Job information

Time Warner Cable will hold a job fair from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in West Columbia at 3347 Platt Springs Road. Online: jobs.time warnercable.com/

In the first major economic development announcement of 2013 for South Carolina, a cable TV giant said Friday it will bring 644 new jobs to Lexington County.

Time Warner Cable, which also is an Internet service provider, announced the $24 million expansion for its Midlands campus.

“Even in a recovering economy, Time Warner Cable continues to grow and is pleased to offer valuable, good-paying jobs in Columbia,” Carol Hevey, executive vice president of Time Warner Cable East, said in a statement. “The addition of 644 jobs, which increases our South Carolina workforce by more than 50 percent, emphasizes our strong commitment to South Carolina.”

Time Warner Cable, which has 1,300 employees across the state, will expand its Retention Center, Telesales Operations Support and Payment Services departments at its West Columbia campus, the statement said.

“... While we work to bring new companies to South Carolina, it speaks to the strength of our state’s business-friendly climate when existing businesses like Time Warner Cable succeed and grow,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in the statement.

The company will begin hiring immediately.

Locally, Time Warner Cable serves about 20,000 households, mostly in the Summerville area.

The New-York-based company was in the news this week in Charleston when it nearly lost access to the local NBC affiliate WCBD because the two sides were unable to come to terms over fees as a Dec. 31 deadline neared. They reached an agreement an hour before the contract was to expire.

Also, the company made international headlines when it announced Wednesday that it was dropping Current TV, hours after Qatar-based media outlet Al Jazeera bought the channel.

The cable company said it didn’t cancel the channel for political reasons, and Thursday it issued a statement saying it was “keeping an open mind” and could reinstate the channel in the future if it makes financial sense.