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Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Knology sold to Denver area company for more than $750 million

April 18, 2012, 9:15 a.m. Updated April 19, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

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Lawrence customers of Knology should expect to start seeing changes to their cable, Internet and phone services in the next 90 to 120 days following the announcement that Knology has agreed to sell itself to a Colorado-based company.

Englewood, Colo.-based WOW Internet Cable & Phone announced Wednesday it had reached a deal to purchase West Point, Ga.-based Knology, including its cable, Internet and phone operations in Lawrence.

“We’re very excited about going into all of the communities that Knology serves,” said Cathy Kuo, chief marketing officer for WOW, which is also known as WideOpenWest.

Kuo, though, said she had few details about what changes may be in store for Knology’s Lawrence operations. She said she expected the deal to be finalized and the transition to begin in 90 to 120 days.

Attempts to reach officials at Knology’s corporate headquarters weren’t successful on Wednesday. Local Knology employees, who were informed of the sale Wednesday morning, said they weren’t given details about what changes may be in store.

Kuo said the company hasn’t made any decisions about whether to keep the current Channel 6 local programming, including its nightly newscasts. Kuo said WOW currently does not have any cable systems that provide such local programming.

“We are very aware of the local news station and how popular it is in Lawrence,” Kuo said. “But we haven’t addressed our plans for that.”

Kuo also said WOW hasn’t made any decisions about whether Knology customers will be able to keep their current email addresses for the long term. Many Knology customers still have an email domain of @sunflower.com, which is left over from when Knology purchased Sunflower Broadband from The World Company in October 2010. The World Company is the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.

Kuo said in previous situations WOW has given email users a certain period of time to transition over to a WOW email address, which has a domain of wowway.com.

WOW announced Wednesday it had agreed to pay $750.5 million for Knology. With Knology’s debt included, the total deal was valued at about $1.5 billion. Knology’s board unanimously approved the buyout.

Publicly traded Knology, which will become a private company after the deal, has about 800,000 customers in Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Tennessee. WOW is a privately held company, and does not release subscriber totals. But published reports indicated the company had about 1.4 million subscribers in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. WOW is controlled by a New York-based private equity fund, Avista Capital Partners.

WOW CEO Colleen Abdoulah said in a statement that Knology and WOW are a “natural fit” and that the companies’ networks and infrastructure will aid growth.

WOW did not provide any details about the type of service packages or prices it will offer. But its website listed prices beginning at about $80 per month for 70 channels of cable, 2Mbps of Internet and phone service. More advanced service that includes 250 channels, 15Mbps of Internet, and phone service was listed at $102 per month in most markets.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

alcoholbliss 1 year, 11 months ago

Dear Sunflower Broadband, your junky DVR rental equipment and TV guide listing service keeps deleting my recorded programs, program descriptions, please fix...

Dear Dear Knology, your junky DVR rental equipment and TV guide listing service keeps deleting my recorded programs, program descriptions, please fix...

Dear Dear WOW Cable, your junky DVR rental equipment and TV guide listing service keeps deleting my recorded programs, program descriptions, please fix...

Maybe the next buyouts soon is one step closer to getting a quality cable provider that finally offers quality TiIVo DVR equipment rental and TiVo guide service that won't delete my recorded programs, program descriptions?

The cable companies that currently offer the TiVo DVR service and hardware rental are: Cox Charter Comcast Comporium Grande Communications Northland Communications RCN suddenLink

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skinny 1 year, 11 months ago

Knolody's mail server has been down for almost three hours this afternoon. They have the worst customer service I've ever seen. They haven’t even updated their news section on their web page since they've taken over Sunflower!!

I sure miss Sunflower big time!!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Levi & Korsinsky is investigating the Board of Directors of Knology, Inc. (“Knology” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: KNOL) for possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law in connection with the sale of the Company to WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone. Under the terms of the agreement, Knology shareholders will receive $19.75 for each share of Knology stock they own. The transaction has a total approximate value of $1.5 billion.

Click here to learn how to join the action: http://www.zlk.com/knology-knol, or call: 877-363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you.

The investigation concerns whether the Knology Board of Directors breached their fiduciary duties to Knology stockholders by failing to adequately shop the Company before entering into this transaction and whether WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone is underpaying for Knology shares, thus unlawfully harming Knology stockholders.

If you own common stock Knology and wish to obtain additional information, please contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@zlk.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972, or http://www.zlk.com.

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observant 1 year, 12 months ago

Makes you wonder exactly what it says about a companies ethics and honesty, when wowworker shows up day after sale announced and praises WOW? I'm sure there are a lot of people prowling web just waiting to praise the latest takeover by their employer. How long has wowworker been employer in WOW's PR department? Just reinforces my intent to drop themas soon as takeover occurs.

