By Paul S. Maxwell Been There, Left That… Spent yesterday trying to track down Santa. I wanted to ask him what a lot of folks in our cable businesses discovered early Monday morning when they opened their "presents." After visiting the North Pole and finding it strangely abandoned, I found Santa late yesterday afternoon sunning himself on the pool deck at the Delano in South Beach. Anyway, lounging next to Santa was Atlantic Broadband’s Dave Keefe. He was hosting Santa—it’s Dave’s cable system—and being thankful for a healthier family and hoping that gridlock inside the Beltway would be another gift to appreciate. Santa, in an interview that lasted late into the evening, regaled me with the presents he dropped off for our friends: Dr. John Malone got a platinum DirecTV remote control that also doubles as a cell phone. Rupert Murdoch got legal threats from Judith Regan and the eternal gratitude of this kids. And he probably did the right thing about both "issues." Stan Hitchcock and BlueHighways TV got funded and plan to order pizza for New Years Eve. Michael Willner got a "treat-him-like-Bresnan-‘Community Chest’-card" from Comcast… well, we can dream… the guy who did more for cable on Wall Street than anyone else in a long time deserves the best of treatment. Meanwhile, Bill Bresnan got a Cable Center that’s found its footing and is prepped to be a significant cable industry asset. Amos Hostetter got a ringside seat on the next election cycle with Brian Lamb riding shotgun. And Brian heard the last of the just-married jokes. David Zaslav got a copy of "Documentary Film: A Primer" by Carl Rollyson and a visit to John Hendricks’ car museum in Colorado (and I want to tag along when he does go!). George Bodenheimer got the promise that John Elway and Jon Bon Jovi will actually suit up and play for their Arena Football League teams… now, that would make a ratings savior. James Dolan got named manager of the New York Knicks. Sue Hamilton got some time off. Fred Dressler got a nice note from Steve Bornstein. Meanwhile, Steve Bornstein got a voodoo doll of Fred… then discovered it didn’t work anymore. Kevin Martin(et) got new puppet strings and a mirror to practice his petulance in front of… but the mirror is actually a direct connection to YouTube. Robert McDowell got a pat on the head… so what else do you expect for doing what’s right? Ed Whitacre got another promise from Microsoft that his "U-Verse" would really, really be scalable "soon." Matt Polka and his board got respect. The NAB got what it deserved… oops, not yet… that’s a New Years Resolution! Meanwhile, Mike Mountford is trying hard. Kyle McSlarrow got DVDs of the ghosts that had visited him, including net neutrality and old pictures of him with long hair. Matt Blank got another pile of great scripts. Larry Aidem found extra hotel rooms in Park City. Brian Roberts and Steve Burke (not to mention Gary Forsee) got spectacular quad- play wireless reports from Portland. Leo Hindery got a mangled season’s greetings card that, much to his surprise, noted that he had done a lot of good for the industry during that system rationalization known as the Summer of Love. And everyone is cable woke up with the knowledge that the plant was a winner…

The Daily


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