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Dooley: Charter Didn’t Tell St. Louis County It Was Leaving

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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Charter Communications

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Charter Communications’ moving of corporate headquarters to Stamford, Connecticut was news to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

“Did you find out this morning with everybody else?” KMOX’s Michael Calhoun asked. “Like everybody else,” Dooley replied. “It really was a great disappointment.”

Dooley said he suspected that Charter might move some executives to the coast, when the new C.E.O. indicated he didn’t want to move from Connecticut. But the headquarters totally moving out-of-town was a shock.

“We were never given an opportunity to compete,” Dooley said.

A Charter spokeswoman told KMOX that the company chose to relocate because the “transportation infrastructure” and “talent base” are better in Connecticut, among other reasons, including proximity to the financial markets and other media companies.

Dooley said no city is successful without a successful airport and efforts continue to draw more non-stop passenger service to Lambert, as well as to decrease landing fees.

He added that news on international cargo flights is “coming forth.”

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Two-hundred positions will be located at the new office. The company recently brought in new leadership formerly from New York-based Cablevision, including C.E.O. Tom Rutledge.

Charter said about 2,000 positions would stay in suburban St. Louis and about 300 additional customer service-level jobs would be created there as well.

A statement from Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Economic Development to KMOX reads:

As indicated in Charter Communications’ statements, while the company is relocating certain functions, they will be in expansion mode here in Missouri, with plans to add three hundred new jobs at its St. Louis location over the next few months while maintaining the thousands of existing jobs they already have in St. Louis. We will continue to work closely with Missouri employers to create new jobs and keep our economy moving forward.

Charter is the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S. According to the company’s website, Charter provides video, high-speed Internet and telephone services to approximately 5.2 million residential and business customers in 25 states.

The move is part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “First Five” initiative, which offers incentives to companies looking to expand in the state or move there.

The Stamford Advocate reports Charter will join UBS Financial Services and Harmon International in a 15-story high-rise on Atlantic Street. The St. Louis Business Journal says the move will cost $10 million.

Charter posted a statement to Twitter that reads:

#STL We are seeing lots of posts/RTs on the move of our Executive office to CT. It is important to note that St. Louis will continue to be one of our largest markets, and our Customer Care team will continue to operate out of the Charter Commons office in Town and Country. The majority of departments that are working out of our Corporate office will remain there: Accounting, IT, Legal, etc. While some of our Executives, our Marketing team, and our Corporate Customer Care team are moving their offices to Stamford, CT, Charter’s presence in St. Louis will remain strong. Over the next few months we anticipate adding nearly 300 jobs in the area to support our customer service and growth goals. As always, if you have any specific questions, please @Charter, and we will be happy to assist.

AP/KMOX © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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