Hallacy named Cox interim CTO; Suddenlink hashes out retrans deal with Viacom

> Telecom industry veteran Don Hallacy will run Cox Communications' technology organization until a new CTO is picked to replace Scott Hatfield, who left the post in June. Hallacy's background includes a stint from 2002-2007 where he was CIO of BellSouth's Communications Group and president COO of the BellSouth Technology Group. That, of course, was before BellSouth was swallowed by AT&T (NYSE: T). Story.

> There's always a retrans deal in the works somewhere. Suddenlink now has until the end of the month to work out a deal with Viacom (NYSE: VIA) covering such channels as MTV, Nickelodeon, V Land, Comedy Central, Spike TV, VH1 and lesser names like Logo, Palladia HD and the Suite. In "the unusual event these negotiations are unsuccessful, the service provider would reduce the cost of service to subscribers, a blog post said. Story.

> Speaking of (OK, writing about) Viacom, CEO Philippe Dauman expects the programmer to post nice gains in upfront advertising because "there is momentum in the marketplace and momentum on our networks." Dauman also had nice things to say about Netflix (and there's news in itself), calling it "a great partner for us" and labeling Netflix founder Reed Hastings as "a visionary." Story.

> Canadian MSO giant Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR) doesn't view Netflix quite as kindly. It says "foreign entrants" like Netflix and Google TV (is that really a threat anymore?) are undermining the Canadian broadcasting system and should be regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Story.

> The answer to the question "How long can two huge egos survive in the same business?" appears to be 17 years. That's how long media moguls Barry Diller and John Malone co-existed in the media group IAC/InterActive. Now Malone's Liberty Media is selling its $368 million controlling stake in return for $220 million and two Web businesses, Evite and Gifts.com, and Diller is handing over the reins as chief executive at IAC to Greg Blatt, the chief executive of IAC's dating website Match.com. Story.

And finally... Comcast continues to contract or, as the old buzzword goes, converge its operations. The nation's top MSO and NBC Universal suitor is eliminating its cable division headquarters in Oaks, Penn., constricting its divisional operations to three areas: Boston, Atlanta and Denver. Story.