A Newhouse Education Can Lead to Success in a Variety of Fields

Learn More about the Career Arc of Paul Marchand ’91 from Advertising Student to Top Exec at Charter Communications

Paul Marchand’s career journey from Newhouse advertising student to one of the top executives at Charter Communications took a key turn at Lord & Taylor. 

Paul Marchand headshot
Paul Marchand

Marchand ‘91 joined a buyer training program with the department store giant after graduating from Syracuse, though he stayed involved with his field of study by placing ads in The New York Times and connecting with the heads of the company’s advertising and public relations teams. 

Then, he got invited by Lord & Taylor’s human resources staff to go to college campuses to recruit prospective employees. The thinking was that he could serve as a role model as a recent graduate.  

Marchand did such a good job that he ended up getting recruited himself—Lord & Taylor offered him a job in HR. Marchand is a prime example of how a Newhouse education can lead to success in an array of fields.  

“I did it on a condition that if this doesn’t work, I would go back to being a buyer,” he said. “One year in, I never looked back and just realized that HR was something I was really passionate about.” 

But the core skills he honed at Newhouse helped to set him on the path for success. After working in HR roles at Lord & Taylor, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and PepsiCo, Marchand is now the top human resources executive at Charter.  

Marchand joined Charter in 2015 as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. A leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator, Charter is a Fortune 100 business with nearly $50 billion in annual revenue, serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states under the Spectrum brand of internet, TV, mobile and voice products.  

“I never really lost the elements of the foundation of what Newhouse taught me,” Marchand said. “How do you influence your audience? How do you persuade people? How do you build advocacy? All those things that I do in my daily job get me back to my Newhouse roots.” 

At Charter, Marchand oversees HR strategies, policies and practices; recruiting training and development; and diversity, inclusion and community impact at a company with more than 101,000 employees. He played a pivotal role in helping guide the company and its employees through significant growth. A year after Marchand’s arrival, for example, Charter completed a three-way merger that quadrupled the size of the company’s workforce. 

a person stands next to a sign that says "Welcome to the Newhouse School" in the Newhouse 1 lobby
“I think there’s a grit and hard-working ethic to Newhouse and Syracuse students,” Marchand said.

Marchand said he is proud of key Charter initiatives that have helped expand the company’s workforce and retain employees at a time when the labor market is tight, including the establishment of a minimum starting wage of $20, freezing cost increases for employee health benefits for the past 11 years and a new free tuition program for full-time employees to continue their education and enhance their skills. Additionally, he said, all of Charter’s employees are based in the United States as part of the company’s commitment to have workers live in the communities they serve. 

It has been a busy time overall for Charter. Currently, the company is in the middle of a multiyear effort to build out its Spectrum Internet service to more areas, including the expansion of its high-speed broadband network to more than a million homes and businesses in unserved or underserved communities as part of the federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  

Last fall, the company unveiled the Xumo Stream Box, which gives users access to live TV and popular streaming apps and puts “customization and aggregation of content at top of mind,” Marchand said. A new distribution agreement reached in 2023 with the Walt Disney Company that gave Charter’s Spectrum TV customers free access to the Disney+ streaming app represented “a step forward for the video industry.”  

“It’s not unique to us, it’s an entire ecosystem issue. There’s so much content, and so many ways that people consume it, and where they consume it, and we want to be at the forefront of making it easy for people to watch their favorite programming wherever they are,” Marchand said.  

Consumer habits continue to evolve, driven in large part by younger viewers who have grown up watching videos on their phone or binging TV shows on a tablet. What hasn’t changed, Marchand said, is the drive and talent exhibited by Newhouse graduates in the workplace that date back to when he was a Syracuse University student in the late 1980s.  

“I think there’s a grit and hard-working ethic to Newhouse and Syracuse students,” Marchand said. Charter employs many Newhouse graduates across the company, he said, and dozens of alumni can be found both in front of and behind the camera in Charter’s Spectrum News operations around the country, from multimedia journalists like Caitlin McVey in Tampa, to anchors such as Cheryl Wills in New York City, to Karl Turner, senior news director in Columbus, Ohio. 

His biggest tip to current students sounds a lot like advice he might have followed when his career was just getting started. 

“Be as open-minded, flexible and realistic as possible,” Marchand said. “And I think what will happen is that you’ll focus on what is the actual work you want to do, and you’ll go do that work, and find success.”