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Kozlowski Resigns After SBCA Endorses Merger

12/26/2001 09:35:00 AM Eastern

Alexandria, Va. - Stan Kozlowski, board chairman of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) resigned his association post after a majority of the board voted to formally endorse the pending merger of EchoStar and DirecTV.

Kozlowski, who is National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) senior vice president of sales and marketing, had reportedly urged the board to seek legal counsel before moving to break a long-standing SBCA precedent and endorse a private business matter. He had also sought a vote by secret balloting, and resigned after both motions failed.

The NRTC, which distributes DirecTV programming in rural markets, represents areas of the country that are most vulnerable to a monopolization of satellite-based TV programming distribution, since many rural consumers don't have access to cable or even over-the-air television signals.

First vice-chairman Eddy Hartenstein, who is also chairman and CEO of DirecTV, will replace Kozlowski as chairman of the SBCA board.

'SBCA believes that a combined EchoStar/DIRECTV would be well positioned to more effectively compete with the entrenched cable monopoly, and would help further the roll-out of local-into-local into additional markets. 'Further, the combined company would have increased ability to deliver high definition television and interactive services to more consumers nationwide,' said SBCA President Andy Wright.

'Stan is an important leader in the satellite consumer services industry. He is a friend who has led this Association with distinction during a difficult transition period. He will certainly be missed, but we look forward to continuing to work with Stan in other capacities in the years ahead,' Wright said.