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observant 1 year, 12 months ago

Have been a customer of Sunflower from day 1. When WOW takes over, I'm gone and taking my business account with me. Drop in service with Knology was bad enough, can't stand another service hit like that.

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doc1 1 year, 12 months ago

Direct TV is the only way to go. Loss of signal is virtually non existent anymore. And you can stream movies from your computer with their new boxes. Cable is a dinosaur.

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Alexander Smith 1 year, 12 months ago

Once again the ugly head of pure greed of the American free market rears up again. This once again proves that the free market is out for the investors not the public nor the people who work at the business. Once again it proves that the Governement needs to have more controlling interest in the economy. If we want the economy to grow.. these type of buyouts have to stop. Knology was doing just fine, was not in financial trouble at all.. the greedy investors saw a fat check and said sure..who cares who is going to get laid off ..I am going to the Bahammas. Yes people are going to get laid off, when ever there is a buyout like this.. head count gets cut or moved. Been in the business for 15 years and I see it happen all the time.

Eitherway, were stuck with them now. If anything... the auto shops business is going to boom for a short bit again..think of all the trucks they have to repaint! Guess thats one way to support local business.

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pace 1 year, 12 months ago

Well those sweet assurances that level of service and commitment to the community will shine under the Knowlogy moon, that is over. The moon has set, and Wow has no promises to keep. I thought it funny that Know-logy made them, but now I see it was a trial marriage. Maybe it wasn't true love. i will miss the guy in North Dakota that helped my figure out the new email system.

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davinci 1 year, 12 months ago

JD Power awards are a joke. Whoever donates the most money or contributes to some plan. You'll need to prove it. Lawrence has a high standard.

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wowworker 1 year, 12 months ago

I am a wow employee and let me tell you first hand wow! is all about the customer. Wow! consistantly wins jd power awards for customer service in all three services.

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davinci 1 year, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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reverber 1 year, 12 months ago

Now would be an opportune time for Dolph to use some of his cash from the cable sale to start up an ISP :)

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skinny 1 year, 12 months ago

If they change the email addresses and raise the rates I will be leaving too! I get 32 channels on the attenna in the attic and I will get DirecTV, Simple as that!

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KamFongAsChinHo 1 year, 12 months ago

Here is a quote from October 2010 when Knology bought Sunflower:

“Knology of Kansas Inc., part of a Georgia-based communications company, formally acquired Lawrence-based Sunflower on Friday in a deal valued at $165 million.”

And here is the quote for WOW’s purchase:

“WOW announced Wednesday it had agreed to pay $750.5 million for Knology. With Knology’s debt included, the total deal was valued at about $1.5 billion. Knology’s board unanimously approved the buyout.”

How on earth does a cable system have a value of $165 million in Oct 2010 and $750 million in Apr 2012?

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Curtis Lange 1 year, 12 months ago

Hahahaha. How many more buyouts on the buyout ladder til Comcast or Time Warner?

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FlintHawk 1 year, 12 months ago

The updated information makes this story worse than it seemed this morning. The email address change I've been dreading is seemingly around the corner; the rates. the rates. what good thing can I say about the expected rates?

WOW. This is not good.

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sad_lawrencian 1 year, 12 months ago

Whatever happened to the Lawrence Broadband Observer? We need he/she to weigh in.

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evilpenguin 1 year, 12 months ago

Any word on what will happen with Freestate Studios? I hope they will stay open....lots of jobs there...

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Soapbox 1 year, 12 months ago

I WILL REPEAT MYSELF.....We are screwed!! Look at the pricing

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thebcman 1 year, 12 months ago

What's up with the shrinking On Demand Line up ? Took away Music Choice videos and seem to be removing or reducing a bunch of others. Also, wonder if the new Disney Junior channel might come to bronze?

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

"I'm looking forward to Chad Lawhorn's report of Cox and Dick's coming to town . Now that will be some Town Talk"

And Lawhorn would have some fun with it.

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blue73harley 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm looking forward to Chad Lawhorn's report of Cox and Dick's coming to town . Now that will be some Town Talk!

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

"Andini (anonymous) says… It's just a matter of time until we are all Cox."

Over the line!!!

I bet Alex's head will explode if Cox ends up running the cable in town.

I miss Sunflower.

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Andini 1 year, 12 months ago

It's just a matter of time until we are all Cox.

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parrothead8 1 year, 12 months ago

Here we go...worse service and higher rates are on the way.

