Press Release

CenturyTel to Close Call Center

For Immediate Release: 3/3/2000

MONROE, La. ... CenturyTel, Inc. (NYSE Symbol: CTL) announced today that it will close its call center business in San Marcos, Texas, effective May 1. The closure impacts approximately 155 full-time, part-time and temporary employees, but does not have any effect on the customer service center that handles local calls from CenturyTel customers in the San Marcos area.

The company announced on January 5 its intent to exit the third-party call center business which provided service to other telecommunications companies. It spent last month searching for a buyer for the center and studying the feasibility of converting the operation to one which would only handle calls from CenturyTel customers.

No outside buyer for the business has emerged and the company has determined, following careful study, that it is not economically feasible for the center to remain open.

Call center operations have never been a part of CenturyTel's core telephone and wireless operations, Post said, and does not contribute to the achievement of the company's long-term goals. After long and careful deliberation, he said the company decided to exit the call center business, and put its San Marcos center up for sale.

Regular full- and part-time employees will receive a severance package, and the company has made arrangements to help workers find new jobs through a professional outplacement service. Employees are being encouraged to bid on available positions at other CenturyTel properties.

The Louisiana-based communications company has decided to exit the call center business entirely, intending to focus more intently on its core telephone and wireless operations. It has also canceled plans to open a similar call center facility near Chattanooga, Tenn.

CenturyTel, Inc. provides integrated communications services including local exchange, wireless, long distance, Internet access and security monitoring services to more than two million customers in 20 states. The company, headquartered in Monroe, La., is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CTL. CenturyTel is the 7th largest local exchange telephone company, based on access lines, and the 9th largest cellular company, based on population equivalents owned, in the United States.


Media Contact:
Patricia Cameron (318) 388-9674