Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Executive in firm buying Knology has ties to Lawrence

April 18, 2012


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.


OutlawJHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Went to HS with David. He was hyper-smart in HS and evidently in college, so his success is not surprising. Saw him at a class reunion a few years ago and he acted like a complete deuche bag, pretty full of himself and his New York success. Hope he can re-find some Kansas humbleness with his Park Ave ego. You succeeded dude, no reason to act like a jerk now.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

It's one thing to comment on public officials anonymously. I get that. But when it is someone you know personally the real "Kansas" thing to do is give us/him your name and own it.
If you don't give him that...You are the 'deuche bag'.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 1 month ago

my guess is, as a hyper smart kid in high school, he was probably treated like crap by everyone around him. For him, the high school reunion was his taste of justice. All of the people whose lives 'peaked' at 17, and who used their popularity to make him feel worthless and are now making $8.50/hr in the kitchen of some crummy chain restaurant deserve that night of having his REAL success rubbed in their faces. I can totally understand and appreciate that. My guess is, if he treated you poorly, you were probably one of the people I'm talking about.

cheerio 6 years, 1 month ago

Making $ is not REAL success. Neither is rubbing your accomplishments in other people's faces. At least that's not what I teach my kids.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 1 month ago

earning an MBA from Harvard is REAL success, by any definition.

cheerio 6 years, 1 month ago

Not really. There are a lot of Harvard grads that have wasted their lives chasing/accomplishing things that don't really matter.

itsalwayssunnyinlarry 6 years, 1 month ago

lol, someone is jealous. and someone obviously didn't get the "hyper-smarts"

Kaleb 6 years, 1 month ago

Hopefully that arrogant *()&% doesn't work in the business sales department anymore. She was awful!!

Jason Johnson 6 years, 1 month ago

Who are you talking about? I've never had any dealings with anyone arrogant in the business sales department.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree with most of what you say, but "self made guy"? He lived in a family strong on education, so he had a lot of encouragement to go to school. And I'm real sure they helped pay for his education. Kansas tax payers also helped pay for his KU education, as well as his basic education. I"m real sure that he had mentors and help all along the way. And he works for a company, but I haven't read that he created that company. Hopefully he wouldn't be the type who steps on all those who helped him, but it sounds like you might. No one is "self made" even if they are arrogant enough to believe it.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

I was just a little irritated that many "self made" people want to destroy the institutions that really helped to "make" them. I don't necessarily think he is like that. I just get tired of those who were successful because of our system of education and business, but they want to destroy it. I guess they don't want anyone else to have the same opportunities. They do need to be reminded that no one is "self made". We don't live in an isolated world.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, I tend to agree, but the critics are too harsh here. Picking the right parents helps; getting your education paid for is nice. I was lucky in both respects. We sometimes forget most of the folks now on the Internet were born on third base and throught they hit a triple. Now my mom and dad, they came from nearly nothing and made their lives together with hard work, sacrifice and saving lots of money....we can all learn from that example.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 1 month ago

Metthinks that bucolic little ole Larryville is being dissed by the big tech boys. Fisrt it was "Sunflower Cablevision", this not being techy enough, it became "Sunflower Broadband"

Then it was sold out to this Crapology bunch, and now from Georgia to Colorado to the "WOW crowd. I think that is a misnomer. I think we are going to be seeing a lot more "OW!!" as the community gets tossed around between the most gullible tech outfits that need little one horse bergs to inflict their debt structure upon.

Now where did I put that ATT and eye in the sky outfit information?

mdlund0 6 years, 1 month ago

Nope. I reject this company in all forms and subscribe to the death star: AT&T U-Verse.

mrkuwick 6 years, 1 month ago

Nice story about a hometown by does well, but not encouraging news about having a committed cable service provider in Lawrence. Avista Capital is a private equity group and will be primarily concerned with how to maximize their investment in Knology as an asset and not necessarily with service.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

What was 'Sunflower' will bounce around like a ping ball for the foreseeable future. It's time to allow some real competition.

As far as 'local boy does good' goes, what exactly has this person done that's so great besides make some money?

eel 6 years, 1 month ago

Good for David, known him since 7th grade at CJHS he was a paperboy for the Journal World for many years Delivered to Babcock Place and The Vermont Towers across the street in the '80's as part of his route, David, if you see this, think back to the Sunday editions I helped you deliver damn they were heavy All that hard work thru the years has paid off, never mind the haters, haters are going to hate, regardless

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 1 month ago

in a moment of absolute irony, after defending this guy's honor in a previous post, I checked my mail to discover my Sunflower/Knology bill was incorrect. $13 over-charge that took 20 minutes on the phone to correct. Hopefully David can make my time spent with this internet provider less miserable

Commenting has been disabled for this item.