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Cable TV Execs Are Sending a Clear Message to Customers

Charter execs who want to work from New York makes a lot of sense, unless you are a stockholder, employee and customer.

A trio of top cable TV executives were hired to save Charter Communications recently. Charter is a company that just a year ago a service truck was worth more than 50,000 shares of common stock.

and want some of the current support staff to move to New York, where the plan to obtain office space in Manhattan.

Here is some free advice to these big shots. Let’s look at the plusses and minus in this deal.

Housing and costs

You can buy a house three times as big as the one you own now for less money. You also see a lower tax rate on the house. Your grocery bill will be cheaper and gasoline won’t cost as much. There are the occasional tornado sirens going off, but you will not have to deal with any hurricanes or Nor’easter snowstorms.

Commuting

 Your corporate headquarters are currently in Town and Country. You could live in a 10,000 square foot house and still ride a bike or walk to work. If you wanted to live further away but still with rich big shots, say in Ladue to the east or Chesterfield to the west your commute by car would be 15 minutes. That’s a lot better than 75-minute one-way commute on the Long Island Railroad.

There is virtually no crime where your corporate offices are currently located. Your only encounter with the police would likely be if you plan to drive while intoxicated or speed on I-270. 

Remaining a Big Shot

There is a symphony here where you or your wife can get on the board and be a bigger deal than you are now in New York. The Art Museum and Zoo would love to have you on their boards of directors. You and your wife can attend a charity event at the Ritz-Carlton hotel and get your photos in two weekly society magazines and the Saturday edition of the newspaper.    

Other Costs

There are plenty of good overpriced Italian restaurants where you can impress your friends by spending $350 on a table for four but far there are fewer mobsters.

Local trash service is not controlled by organized crime, that I know of.

Midwest Sensibilities

Do you really expect sensible Midwesterners to want to move to New York and get less house for more money, deal with clogged roads, crime and long commutes? You will have to hire more New Yorkers to do the support work being done in St. Louis, which will cost more and drive down profits and eventually drive up rates for us dopes out here in St. Louis.

Feedback

Of course you will miss having the opportunity to hear from your customers, especially when you move the most popular channel with older viewers (Turner Classic Movies) to the more expensive digital product

If you don’t like

I have Charter Cable and Internet service. For the last month my internet connection is failing once or twice a day forcing me to reset the expensive modem I was recently forced to buy. This usually happens in the noon hour and sometimes in the late afternoon. I’d love to tell you that at the checkout at the Schnucks or Dierbergs 60,000 square foot supermarkets less than a mile from your headquarters.

Sending a message

You are sending a very clear message to your stockholders, customers and employees. You care so little about the day-to-day operations of this company that you don’t want to be part of it. You except some corporate workers to pull their kids out of schools, sell their houses during a recession, have their spouses quit their jobs and relocate to New York so the three of you don’t have to move.

Apparently this company is not worth three people moving here. I have a feeling many of your employees get the message and are looking for jobs elsewhere now. When they go you will be facing more costs in hiring and training their replacements. Costs will go up, profits will go down and rates will go up. Service may go down.

Here is what many of us expect. Charter will be propped up and then sold or merged into a larger cable company and all of the headquarter jobs in St. Louis will vanish. That is the message that is being received.

For many of us when AT&T eventually gets their problems ironed out with U-Verse, we will have a new cable TV company.

george theodorakos June 14, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I agree....do you think they ever watch that show....Undercover Boss....they ought to live here...see what the real people deal with....Charter has gotten better but still has a long way to go....the customer service has gotten appreciably better but the techs who come to your house is still a mixed bag....probably because they have so many contractors rather than actual employees....but then again...it is just like every other company....the executives make the real money...the workers just get by and have to deal with the foolishness of detached CEO's ....I retired from corporate life two years ago......HR and the Bean Counters run the corporations.....not people....
Jean Whitney June 14, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I like your thorough use of ellipses too
Angelika June 15, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The executives in these big corporations are the ones who make the real money. They take advantage of their position & slip extra money in their pockets. Then when they get caughy, what do they get?? Fired and a big severence package. Big deal, no consequences for them. But if it were the "Bean Counters" they would be in jail & have to make restitution. How is that right?
Lois McSwain July 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM
It's all about the execs! Your article hit it right on the nail. My son & daughter in law are both going to lose their jobs with Charter because of this. Production has already gone down since the announcement. Charter execs are trying to cover up how many will lose their jobs. I'm sure there will be very few offers to employees to move to White Plains NY whose cost of living is 3xs higher than St Louis.
william walker August 25, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I live up in Northern Michigan where Charter has a cushy position of limited (true) competition and stone age customer service. I actually would like to be a customer, considering they are the only option, but after 3 years of asking for a line to be run to my home I have given up. Yes, I would have to pay for the line, but all I hear is silence from their "customer service". So, hearing the that the top leadership is too full of themselves to move to where the customer is comes at no surprise. They are incompetent, poor managers, will drive down the stock value and then leave with a pre-arranged golden parachute. There isn't one person on this comment board that wouldn't be a better CEO, COO or CMO. Cox or some other better managed company (one with at least some customer connection leadership - or leader in general) will buy Charter, once the stock value is low enough. I dare them to prove us wrong.

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