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Stanley Wang has been the only general counsel that Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. has ever known. But after almost two decades at the helm of its legal department, during which Comcast has grown into the third-largest cable television provider in the United States, Wang has stepped aside; he looked no further than down the hall for a replacement. Wang was promoted recently to executive vice president in charge of law and administration. But the daily running of the in-house law operation will be handled by his former chief deputy general counsel, Arthur Block, who now assumes the title of senior vice president and general counsel. According to both men, the move has been in the works ever since Block joined the company in 1989 from Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen, also based in Philadelphia. Block spent the first 10 years of his legal career handling Comcast’s transactional work while at Wolf Block. He continued that work when he moved in-house, overseeing the acquisitions of the Flyers and 76ers, Suburban Cable, E! Entertainment Television and QVC. “I think this was always the plan that I step in at some point, but with the [management] change from [Comcast founder] Ralph [Roberts] to [son] Brian [Roberts], you never really know for sure,” Block said. “I’m just pleased that Brian has shown this level of faith in me.” Block, who also was the point person last year when the company lost out to AT&T in its effort to purchase Media One, will continue to spearhead Comcast’s transactions and financing arrangements. Over time, though, he will assume a larger role in litigation, SEC compliance, personnel, and communication with the legal departments at subsidiaries such as QVC, E!, The Golf Channel, Comcast Cable, Comcast SportsNet, and Comcast Telecommunications. Each subsidiary has its own legal department and general counsel that report daily to the business head of the specific operation. But Wang, and now Block, oversee the separate legal departments from a policy standpoint. Wang’s responsibilities over the years came to include oversight of internal auditing and human resources, the latter of which he wants to emphasize in his new position. “I want our employees to see us as the premier employer in the region,” Wang said. “I think that’s very important because we’re one of the few major corporations to be headquartered out of Philadelphia.” While Wang will still have a policy role with the law department, Block will make daily decisions. Wang, though, will continue to lend his expertise in what was always his main area of focus: cable-television regulation. During his time with Comcast, Wang has seen the company grow from a local business that served a few more than 100,000 cable subscribers in the Philadelphia area to a national presence with 8 million subscribers nationwide. Because of the company’s immense size, it has called on the services of New York’s Davis Polk & Wardwell to handle most of its litigation and corporate work. Philadelphia firms such as Wolf Block, Dechert and Drinker Biddle & Reath also handle certain matters, but Block said the company felt it needed “the depth and breadth of a New York firm” to handle its sophisticated cases and deals. Wang has served as general counsel ever since joining Comcast in January 1981. He previously practiced at the Newark, N.J., firm Mayner & Landis for 15 years. He said he is most proud of his role in the company’s overall growth. “I couldn’t really pick one [accomplishment],” Wang said. “The company’s just been so successful, and I’ve just been along for the ride. But 20 years is enough, and it’s time for a new person with fresh ideas.”

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