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TCI Cable strikes deal; Falcon to provide service in Medford

Medford's cable television subscribers will receive service from anothercable company under a deal announced Wednesday.

Tele-Communications Inc. ­ TCI ­ announced that Falcon HoldingGroup L.P. will assume control of TCI cable TV systems in five states, includingOregon.

How the deal will affect subscribers or the 80 TCI employees in JacksonCounty wasn't known late Wednesday.

I just found out, said Dan Bickford, general manager of TCICable in Medford. All I know is there has been a deal made and weare part of it.

He said he put in a phone call to his boss to find out more details,but things are really hectic right now.

Under the partnership, TCI systems in Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Alabamaand California ­ with 300,000 subscribers ­ will be combined withFalcon's systems, which have 700,000 subscribers in 26 states.

TCI is to hold a minority interest, with Falcon managing the partnershipand consolidating partnership results for financial reporting purposes.

This partnership offers our cable customers, particularly thosein less populated areas, the efficiencies of a combined operating structure,said Leo J. Hindery, TCI's president and chief operating officer.

All of Falcon's management is looking forward to a long and mutuallybeneficial relationship with TCI, said Falcon chairman and CEO MarcB. Nathanson. This will enable Falcon to cluster nearly 70 percentof its subscribers in classic cable markets in five states.

TCI has provided cable to Medford and surrounding areas since the late1980s.

TCI systems affected are those in: Pendleton, LaGrande, Grants Pass,Klamath Falls, Newport and Medford; Cape Girardeau and Nevada/Clinton/KnobNoster, Mo.; Redding, Calif.; Kennewick, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima,Wash.; and Decatur and Piedmont/Centre, Ala.