John Malone Rides High as Cable Cowboy Remakes Pay TV, Again

Excerpts: John Malone Rides High as Cable Cowboy Remakes Pay TV, Again

  • “There is no one better able to come back in right now, take the reins over, than this guy,” Leo Hindery, who headed Malone’s Tele-Communications Corp before it was sold to AT&T in 1999, said in a phone interview from New York. “You want Edison around when you come up with a new light bulb, and he’s no different for the cable-TV business.”
  • Two years ago, Malone’s Liberty Media took a 27% stake in Charter, a pay-TV operator that held just 4.2 million subscribers. Since then, Charter has increased its size to 5.9 million subscribers. The Charter investment, Hindery said, fulfilled Malone’s desire to have a vehicle to re-enter a cable-TV industry.
  • “John is a shareholder’s CEO,” Hindery said. “He has done right by his shareholders again and again and again. He’s also the greatest visionary of the multi-channel industry.”
  • If regulators approve Charter’s deal for time Warner Cable, and a separate agreement to acquire privately-held Bright House Communications, it stands to grow to 23 million customers nationwide, well within striking distance of industry leader Comcast at 27 million.