Name: Randall Stephenson
Title: Chairman/CEO, AT&T

 

Why Him? What’s this? Big bad AT&T down at #42… so far below Verizon in the CableFAX 100 pecking order? How could this be? Well, perhaps we’re being a tad harsh, but Verizon continues to be a much bigger threat to cable at the moment. To be fair, it’s not because Verizon’s a genius or AT&T is inept. Quite the contrary, a lot of smart folks (many of them former cable industry hands) work at both telcos and seem to have at least convinced Wall Street that… “cable’s goin’ down!” Randall Stephenson is by all accounts a smart guy who has given no indication he will pull back predecessor Ed Whitacre’s plan to take over the U-verse. But AT&T has been perhaps just a bit ahead of its time with the IPTV play—a fact not necessarily aided by its reliance on Microsoft’s “not ready for prime time” IPTV interface. Still, there’s no denying that AT&T and its plans to take on cable in its vast territory aren’t going away any time soon. Programming chief Dan York has done a stellar job inking deals with major programmers and setting the stage for a supposed AT&T juggernaut. OK. We’re still waiting. But despite AT&T’s new blood at the top, something tells us that Ma Bell has something up her sleeve. It will be interesting to see what ’08 brings.  MG

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