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PROFILE: Dan Somers

Jan 14, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Dan Somers is home, in more ways than one, negotiating media deals from the other side of the table.
The former chairman of AT&T Broadband and longtime chief financial officer of AT&T Corp. is the new vice chairman at Blaylock & Partners, one of the largest minority- and female-owned investment banking firms on Wall Street.
Mr. Somers, 54, has sold the house he built in Denver to preside over AT&T’s broadband operations there and moved back into his New Jersey home full time.
EM: A small part of Blaylock & Partners’ overall business is in telecom with AT&T and Sprint. What do you bring to the table?
Mr. Somers: I can bring my knowledge and relationships in telecommunications and media from the past 10 years and help them build business in that arena-in banking as well as in mergers and acquisitions.
EM: This year is tenuous at best, with the biggest companies calling for “no growth.” Where are the deal-making opportunities?
Mr. Somers: It will be a mixed year. On the distribution side, cable companies will enjoy solid growth because of new services. There definitely will be more consolidation among the remaining cable operators. Broader media will be adversely affected by the advertising situation. Companies will be looking to expand or exit different businesses.
EM: There is rampant speculation that the combined Comcast-AT&T will go after The Walt Disney Co.
Mr. Somers: Comcast has got its hands full going through the process of getting the regulatory approvals it needs to close the AT&T deal. After that, I’m sure they will broaden. Comcast already has interests in E! Entertainment, The Golf Channel and QVC. There will be a closer alignment between distribution and content.
EM: Are you sorry you won’t be part of Comcast-AT&T cable?
Mr. Somers: This is where I want to be and how I want to finish my career after spending 25 years on the corporate side.