OUR YEARLY HONOR ROLL OF THOSE WHOSE RESPONSIBILITIES (AND NET INCOMES) ARE TOO LOFTY FOR US TO INCLUDE IN OUR LIST OF 100 MIGHTY CABLE EXECS. STILL THESE HIGHLY POWERFUL SOULS ARE NOT ABOVE THE IRREVERENT RIBBING SOME RECEIVE HERE.
PAUL ALLEN (CHARTER)
We’ve got nothing but admiration for Allen, who pledged this summer to give away most of his $13bln fortune. The largest beneficiaries will be neuroscience and biology, he’s said.
GREGORY Q. BROWN AND JOHN CHAMBERS (MOTOROLA/CISCO)
In this cat and mouse, Brown’s Motorola is ahead due to Cisco’s bad Nov forecast for 3%-5% growth: the target was 13%. A major culprit was fewer orders for cable set-tops, Chambers said, conceding Motorola had expanded its market share. The Journal’s headline: ‘Torture Chambers for Cisco Shareholders.’ Nice.
PHILLIPE DAUMAN (MTV NETWORKS)
The 56-year Viacom chief blasted Apple TV’s offer of 99 cents/ep for Viacom content in late Sept. Dauman’s total ’09 package was nearly $13mln. Clearly the man knows from the price of apples.
CHARLES AND JAMES DOLAN (CABLEVISION, RAINBOW)
Rainbow has never shone brighter. Cablevision remains the gold standard. But last December it was a foregone conclusion that LeBron James would be joining the Dolans’ Knicks. Oh, what might have been.
JOHN HENDRICKS (DISCOVERY)
Hendricks put in $6mln to build The Discovery Channel Telescope, housed at the Lowell Observatory in Happy Jack, AZ. The $48-mln device should be ready by Nov ’11, The AZ Daily Sun reports. Naturally, Discovery Channel gets first dibs on any, er… discoveries.
BOB IGER (ABC FAMILY/DISNEY CHANNEL/ESPN)
We could salute this visionary and dealmaker who has Miley Cyrus on his speed dial. Or we could marvel at media’s best-groomed man. Clothes don’t make the man, it’s true, but Iger looks smashing in a suit.
JAMES COX KENNEDY (COX)
We greatly admire Kennedy, 62, for his philanthropy. His net worth jumped mightily this year, to $6.2bln, tying him with Rupert Murdoch and others for #38 on the Forbes 400 list.
GREG MAFFEI (LIBERTY MEDIA, QVC, STARZ)
Liberty Media CEO Maffei, 49, earned a cool $88mln last year, making him the top-paid CEO in the country. Drinks on you, Greg… forever!
DR JOHN MALONE (DISCOVERY, STARZ, QVC, TIME WARNER CABLE, DIRECTV)
The good Doctor is having a good ’10. His disappointing net worth of $2bln is up nearly $1bln this year. Restructuring (combining Liberty Entertainment with DirecTV) was responsible for much of that. In August, WSJ reported he’d purchased a 300K-acre cattle ranch 150 miles E of Santa Fe. Please, no jokes about being bullish.
LES MOONVES (SHOWTIME/CBS COLLEGE SPORTS)
Moonves is such a professional, we hear that if he has to cancel The Talk, the CBS show co-hosted by his wife Julie Chen, he won’t even have to sleep on the couch. Well, not for more than a few weeks.
RUPERT MURDOCH (FOX CABLE)
The 79-year-old took our ’08 tip to increase risk in his portfolio (he bought the WSJ as a result). Like many of us, his net worth inched up in ’10. Unlike many of us, that inch put him at $6.2bln instead of $6bln, Forbes says.
BRIAN ROBERTS (COMCAST)
Comcast’s Chairman/CEO has grown the MSO to a company with $36bln in revenue. Yet we’re baffled by reports that after the NBCU deal is completed he plans to replace the NBC peacock with a cheese steak. "It’s all about being local," he says.
Oprah’s net worth jumped from ’09’s $2.3bln to a respectable $2.7bln. Best news is Discovery’s press team finally can supply a photo. And such a nice one, too.