Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace wasn’t dishing about the reported talks to acquire MGM, ably ducking questions about TW’s interest in the movie studio. He was a smidgen more talkative about Adelphia, telling investors that TW might finance an Adelphia purchase through a reverse merger of Time Warner Cable. In a reverse merger, TW would give up equity in TW Cable to Adelphia shareholders; it’s a logical step considering TW’s prevented from spinning off the cable unit because of the federal investigation into accounting at AOL. While TW is potentially interested in Adelphia, it has done no due diligence yet, Pace added. — Charter’s Carl Vogel hyped the MSO’s all-digital system in Long Beach, CA, noting simultrans (simulcasting digital and analog) will be a big part of its planning process for ’05. It also could provide relief to folks (and Congress members) who complain there’s not enough choice on cable. "[Simultrans] will allow greater flexibility in packaging and allow us to be more competitive with satellite," Vogel said. Due to operational savings, the possibilities could include programming packages between basic and the avg $49/month expanded basic package, he said. Charter’s interim co-CFO Derek Chang said the MSO still is looking to lower debt by selling non-strategic assets. "You may see us go down in size a bit, but ultimately, we will end up with a more cohesive set of assets." Adelphia probably has held up some of the trade activity, he said. "People are waiting to see how it’s settled."

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