CableFAX: 28. Comeback Kid: Rocco Commisso

Rocco Commisso
Title: CEO, Mediacom
Last Year: #26
Age: 58
Education: Columbia U., MBA, BS, Industrial Engineering

Why Him? The Comeback Kid is not a kid. He’s spent 30 years in cable, earning industry respect for his financial prowess. But after coming off a tough retrans fight with Sinclair and bleeding basic subs, Commisso was revived in ’08. Mediacom’s comeback included record RGU growth, basic sub adds and a buyback of some 30% of outstanding stock from Morris Communication’s Shivers Investments. The tax-free deal lines up the stars for Mediacom to go private, should Commisso desire. But Mediacom’s numbers weren’t the whole story. Des Moines and Cedar Rapids were devastated by summer floods. Mediacom not only worked tirelessly in those cities, but helped raise more than $100K for relief efforts. Commisso also co-chaired the ’08 Cable Show, which, speaking of comebacks, did a phenomenal job raising money to help New Orleans.

Proud Moment: Being the only public MSO with basic sub gains in Q3.

Year Ahead:
Not everyone anticipated Medicom’s strong ’08. With several retrans deals and programming contracts expiring, ’09 could be hairy. But we’ve learned to expect the unexpected with Commisso, so we’ll reserve judgment.


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