2014-10-11 / Front Page

Zito Media rising from Adelphia ashes

Rigas family company now serving 16 states


What was once the Adelphia Operations Building on Coudersport’s South Main Street is now partially occupied by Zito Media. The company offers cable TV, internet and telephone service to systems in 16 states and continues slow but steady growth. What was once the Adelphia Operations Building on Coudersport’s South Main Street is now partially occupied by Zito Media. The company offers cable TV, internet and telephone service to systems in 16 states and continues slow but steady growth. Next April will mark the 10th anniversary of a legal settlement that spawned the birth of Coudersport’s Zito Media.

While heavyweights such as Comcast and Time Warner have dominated the headlines in the telecommunications industry, Zito has quietly been building a company with its own identity in the wake of the Adelphia bankruptcy.

Owned by the Rigas family, Zito was born of the cable systems in the Coudersport, Emporium, Port Allegany and Austin areas in 2005.

Today, Zito Media bills itself as “a full service, local telecommunications company, offering digital high-definition television, high-speed internet, and digital voice services, to rural markets in 16 states.”

Just this week, Zito announced it is increasing the speeds on its most popular tiers of internet service for all customers.

“Super-Speed Internet” is increasing from 20 to 30 megabits per second. “Ultra-Speed Internet” is increasing from 50 to 65 megabits per second.

In the last six years, Zito Media has invested more than $20 million in infrastructure upgrades.

It’s a long way from that dark day in 2005 when the Rigas family agreed to forfeit $1.5 billion in assets to settle sweeping federal fraud charges that cost investors billions of dollars and forced the nation’s fifth-largest cable provider into bankruptcy.

Under the settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department, members of the Rigas family gave up most of their assets in Adelphia. Those family holdings include separately owned cable systems with 215,000 subscribers worth as much as $900 million, $567 million in securities and $10 million in real estate.

James Rigas, youngest of the three sons of John and Doris Rigas, is Zito Media’s driving force. A handful of former Adelphia employees have joined Zito’s growing workforce, headquartered in the massive, opulent office building on South Main Street that was once the Adelphia Operations Building. It’s now leased to Zito by the Potter County Redevelopment Authority.

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