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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 25, 2006 at 1:52 PM

BusinessWeek: Charter’s a disaster

Charter Communications is one of the “ugliest” U.S. companies around and has “the financial soundness of a banana republic,” according to a stinging writeup in BusinessWeek. The magazine places nearly all of the blame for the disaster on Chairman Paul Allen.

BusinessWeek said it normally forbids reporters from writing about companies in which they hold stock. The magazine made an exception for this article, though the Web version at least doesn’t say who the author is. An excerpt:

I bought some shares a few months after the IPO. I figured I’d be getting in on the deal of a lifetime: Cable companies were the toll collectors to the broadband gold rush. Plus, if anything were to go wrong, Allen’s billions represented the ultimate safety cushion.

What I ended up getting was an absentee father of an owner; book-cooking; Royal Tenenbaums-like dysfunction in the executive suite; and the kind of corporate governance that would get a company booted from Zimbabwe’s stock exchange.

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