Time Warner Cable hires exec duo

John Martin, Ellen East part of power shake-up

John Martin, the chief financial officer at Time Warner Cable, is poised to assume the same post with Time Warner, and Time Warner Cable has hired Ellen East as exec VP of corporate communications.

Neither company would comment on news reports Monday about Martin succeeding Wayne Pace when Pace’s contract expires at the end of the year. But a source familiar with the talks confirmed the appointment is on track.

Martin, 40, was a chief architect of the spinoff of the cable division, which is still 84% owned by Time Warner. The timing of that deal, just as cable assets were rising in value, helped fortify the parent company’s balance sheet even as concerns linger about divisions like AOL and publishing.

Pace also deserves plenty of credit for stabilizing the world’s largest media conglom after a couple of rough years following the original AOL deal.

Martin once worked as an equity analyst at ABN AMBRO and also spent more than a decade overseeing investor relations for Time Warner. That background could be useful in articulating Time Warner’s growth story to Wall Street or helping spin any of the strategic moves that could lie ahead in 2008.

The New York Post, which first reported the appointment, noted that Martin was considered the front-runner after topper-in-waiting Jeff Bewkes interviewed several internal and external candidates.

Separately, East will succeed Lynn Yaeger as exec VP of corporate communications at Time Warner Cable. Yaeger is retiring at the end of the year.

East, who will oversee TW Cable’s public affairs department from New York, was most recently VP of communications and public affairs for Cox Communications. She joins TW later this month.

Earlier in her career, East was a reporter and editor at several daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.