One career on the bumpy road to Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

By Laurie Bennett

February 13, 2014 at 10:56am

With the announcement of the planned merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Joe Collins is experiencing deja vu all over again.

Time Warner - Comcast mergers

He is both a director of Comcast and former chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable.

Collins started his career in the cable business 42 years ago, as marketing director for American Television and Communications Corporation in Orlando.

Since then, he has often been at the center of the industry’s biggest mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs.

We’ve tracked his connections, and the many marriages and divorces of his employers, in a series of interactive Muckety maps, combined above as an animated gif.

Collins rose to become chairman & CEO of American Television & Communications, which was acquired by Time Inc. in the 1970s.

In 1989, Time and Warner Cable merged, becoming Time Warner Inc. Collins headed Time Warner Cable for two years.

By then, Time Warner had entered its messy and short-lived union with America Online. Collins headed the merged company’s interactive video operations.

The effort to combine AOL and Time Warner cultures and business operations failed dismally, and the companies split in 2009.

That same year, Time Warner Cable was spun off from Time Warner.

Now it has agreed to be acquired by Comcast, where Collins has been a director since 2004.

The $45.2 billion all-stock deal, which requires government approval, is the second big move by Comcast in the past year. It picked up NBC Universal in 2013.

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