Adelphia shuffles board of directors

Bigelow Jr., Wolfe join; co. looks for more candidates

NEW YORK — Cabler Adelphia Communications is easing its way back to respectability, announcing two new independent board members, E. Thayer Bigelow Jr. and Kenneth L. Wolfe, to replace the outgoing Leslie Gelber and Pete Metros, effective Aug. 2.

Currently restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the cabler said Friday that the reconstitution of its board of directors was in keeping with its commitment to building an independent board with “great depth of knowledge in corporate finance, corporate governance and relevant industry experience.”

Longtime cable programming exec Bigelow, 61, served as prexy and CEO of Time Warner Cable Programming for six years and for three years as president and chief operating officer of HBO.

Wolfe, 64, a longtime financial exec, was chairman and CEO of Hershey Foods from 1993-2001 and also serves on the board of Bausch & Lomb.

Candidate search

Adelphia said that it has retained exec search firm Spencer Stuart, which had identified Bigelow and Wolfe, to scout for additional candidates for the board.

Last month, four Adelphia directors — Metros and Gelber along with Erland Kailbourne and Dennis Coyle – announced plans to step down once replacements were found for the nine-member board.

Those four, among others, were the targets of a shareholder lawsuit forcing the election of new directors. The complaint was that some directors were too closely tied to the Rigas family, which ran the company until John Rigas and two of his sons were arrested a year ago on fraud charges.

A trial date is set for early January.

The company has provided no word yet as to when it will emerge from bankruptcy.

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