Lawrence’s largest cable and Internet service provider soon will be getting a new name, but one name in the organization may sound familiar to Lawrence residents.
When Englewood, Colo.-based WOW Internet, Cable & Phone announced on Wednesday that it had reached a deal to buy Knology and its Lawrence operations, it represented a homecoming of sorts for one top executive associated with WOW.
David Burgstahler, a Lawrence High School and Kansas University graduate, is the president of New York-based Avista Capital Partners. Avista owns a majority stake in WOW Internet, Cable & Phone.
Burgstahler, 44, is the son of retired KU chemistry professor Albert Burgstahler. Albert Burgstahler said David grew up in Lawrence and received his aerospace engineering degree from KU in 1991, but that he eventually decided his calling may be in business.
“He finally decided to go into an M.B.A. program somewhere,” Burgstahler said. “He got into Harvard and things really started rolling then.”
Albert Burgstahler said his son — who now lives on Park Avenue in New York — comes back to Lawrence about once a year. Albert Burgstahler said he didn’t have any particular insight into how Lawrence’s cable and Internet service may change under the new owners.
“It is kind of interesting that he is involved with that, but I haven’t given too much thought about it,” Burgstahler said.
But Albert Burgstahler, who retired from KU in 1998, is still an active researcher on a variety of topics. So he said he hopes the new company allows for fast Internet surfing.
If it doesn’t, he’ll know who to call.