DTV: Only Six Months to Go

With only six months to go until the transition from analog to digital broadcast television in February 2009, proprietary cable industry research suggests awareness of the change has improved from nearly one-in-two last November to approximately four-in-five people by the end of June. That still leaves around 20 percent who either haven’t heard about the transition, or haven’t paid attention. Don’t be one of the uninformed. Check here to learn more.


Bossier City Stuffs Bus With School Supplies


The Suddenlink team in Bossier City, La., helped make going back to school a little easier this year for needy children.

As a corporate partner in the “Operation A+ Stuff the Bus” promotion with Shreveport’s KTBS-TV3, Suddenlink donated $500 to the cause and invited customers to donate school supplies at its Bossier City office on Aug. 5, loading those donations on to the “Operation A+” bus.

Pictured above, from left, Bossier City Customer Care Representative (CCR) Krystal Allen, Customer Care Manager Kathie Erler, System Manager Mike Gamble, and CCRs Alisa Turner and Catina Hines present Suddenlink’s cash donation to KTBS Community Affairs Director Jan Elkins, on behalf of the “Operation A+” program.

A Hero Twice Over

Each quarter, Suddenlink distributes a series of “Hero” awards to employees nominated by their peers for exceptional acts of customer and/or community service. Each award includes a profile of recipients in the company newsletter, a congratulatory note from Suddenlink’s chief operating officer, and a cash bonus.

In the fourth quarter last year, one of those awards went to Eric Washburn, a Suddenlink broadband technician who works in Parkersburg, W. Va., and nearby Marietta, Ohio. Eric turned around and donated the cash portion of his award to the Marietta Youth Football League.

“I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary to earn the award,” Washburn said. “I’ve been involved with the youth league for about six years. We are always in need of funds, so I thought donating the money would be the right thing to do. Every penny we have helps a lot of local kids. I didn’t have that kind of support growing up, so any kid we can help makes me feel better.”

Salute to Troops

Suddenlink employees in Lubbock, Texas, joined 16 teams of grillers in the “America Supports You” cookout and send-off for more than 150 members of the Texas National Guard, who are scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East this fall.

In addition to free food, more than 300 volunteers from Suddenlink and other local organizations provided games and live entertainment for the troops, their families, and a crowd of well-wishers.

As the event drew to a close, organizers handed out care packages that included stationery and teddy bears with implanted voice recorders. National Guard members could record a message for their children to listen to while they are away from home.

Can You Use That in a Sentence?


The 2008 Suddenlink-Tyler “Bee Team” featured (left to right) Mary Whitehead, Melanie Klein, and Jeff Kimmey.


Contrapuntal” was the word that finally eliminated Suddenlink’s three-person team in the 8th round of competition during the 17th Annual Corporate Spelling Bee in Tyler, Texas, benefitting the Literacy Council of Tyler.

The East Texas Medical Center team racked up their third consecutive win in the contest by spelling “fantoccini.”

New Bern, NC

This article was first published in Suddenlink’s employee newsletter in May 2008. It has been modified for republication here, as one installment in an occasional series on communities served by Suddenlink.



The New Bern drugstore where Pepsi-Cola was invented.


Founded in 1710 at the junction of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, about 30 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, New Bern is considered the second oldest city in North Carolina. It’s no surprise, then, that the city and surrounding areas are rich with history, including more than 150 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

New Bern was first settled by German and Swiss adventurers led by Baron Christopher de Graffenried, a Swiss nobleman and entrepreneur. New Bern’s ties with the Swiss run deep – in fact, New Bern’s city flag still prominently features a bear in its emblem, honoring its relationship with Switzerland’s capitol city, Bern or Berne, purportedly named by its founder for a bear he had killed.

New Bern is also the first capitol of the Colony of North Carolina, home to Tryon Palace, so named for British Royal Governor William Tryon, who lived there until 1771. Josiah Martin, the second royal governor to live in the Palace, fled in 1775 at the beginning of the American Revolution. After the U.S. won its independence, North Carolina patriots made the Palace their capitol and conducted the first sessions of the N.C. General Assembly there. (In 1794, Raleigh became the state capital.)

New Bern is widely recognized as the birthplace of Pepsi Cola, which was invented by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1898 and was first known as “Brad’s Drink” before adopting its modern name. Today, Bradham’s pharmacy is the site of a store and museum dedicated to all things Pepsi. That facility opened its doors in 1998, on the occasion of the soft drink’s 100th anniversary.

[Read more…]

Gibbs Jones to Help Enhance ‘Customer Experience’

Suddenlink today announced that Gibbs Jones will be joining the company as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience. He will report directly to Chief Operating Officer Tom McMillin.

Jones has spent the last 17 years in customer-centric operations and initiatives, most recently as the head of a management consultancy practice, Global Service Connections. There, he advised and worked directly with media and communications clients, including Suddenlink, to improve the experience and loyalty of customers. Jones will now apply his leadership and expertise exclusively to Suddenlink’s operations, working with the company’s six region vice presidents and the leaders of its major customer-contact centers in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Texas.

“In today’s increasingly competitive environment, our relationship with our customers is more important than ever,” said COO McMillin. “Internal and external surveys suggest we’re making progress, but we still have room for improvement, and we’re excited Gibbs has agreed to help accelerate our progress in this critical area.”

Prior to Global Service Connections, Jones held various customer-care and related management positions at Tupperware North America, Comcast, Capital One, and Circuit City.

More HD in TX, AR, LA, and MO


Continuing its 2008 expansion of high-definition TV channels, Suddenlink has added FX HD, USA HD, and Sci Fi HD to its “HD Basic” package in a number of south-central U.S. communities, including Branson, Mo.; Mountain Home, Jonesboro, Russellville, Arkadelphia, and Heber Springs, Ark.; Bossier City, Alexandria, and Lake Charles, La.; Bryan/College Station, Tyler, Gladewater, Henderson, and Jacksonville, Texas — among others.




Check here for more information on Suddenlink HD versus competitive services.

Check here for more information on the categories or tiers of HD channels generally available through Suddenlink HD cable systems.

Check here, and enter your zip code, to determine if Suddenlink HD service is available in your area.

A Strong ‘TitleTown’ Finish for Parkersburg


In their quest for recognition as “TitleTown USA,” the people of Suddenlink-served Parkersburg, W.Va., drew very, very close — finishing second to Valdosta, Ga.

To give you a sense of just how close Parkersburg was to the tilte, viewers of the ESPN’s results segment last night report that only Valdosta and Parkersburg earned more than 20% of the votes cast, with the former at 29% and the latter at 24%. What’s more, Parkersburg’s 24% was more than twice the percentage of the third-place finisher: Green Bay, Wisc.

Be proud, Parkersburg! You have many good reasons to celebrate.

Suddenlink Hires Spoelman as Ops VP

Suddenlink has hired Dan Spoelman as Vice President, Operations, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Tom McMillin.

Spoelman, a 22-year cable-industry veteran, will focus on enhancing Suddenlink’s operational excellence, coordinating closely with the company’s regional operating teams.

For the past five years, Spoelman was Vice President and General Manager for Charter Communications, overseeing that company’s operations in western Michigan, prior to which he held other positions with Charter in Michigan and Texas.

Spoelman started his cable career in 1986 with TCA Communications, where he worked in two of the Texas markets now served by Suddenlink: Tyler and Amarillo.