, have short-term carriage deals pending the completion of more formal contracts, according to one source familiar with the talks. Turner was seeking 10% increases in the license fee for TNT. Turner executives declined to comment. Dean Deyo, the president of Time Warner Cable’s Mid-South division, is stepping down to become executive director of community affairs for the division. Deyo, who has held the top post for 23 years, is the only president the three-state division has had.… The Senate Commerce Committee meets on Jan. 14 to review the state of competition in the telecommunications industry, including cable and satellite television; top FCC officials are expected to testify.… CNN and Fox News Channel today meet with ABC, CBS and the Associated Press today to discuss the future of the Voter News Service.… TNN this month launches 2NRTV, a new half-hour performance-car series airing on weekends, produced by Cable World‘s parent company, Primedia.… Comcast Corp., Cox Communications and Insight Communications have all used the new benchmarks to report their latest quarterly results. In the Dec. 9 issue, it was incorrectly reported that Insight was the only MSO to use the benchmarks so far.

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