updated 11:48 am EDT, Thu May 15, 2014
Founder of Insight Communications tapped to helm new company
Comcast and Charter Communications have selected a CEO for the spinoff company that will handle the customer cast-offs from the Comcast and Time Warner merger, should it be approved. Cable company veteran Michael Willner will run the company, which will span markets in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as required by the terms of the deal on the not-yet-finalized merger.
Willner has decades of experience in the cable industry. He co-founded Insight Communications Company in 1985, and served as its Chief Executive Officer from 1985 until it was sold to Time Warner Cable in February 2012. He served two consecutive terms as chairman of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association trade lobby, and served on its executive committee. Willner also served as chairman of the board of the Cable Center from 2007 through 2011, and was a member of the executive committee of CableLabs. In addition, he is on the board of directors of C-SPAN, as well as the Walter Kaitz Foundation.
Following the close of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, Charter will acquire approximately 1.4 million existing Time Warner Cable subscribers, increasing Charter's current residential and commercial video customer base from 4.4 million to approximately 5.7 million, and making Charter the second-largest cable operator in the United States.
Charter and Comcast will also each transfer approximately 1.6 million customers respectively to the new, as-yet-unnamed provider. In addition, Charter will form a new holding company called New Charter that will own Charter as it stands now, and an approximate 33 percent stake in Willner's new publicly-traded cable provider to be spun-off by Comcast, serving approximately 2.5 million customers.