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WESTSIDE : Century Cites Cable Regulation for Layoffs


Century Communications, which owns and operates cable television outlets in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, has announced that it plans employee layoffs to offset what the company calls the increasing costs of cable regulation.

In a statement, Century said the majority of layoffs would be in supervisory and management positions. The company, based in New Canaan, Conn., did not state a timetable or the number of employees it plans to lay off.

"Although plans are still being finalized, we anticipate minimal [effects] in the customer care, installations or any other direct customer service positions," the company said in a press release dated June 16.

Century is the 15th-largest cable company in the nation, providing service to more than 1 million customers on the Westside as well as Eagle Rock and portions of the San Fernando Valley.

The company has come under fire from some municipalities for allegedly setting unfair rates. The Beverly Hills City Council has demanded customer refunds, prompting Century to file an appeal with the Federal Communications Commission.

Since last year, the FCC has made several attempts to lower prices for the nation's cable subscribers, imposing new rules on rate reduction.

"As you know, various government bodies have placed, and continue to place, demanding regulations on the entire cable industry. Every local cable operator, including Century, is working to deal with this unfriendly business climate," the company statement said.

"Century cannot continue to operate in its 'business as usual' framework," the release said.

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