Charter Communications has hired former Disney World lobbyist Sharon Smoley to oversee government affairs in Florida, where the MSO has just closed its deal to acquire Bright House Networks.
Charter reps didn’t immediately return emails to confirm and/or comment on Smoley’s hire. But the executive has already updated her LinkedIn profile to include the job of “director of state government affairs - Florida” for the MSO.
The news was originally reported by the Orlando Sentinel, which had some interesting background on Smoley’s effectiveness as a government influencer.
Several years ago, the paper reported, Smoley was the center of the so-called “Textgate” scandal in Orange County, Florida, in which local commissioners were accused of deleting electronic communications with lobbyists. This was before the commission blocked a referendum from the ballot that would have mandated employee sick time.
Smoley reportedly exchanged 32 messages with Commissioner Jennifer Thompson before that referendum was blocked.
As most of the acquisition attention has been focused on Charter’s simultaneous purchase and closing of Time Warner Cable, the MSO’s dealings in Florida lately have largely flown under the radar.
Indeed, after Charter surprised analysts during their second-quarter earnings report last month by revealing that Bright House had lost nearly 100,000 video subs in Q2, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett called Bright House a “black box.”
- read this Orlando Sentinel story