After 17 years in Wichita and nearly 15 years with Cox Communications, Jay Allbaugh is getting his shot at running a multi-state region for the cable TV and broadband provider.
Atlanta-based Cox has named Allbaugh, 58, senior vice president and manager of its Northeast Region, comprising Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Ohio.
“This is truly a bittersweet moment,” Allbaugh said Thursday. “It’s hard to leave, but at the same time you’re energized to take that next step in your career.”
Allbaugh, who is Kansas market vice president, came to Wichita 17 years ago to work as director of government affairs for what was then Multimedia Cablevision. When Cox acquired the Wichita-based cable system — with operations in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Carolina — Allbaugh became a vice president and added public affairs to his government affairs duties. He held that role until last year when Cox restructured and Oklahoma City became the base for its Central Region, which includes Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, parts of Arkansas and Sun Valley, Idaho.
Cox has 1,100 employees in Kansas and more than 800 in Wichita.
Allbaugh started in the cable TV business in 1980 as a lobbyist for the newly formed Oklahoma Cable Television Association. He grew up on a farm outside Blackwell, Okla.
“He hired me at Cox, and he has been and continues to be a great mentor, a great friend, and I couldn’t be more pleased for him,” said Kristin Peck, public affairs vice president for Cox Central Region. “He is very highly regarded within the Cox company and has demonstrated exceptional leadership for us.”
Allbaugh said Central Region manager and senior vice president Percy Kirk was an advocate for his promotion.
“Jay has been an exceptional leader for our company in the Kansas market for many years,” Kirk said in a statement to The Eagle. “Our company is very fortunate to have him take a larger role in leading employees and keeping Cox connected to our communities.”
Allbaugh said he doesn’t have a firm date for his move to Providence, R.I. He said he will begin transitioning next week to the new role traveling between Wichita, Atlanta and Providence. He expects to complete the transition by the end of the year.
Peck said a search for Allbaugh’s replacement is underway.