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CenturyLink unveiling plans to rename Qwest


By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post

April 20, 2011

There's a new game in town when it comes to communications providers, and CenturyLink has begun to spread the word. The Monroe, La., company has begun rebranding what used to be Qwest, which it recently acquired, starting Tuesday night with lighted advertising at Coors Field during the Rockies-Giants ballgame. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)


CenturyLink has tossed the first pitch in the rebranding of the Qwest name.

The Monroe, La.-based company started displaying video-board and LED messages at Coors Field and other ballparks last weekend stating that "Qwest is becoming Century Link."

In early August, the Qwest brand in its 14-state local- phone service territory, including Colorado, will be replaced with CenturyLink-branded products and services, the company told employees in an e-mail this week.

CenturyLink, which closed its acquisition of Denver- based Qwest on April 1, said, "Transitional messaging informing customers of the pending brand change begins with these ballpark messages and will build through advertising and other messages that will begin in the coming weeks."

When the merger was announced in April 2010, CenturyLink indicated it may keep the Qwest name for some large business and government products and services.

But CenturyLink officials later decided that the company would do away completely with the Qwest brand.

CenturyLink said more details would come soon "regarding venues that currently carry the Qwest name."

"Each venue and the terms of the related contract will be evaluated to determine the appropriate rebranding implementation," CenturyLink spokes woman Stephanie Walkenshaw said Tuesday.

Walkenshaw didn't provide details on when the Qwest signs atop the company's former headquarters building at 1801 California St. in Denver would be taken down.

At this time, she said, there are no immediate plans to make "significant changes" to the signage.

The naming rights and lease to the building expire in June 2012.

Separately, CenturyLink executive vice president Stacey Goff disclosed two weeks ago that the company had to work hard to keep its headquarters in Monroe rather than relocating to Denver.

The remarks were made to Louisiana lawmakers reviewing a redistricting bill.

"To lose our congressman (because of redistricting) a week after the merger is embarrassing," Goff said, according to the News Star newspaper in Monroe. "People will say, 'That would never happen in Denver.' "

Walkenshaw declined to provide details about the factors CenturyLink considered in deciding to stay in Monroe.

While CenturyLink insists it has the ability "to attract, develop and retain a stable and high- quality workforce" in Monroe, the four former senior-level Qwest executives who joined CenturyLink after the merger all remain based in Denver.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209, or