BofA media banking chief departing

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NEW YORK -- Stephen Ketchum, global head of media investment banking at Bank of America, has been swept away in the broad cost-cutting campaign that has primarily affected bankers and traders in credit and fixed-income products at the bank's securities unit.

Officials at the Charlotte banking giant confirmed the departure of Ketchum, 46, a managing director who joined five years ago from UBS Warburg and at one time ran both media and telecommunications banking. Ketchum, who was based in New York and spent 11 years at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, has been working on Echostar's spinoff of its satellite and set-top box businesses. He also is one of the bankers working with the Dolan family in its attempt to take Cablevision Systems Corp. private.

Richard Swift, who joined Bank of America from Morgan Stanley two-and-a-half years ago and initially reported to Ketchum, will be interim global head of media and continue in his role as global head of telecommunications.

The cuts are part of a bank-wide plan announced last week to eliminate 3,000 jobs.

About 500 of the layoffs are occurring in the capital markets and investment banking unit, with the bulk of those in the credit-scarred capital markets sector.

Most of the layoffs announced to date have involved fixed-income areas.

Another senior investment banker, Mike Malone, who was head of the gaming and casino sector, retired after almost 24 years, the bank confirmed. His area will be combined with the real-estate investment banking area led by Ron Sturzenegger.

Bank of America racked up about $1.4 billion in third-quarter trading losses throughout its investment bank, prompting Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis last week to send chills through his markets and banking group by saying: "I've had all the fun I can stand in investment banking at the moment." Lewis also ousted Eugene Taylor, a commercial banking veteran whom a few years earlier he had put in charge of the corporate and investment banking unit.

Despite a relatively strong burst of hiring of investment bankers in recent years, Bank of America has not moved strongly into Wall Street's top ranks. Ketchum's media group ranked 10th in 2006 by value of mergers and acquisitions it advised on, and this year is in ninth place, according to Thomson Financial.

Shares of Bank of America fell $2.52, or 5.2%, to $45.76 Thursday.
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