Charter's Bickham Blasts TWC - Broadcasting & Cable

Charter's Bickham Blasts TWC

Operations chief says MSO has failed strategy
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Charter Communications chief operating officer John Bickham blasted Time Warner Cable in a conference call with analysts Tuesday, claiming the cable giant's strategy is "failed."

"Time Warner Cable has a failed operational strategy," said Bickham, who served 18 years in various top operations roles at TWC before joining Charter CEO Tom Rutledge at Cablevision Systems in 2004. Rutledge left Cablevision in 2011 for Charter.

"They are losing video customers at an accelerating rate, they lost residential Internet subs over the last quarter, they lost phone customers over the last year, and amazingly they have lost residential customer relationships over the last 18 months," added Bickham. "This negative momentum isn't simply the result of their operating plan over the last year; it is a failed plan over the past half-decade."

Charter made an unsolicited $132.50 per share offer for Time Warner Cable Monday, which was quickly rejected as "grossly inadequate" by TWC chairman and CEO Rob Marcus. However, Marcus has said that while the company is not for sale, it would accept an offer for $160 per share.

The Charter offer represented a thin 10-cent per share premium to TWC's $132.40 per share closing price on Jan. 13. But since then the stock has soared – it closed at $136 per share on Jan. 14, up $3.60 each or 2.7% -- indicating that shareholders are expecting Charter to increase its bid.

Go to Multichannel.com for the full story.

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