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THATSBULLANDYOUKNOWIT 1 year, 12 months ago

HE WAS A BULLSHI*ER TRYING TO BULLSHI ME...HE WAS THE MEAN ONE..HE OUT RIGHT LIED TO MY FACE ABOUT ALL OF THIS...I WASNT HAVING A BAD DAY TILL NOW...THANKS ALOT OVERPLAY.. AND WHAT ABOUT MY TIME HE WAS WASTING WHEN HE WAS WALKING UP AND DOWN MY STREET WAITING FOR THE NEXT VICTIM HE WAS LUCKY I EVEN LISTENED TO HIM SINCE MY DAUGHTER (YOUNG ONE) DROVE UP AND HE WAS ALL OVER HER CAR BEFORE SHE GOT OUT OF IT...DONT YOU THINK PEOPLE FREAKING KNOW WHERE TO GO TO GET CABLE IN A ONE CABLE OWNED TOWN? OR MAYBE IM JUST THE SMART ONE THAT LIVES HERE. I JUST CANT BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE GOING WITHOUT CABLE BECAUSE SOMEBODY ISNT WALKING UP AND DOWN THIER STREET TRYING TO SELL IT TO THEM.

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Gareth 1 year, 12 months ago

Hopefully this will mean that we'll get some of the channels that Wow carries that Knology doesn't.

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THATSBULLANDYOUKNOWIT 1 year, 12 months ago

Thats why last week when they were walking down my street selling knology I just stood and looked and listened patiently to the rep...afterall it is his job to sell the product to me..I read several weeks ago about this sale and I knew that what he as saying was all bull...just them trying to up the customers they are going to leave stranded..(like when you stop your current cable provider and switch to them and they jack the rates so high up you cant afford it then youll have to pay a deposit or whatnot to get your old cable provider back). nothing worse than the smell of a bullshi**er other than the sight of one. I kept him at the house for about an hour wth stupid questions..he was in my web :)

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Andini 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm glad I still use my old RCA and rabbit ears

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handlon 1 year, 12 months ago

We got hoodwinked into going to ATT U-Verse last summer by a U-Verse salesperson who as it turns out would say anything to make his sales commission. My wife and I have had ATT out as many times in as many months to get our system running. We commonly lost all connectivity and just finally gave up about a month ago and went to Knology. While this new purchase by Wow is creepy, so far we have been extremely happy with Knology. I hope they don't go down the tubes.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 12 months ago

I personally have loved ATT Uverse. The customer service is not good, but I only had to call once in 13 months.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 12 months ago

Lesson learned. Pay attention and appreciate local businesses. Growth isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

" Often I can only speculate at the motivations behind comments, many of which are snarky and suggestive." Alex

Well, isn't that what the internet if for?

/snarked

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BlackVelvet 1 year, 12 months ago

Guess it's time to sell the tvs and computers and go back to reading books.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 12 months ago

And what would the Color Press deal back in the 70s really be worthnow?

That history and sale should give a real J/W reporter something to do.

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JamieJ83 1 year, 12 months ago

After parting ways with Sunflower/Knology's price gouged monopoly 2 years ago, We went with AT&T for our ISP and DirecTV. Been totally blown away (in a good way) with DirecTV customer service but AT&T makes me homicidal even just to pay my monthly bill. Because there are literally no other options for an ISP, we're going back reluctantly to Knology (or Wow, I guess?) with our tail between our legs.

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g_rock 1 year, 12 months ago

Funny to note: my checking account deduction still says Sunflower Broadband.

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mikekt 1 year, 12 months ago

They (Knology) just recently raised my bill & i suppose that here comes some new leveraged purchase debt that i will be receiving another billing increase for. Happiness is?! Am considering my options, as i should.

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tolawdjk 1 year, 12 months ago

The Denver area company is a deceptive description.

Wow isn't Denver. Avista Capital Management is Denver. Wow is Ohio, Michigan, Illinois (where the heck in Illinois I have no idea, I thought that was purely comcast territory.), Indiana.

Denver is Comcast or Century Link.

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FlintHawk 1 year, 12 months ago

Uhhh. Wasn't a Knology sale a rumor a few weeks ago? And didn't the company strongly deny that we were on the market? Or am I making this up?

Trust.Is.Everything.

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g_rock 1 year, 12 months ago

So how does Wow stack up? The impression of Knology when they bought Sunflower...was that Sunflower was higher tech and a better product than Knology's base, so it was a downgrade. What about Wow? Any hope of improvement in this at all?

Looking forward to new stickers being placed over the old Sunflower logos on remotes and such. Yah, high class.

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Laura Wilson 1 year, 12 months ago

So, Knology just changed the look of their bills last month and changed the webmail today just in time to sell. Great. The new webmail is not an improvement. The only way to move to a new message is go back to the inbox and click on it.

