Glenn Britt, a former chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Cable and a leader in the pay-television industry for many years, died of cancer Wednesday at his New York City home at the age of 65.
Britt, who retired from Time Warner Cable last year, spent close to 40 years working in media, much of it in the cable industry during a time of tremendous growth and expansion. When Britt started out with a cable system in New York City in 1974, most Americans still received television from antennae on their roofs.
In a 2013 Los Angeles Times interview, Britt said when he started "there were dreams of offering television people would pay for," but most were "very skeptical about that."
A native of Hackensack, N.J., Britt received his B.A. and MBA from Dartmouth College. In 1972, he joined Time Inc. in the controller's department and then became vice president of Time's New York City cable system.
Britt spent his professional life associated with Time Inc. properties including Time-Life Books, HBO and its American Television and Communications cable systems unit. After Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications, Britt served as treasurer for the media giant.
In 1990, Britt returned to his cable roots as a top executive of Time Warner Cable. He became president in 1999 and among his achievements was the launch of the nation's first high-speed Internet service. Time Warner Cable grew dramatically on Britt's watch and is now the second-largest cable operator in the country and the biggest pay-TV provider in New York City and Los Angeles.
During his tenure, Time Warner Cable went from a $6-billion division to a stand-alone publicly traded company that is now in the process of being acquired by Comcast Corp. in a deal valued at more than $40 billion.
"Glenn left us with a legacy of innovation, integrity and inclusion," said Rob Marcus, who succeeded Britt as Chief Executive of Time Warner Cable. "He will long be remembered for his thoughtful and steady leadership through rapidly changing times in the communications field."
Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said Britt was a "key part of our industry's growth and success and was a true leader in every respect."