AT&T cable cuts 1,700

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Everyone has known for months that the layoffs were coming, but that doesn't make it any fun when they actually do. AT&T Broadband last week swung the ax on 1,700 workers in advance of the cable unit's takeover by Comcast.

The executive and management levels are taking the most hits. The cuts amount to 4.3% of the unit's workforce but represent a third of its 3,7000 Denver headquarters staff. Comcast executives believe that AT&T had tremendously overstaffed its cable operation.

AT&T has notified 675 employees that they'll be gone when the deal closes next month. The rest will go over the next several months.

The company said no employee will receive less than four months' worth of pay as severance and some long-time workers will get more than a year's pay.

"It's not a great situation," said outgoing AT&T Broadband President and CEO Bill Schleyer, "but we tried to do the best possible."

AT&T Broadband axed an additional 500 workers at the beginning of the year to get operating numbers up and push more responsibilities out to the systems. Comcast plans to keep the 2,000 employees at AT&T's Denver cable system and the staff at its Digital Media Centers division in Englewood, Colo.

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