When the Uverse came by in January to tell me my neighborhood could now get it (and that four show dvr which I would love), I decided to stick with Knology because it's already set up, you aren't locked into a contract and can make changes at any time to your cable/internet packages, and I've had my sunflower email address for a dozen years and I love that it's the unique word sunflower (and I have my first name, too and not a name with a bunch of numbers after it). If WOW takes away the sunflower address, I'm out of here. That'll be the last straw of many, many since Knology took over with their shoddy customer service.

Can't believe I miss a Simons run company, but Sunflower had really good customer service and the geeks right here in town.

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ljwhirled 1 year, 12 months ago

WOW!

Look at that pricing:

2 Mbps for $40/Mo 15Mbps for $50/Mo 30Mbps for $70/Mo 50Mbps for $90/Mo *Does not include overage charges. https://sales.wowway.com/OnlineStore/PricingAndPackaging.aspx

I'll stick with Lawrence Freenet: 20 Mbps Down http://www.netindex.com/download/3,196/Kansas/ 8 Mbps Up http://www.netindex.com/upload/3,196/Kansas,-US/ No bandwidth caps $29/Mo

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

"This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

April 18, 2012 at 10:26 a.m."

My mother does like Cox. She has had it for several years in Wichita. Get your head out of the gutter, Alex and quit deleting comments when some little ninny hits suggest removal.

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consumer1 1 year, 12 months ago

Cha Ching! Get your creditcards ready.

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Michael Stanclift 1 year, 12 months ago

I wonder what their plan for 6News is?

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MarcoPogo 1 year, 12 months ago

We were having cable problems a couple weeks ago and when I talked to the customer service girl, she was having problems looking at what was going on. After several instances of long pauses, she said "I'm so sorry, our system is running like garbage."

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 12 months ago

I just hope the internet service inproves, getting s----l---o---w---e----r , each month

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

"Now why is it Lawrence doesn't merit competition from outfits like Time Warner Road Runner; Comcast; Cox; Surewestkc.net etc.? All three are readily available in KC....why not Lawrence?"

Because the KC metro area is 20 times bigger than Lawrence.

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clovis_sangrail 1 year, 12 months ago

At least Knology's customer service and tech support aren't in some third-world crap hole. When I have had internet connectivity problems, I got someone in the U.S., someone whose first language was English. They also weren't reading from a script, and they weren't crammed into some sweat-shop call center where I could hear dozens of other conversations going on at the same time.

This was a big improvement over my previous internet service provider. I guess I'l have to wait and see what will come with Wow, but if they send their support calls off-shore, I'll be looking again.

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Alceste 1 year, 12 months ago

Now why is it Lawrence doesn't merit competition from outfits like Time Warner Road Runner; Comcast; Cox; Surewestkc.net etc.? All three are readily available in KC....why not Lawrence?

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Soapbox 1 year, 12 months ago

WOW CUSTOMER SERVICE didn't even know they had bought Knology until I called them at: 866-469-9669 to ask about services and pricing. They really didn't want to discuss pricing but did discuss services and limitations.........WOW

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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madcow 1 year, 12 months ago

Does this mean I will be able to watch a full hour long episode of anything without the most important parts turning into a pixelated sound-garbled mess.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 12 months ago

Cable is for "Liberaltines". As you can see. They are the only ones complaining.

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sad_lawrencian 1 year, 12 months ago

It's only a matter of time before Time Warner, Comcast, Charter or Cox comes in and buys Simons/LawrenceBroadband/Knology/Wow. My money's on Cox. Knology's phone-based customer service is an insult to the customer-service and cable industries. Oh and hey, "Wow" is a lot better than "Kuh-GNAW-luh-jee".

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IgnorantYokel 1 year, 12 months ago

In case you were thinking about it, now is an excellent time to cut the cord.

The Mohu Leaf is a wonderful indoor HDTV antenna that would allow you to get basic channels for free. There's also HuluPlus and Netflix, bot for for $7.99 per month.

There are numerous options for streaming media players including Roku, Boxee, WD TV Live Plus, Apple TV, et al. And just a few days ago, Walmart announced a partnership with D-Link to sell a sub-$50 box.

Food for thought.

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Andini 1 year, 12 months ago

Hopefully we (Wow) will all be sucked up by Cox soon.

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irvan moore 1 year, 12 months ago

i can't believe i'm saying this but i miss the simons

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seriouscat 1 year, 12 months ago

Knology came in and gutted it. and now they are selling it for several times more than what the Simon's did what was it...one year ago?

lol

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 12 months ago

"Wow, which is owned by private equity firm Avista Capital Partners,"

Equity firms, AKA job eliminators. Look for more layoffs at whatever becomes of Knology. And look for levels of service to decline even further as a result.

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