Stephen A. Burch was named yesterday president of Comcast Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic Division, overseeing operations in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast has about 1.5 million customers in the region. Burch expects that number to reach nearly 2 million as Comcast continues to acquire other local cable systems.
Burch, 50, was formerly the regional senior vice president for Comcast. But the company's growth in the area prompted Comcast to form the Mid-Atlantic Division in May.
Birch's responsibilities will remain the mostly same. The difference, he said, is that Comcast will have a significant senior management presence in Maryland.
"As we become the principal cable operation in Maryland, D.C., Northern Virginia and Delaware, the decisions that need to be made will be made locally and in a very timely manner," Burch said.
Comcast is in the process of acquiring Home Team Sports L.P., a regional sports network, from Viacom Inc. and AT&T's cable television divisions in Washington, Baltimore, Ocean City and Cecil County, Burch said.
"Steve just demonstrates such great leadership skills that it is a very natural move for the company to promote him to the president's role over what is such a growing part of Comcast," said Barbara Gehrig, regional vice president of the Maryland/Delaware region who has worked with Burch since 1993.
Comcast recently acquired Prime Cable systems in Montgomery County and Arlington County, Va. and the former Jones Cable systems in Maryland and Northern Virginia, according to a release from the company.
"We literally doubled in the last year because of our acquisitions," said Burch, who oversees a staff of 4,000.
Burch also recently secured a $25 million agreement between Comcast and the University of Maryland, College Park to have the school's new arena named after the company. Comcast will provide cable television in the dormitories as part of that agreement, Burch said.
Burch, who has been in the cable television industry for two decades, came to Comcast in 1987 as the general manager for the Baltimore County cable system and worked his way up the corporate ladder.
He served on the Baltimore County school board from August 1995 to December 1996, when he resigned because he traveled so much for work that it left him little time to devote to the board.
He is a member of several boards and community organizations, including the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the University of Maryland School of Law Board of Visitors.