500 to get AT&T axe

Realignment will give more authority to regional managers

Job cuts at AT&T Broadband's Denver headquarters will total 500 workers, or 11% of the headquarters' 4,400 employees. The cable giant, in the midst of being acquired by Comcast Corp., announced the job reductions.

COO Ron Cooper said the cuts are aimed at freeing up cash to push more functions into the hands of regional managers, who are closer to customers. Both Cooper and his boss, AT&T Broadband Chairman Bill Schleyer, are biased toward decentralized management from their experience at Continental Cablevision.

Cooper said the company decided to make the cuts "so we can put more authority and responsibility in the hands of the field senior VPs," but some workers will be offered jobs if they relocate.

Employees losing their jobs will stay on the payroll until the end of March and then receive severance. Cooper said the cuts would have happened even if AT&T Broadband were not to be acquired by Comcast.