Once again we present an unranked honor roll of magnates whose empires have spread beyond the cable assets named here. This grouping of royalty is too lofty for our list of 100. Instead we present them here, with brief and sometimes slightly irreverent commentary.
Paul Allen (Charter)
A welcome sight will be the 56-year-old Allen and his rockers in L.A. competing in Cable’s Battle of the Bands in ’10. Presumably that will mean Allen’s won a far more important battle, against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Gregory Q. Brown and John Chambers (Motorola Cisco)
Motorola is considering breaking itself apart to survive, with the largest piece being the unit that makes set-tops and networking equipment. It could go for $4-$5 billion, The Wall St Journal says.
Phillipe Dauman (MTV Networks)
The 55-year-old Viacom chief had a total compensation package in ’08 of nearly $23 million. OK, so we’ll let him pick up the check next time.
Charles and James Dolan (Cablevision/Rainbow)
The smart money is buying up NY Knicks tickets with the assumption that LeBron James will be a member of the Knickerbockers next season, rivaling James Dolan, 53, for the moniker King James. Until then fans’ biggest thrill will be free WiFi in Madison Square Garden.
John Hendricks (Discovery)
The 57-year-old West Virginia native and CableFAX Hall of Famer will oversee Curiosity: The Questions of Our Life, a 60-part documentary launching in ’11. We hope one of those questions is how he went to a Chinese restaurant with Bob Miron years ago and ended up launching Discovery.
Bob Iger (ABC Family/Disney Channel/ESPN)
Yes he’s a visionary, dealmaker, mentor and very sharp dresser, but perhaps the biggest perk of Iger’s gig is that he might be the only Earthling with the cell numbers of both Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.
James Cox Kennedy (Cox)
We feel better about the environment knowing that people like Kennedy, 61, and his $4.5 billion are making it a priority. We’re not sure Kennedy feels too good about his $2 billion net worth drop from ’08.
Dr. John Malone (Discovery Nets/Encore/Starz)
Who wouldn’t want a friend like Dr. Malone? Besides helping Sirius XM with a $530 million loan, he can get great seats for Atlanta Braves’ baseball games. His Braves failed to make the playoffs again, but with a net worth of $2 billion+ he can’t feel too badly, right?
Greg Maffei (QVC/Starz)
The 48-year-old Harvard MBA is Liberty’s President/CEO but has never seen a game involving the NY Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association. The reason? We’re not at liberty to say. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Les Moonves (Showtime/CBS College Sports)
Insiders say Moonves is a pleasure to work with and that he’s deeply involved with his cable properties. He also has one of the coolest sounding names in media.
Rupert Murdoch (Fox Cable)
When the 78-year-old Oxford grad’s net worth was $7 billion net last December we advised him to add some risk to his portfolio. So he bought the Journal for $5.6 billion in cash. His net worth now is $6 billion. OK, so we were wrong.
Brian Roberts (Comcast)
A CableFAX scoop: King Brian cooked up the Comcast-NBCU deal in a last-ditch effort to emerge from the shadow of strong-hitting Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.
The lone woman here is tied with Dr. Malone for #141 on Forbes’ 400 Richest Americans list, but only because her net worth fell in ’09 to $2.3 billion. Please, no jokes about the name of the 55-year-old’s Discovery network. Well, yes, she does ‘own’ much of the planet.
Jeff Zucker (NBC Cable)
Will Zucker keep his job in the new Comcast regime if the deal comes to pass? It could depend on King Brian Roberts, 50, who might resent that he’s not the youngest on our list. Zucker is just a lad of 44.