Comcast's DC 'general,' Cohen, could take fall for failed merger attempt

The regulatory rejection of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) $45.2 billion plan to merge with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) represents a huge, stunning defeat for the conglomerates' legion of lobbyists and corporate lawyers. 

David Cohen, Comcast


Front and center of that effort was David L. Cohen, Comcast's executive VP and legal affairs chief. With his contract set to run out at the end of 2015, according to a Comcast proxy statement filed April 10, there is speculation as to what Cohen does next.

"They just lost a big battle. Does the company need a new general to supervise the Washington political strategy?" said an anonymous source to the New York Post, in a story that run Monday morning. 

Indeed, Cohen was the voice of Comcast's merger effort for 14 months, aggressively responding to the deal's legion of opponents in corporate blog posts and FCC letters. 

As noted by the Post--which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.--Cohen "skews Democrat," and has donated money to President Barack Obama in the past, noting a personal friendship.

But not even the well-known Philadelphia lawyer's highest-level connections could influence the outcome of a deal that was so publicly unpopular. 

Comcast's lobbying effort cost the company $17 million in 2014, engaging 128 lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

For more:
- read this Philadelphia Magazine story
- read this New York Post story

Related links:
Comcast kills $45.2B Time Warner Cable takeover
Closing rhetoric kicks into overdrive as Comcast-TWC commenting period ends
Comcast performance dissed in City of Philadelphia report