Cablers cozier in anticipation of joint bid for Adelphia

NEW YORK — Shares in St. Louis-based cabler Charter Communications rose 11% on Friday after it made two high-profile appointments to its board of directors.

Cabler tapped Jonathan Dolgen, former topper of Viacom Entertainment Group, and Robert May, former chairman of HealthSouth.

Dolgen, who was pushed aside in a reorg that put Tom Freston at the helm of the entertainment unit, still serves as a senior adviser at Viacom, one of Charter’s biggest sources of programming.

In a filing, Charter said that it paid Viacom $188 million in 2003 in programming fees for networks like MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central. Viacom paid Charter $4.7 million in launch fees and marketing support.

Appointments follow Comcast’s naming former Time Warner Cable topper Joseph Collins to the board. Move is a sign the two cablers are getting cozier in anticipation of a joint bid for Adelphia Communications.

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