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WOW! eliminates CCO, adds more than 20K broadband subs in Q2

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

U.S. broadband provider WideOpenWest (WOW!) downsized its C-suite after inking a pair of deals to sell assets in five markets for a total of $1.8 billion, eliminating its chief commercial officer and restructuring its sales and product groups.

During its Q2 earnings call, CEO Teresa Elder said the operator’s sales organization will now be overseen by chief customer experience officer Don Schena while CTO Henry Hryckiewicz will be responsible for its product division. Departing CCO Shannon Campain joined WOW! in June 2020.

“We want to make sure our corporate expenses are in line on a proportionate basis with the new size of WOW! and therefore made the difficult decision to reduce one C-level in our business,” Elder said. She added “we believe this is an important initial step towards increasing the efficiency of our structure and better aligning it with the future size and strategic focus of the post-transaction WOW!”

Elder said the company is aiming to close the asset sales, which were announced in June, by the end of this year.

The operator ended Q2 with 857,400 subscribers, up 2% from 844,500 in the year-ago quarter. Its number of high-speed data (HSD) customers rose by 20,700 year-on-year to 826,300. The tally associated with WOW!’s ongoing edge out projects reached 196,100 homes passed and 49,500 subscribers, up from 189,700 homes passed and 45,200 customers in Q2 2020.

Elder said earlier this year executives believed the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program could yield subscriber gains for the operator. But in an update on the Q2 call, she noted “the vast majority” of the 7,800 subscribers who signed up for the program were existing customers.

Net income of $12.4 million was up significantly year-on-year from $2.2 million, while consolidated revenue of $287.3 million rose 2% from the year-ago quarter. Total subscription revenue grew 2% to $269.4 million, with HSD gains offsetting slides in both voice and video. HSD revenue specifically jumped 14% to $156.4 million, while video revenue fell 10.5% to $91.7 million and telephony sales dropped 11.6% to $21.3 million.

HSD average revenue per user (ARPU) increased significantly year-on-year from $57.10 to $63.20, which CFO John Rego attributed to customers taking higher speed tiers and purchasing auxiliary services. Approximately 89% of its HSD customers are now taking speeds of 200 Mbps and above, compared to 81% in the year-ago quarter. “I think it’s a positive trend for us that isn’t going to change anytime soon,” Rego concluded.

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