UK cable operator NTL, currently in the throes of a double whammy of takeover bids, has announced the appointment of a new ceo.

The head of US number one cable giant Comcast, Stephen Burch, is to take over the role from Simon Duffy who becomes executive vice-chairman from January 16.

Burch has been with Comcast for 17 years and was a key player in its acquisition of AT&T Broadband for $72 billion (€60.08bn; £40.71bn) in 2001.

NTL, which is headquartered in the US but only operates in the UK, is merging with rival British cabler Telewest, and is buying out Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Mobile telco. Its aim is to re-brand as Virgin Media and provide a serious rival to UK satellite giant BSkyB [WAMN: 13-Dec-05].

Details of the merger between the two cable businesses have been amended, so the combined enterprise can keep the UKTV contract with the publicly-funded broadcaster, the BBC, which owns a 50% stake in the 10 channels.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff