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|CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form 425 on 06/16/2015|
TR: And then the company sent me to Harvard to…and were grooming me for an executive management position. And then I became an EVP and then I became President. And then AOL bought the company.
And that was a disruptive time and I wasn’t really happy with the way things were going. I thought we had a great business, and that cable was the jewel in the whole business. They didn’t see it that way. And I didn’t think I was going to be happy in that environment and then I left. And I didn’t know where I was going to go - that’s how dissatisfied I was. So I ended up at Cablevision, which I really enjoyed. And that was a great opportunity. It kinda looked like Time Warner, only it was regional.
TR: Had a national programming businesses and regional sports businesses, newspaper, retail strategy with the Wiz, which was a big New York-area retailer like a Best Buy, and the company did well.
RM: First time I’ve ever heard the Wiz touted as a major part of the strategy.
TR: You know the Wiz, interestingly, it made no money as a retail business; but as a way of distributing modems and doing self-installations, Cablevision pioneered that and they did that before I arrived.
RM: Yes. The theory actually worked?
TR: It did work. So the store, while it made no money…
TR: If you take the value of Cablevision’s penetration and how quickly they got to deep data penetration and look at the cash that that business generates, you could argue that The Wiz paid for itself. So it was an interesting strategy. They owned a chain of movie theaters too.
RM: Yes, I remember.
TR: So it was a multimedia sort of experience and I had a lot of fun doing it. But I still believe that the cable business is the best part of all of these businesses. And I think we have a tremendous future. And so, when Cablevision didn’t buy Insight and Time Warner did, you may recall before Insight was sold, Cablevision had bought Bresnan.
TR: And which was our first foray out of New York and a project we called “Green Acres” - the guys from New York were going to the country. And so I realized that Cablevision, for its own reasons, wasn’t going to expand its cable footprint and when Charter became available to me as CEO, I decided I wanted to do it. And the reason I thought I wanted to do it was not actually to end up where we are right this second - although, I did think about it - I thought, this is a great cable asset but it’s been through a hard time. But I still believe we have the best physical assets that, properly constructed and properly managed, are better than anything out there. I think we can have better TV than satellite and phone companies. We can have faster data networks. We can have better voice services. And our wireless products I think are