NEWS

Comcast still mum on changes with switch from Insight

Deborah Austin

Comcast Corp. is on schedule to replace Insight Communications in January as the Rock River Valley’s major local cable television provider, but the company still is not giving any specifics on how the change will affect Insight customers’ rates and programming.

Comcast is “on track” to assume management responsibility of the cable systems managed by Insight in the Rockford area, said Rich Ruggiero, vice president of communications and public affairs for the Greater Chicago region. He said Tuesday that the company will announce programming or services within the next two weeks.

Comcast has offered all Insight’s employees the opportunity to stay on after the transition, said Joan Sage, spokeswoman for Insight Communications’ northern Illinois district. In Sage’s district that includes 250 employees. And she said “customers will notice a different name on the truck.”

Other than that, Sage confirmed the transition was “in process and going smoothly.”

In the Rock River Valley, Insight serves about 120,000 customers in an area from Rockford north to Machesney Park, west to Freeport and to Boone County in the east.

New York-based Insight and Philadelphia-based Comcast announced in April that they would divide the Insight Midwest partnership in which Insight and a Comcast subsidiary each hold a 50 percent interest. Both companies said the transaction was expected to close by the end of 2007.

After the closing, Insight would own the partnership’s Kentucky, Ohio and Evansville, Ind., cable systems. Comcast would own the cable systems serving other parts of Indiana, as well as the systems in Rockford-Dixon, Quincy-Macomb, Springfield, Peoria and Champaign-Urbana in Illinois.

Reporter Deborah Austin may be reached at 815-987-1341 or at daustin@rrstar.com.