Discovery is free—sort of. This month, Liberty Media spun off to its shareholders 0.10 shares of Discovery Holding Co. for every Liberty share they own (DHC will house Liberty’s 50% stake in Discovery Communications and Ascent Media). Wall Street may not be entirely thrilled with the new ownership structure. It was initially expected that Discovery Communications’ other major shareholders, Cox and Advance/Newhouse, which each own 25% of the company, would participate in the spin. The shareholder agreement among DHC, Cox and Advance/Newhouse calls for holders of at least 80% of the company’s shares to approve major moves, such as confirming annual business plans and merger activity. That provision is not new, says Discovery SVP David Leavy, who adds that the spin-off will not lead to operational changes. Publicly traded, stand-alone programming entities are the exception, not the rule, so DHC—in effect, Discovery—will be closely watched. Even though the company has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, potential new investors may wait on the sidelines to see how the dynamics of its ownership structure work out. "Yes, there’ll be more scrutiny," Leavy says, but "we feel comfortable with where the business is going." —Mavis Scanlon Number of network brands: 21 Number of countries those networks are seen in: 160 Number of retail outlets: 115 Number of U.S. schools using Discovery Education material: 85,000 Advertising revenue, 2004: $1.1 billion Advertising revenue, 2002: $830 million Subscriber fees, 2004: $976 million Subscriber fees, 2002: $647 million Total operating revenue, 2004: $2.4 billion Total operating revenue, 2002: $1.7 billion Total net income, 2004: $168 million Total net income, 2002: ($48 million) Amount New York Times paid for a 50% interest in Discovery Times: $100 million Amount Discovery expects to pay for Fox Entertainment Group’s share of FitTV this year: $92.9 million Amount Discovery paid out in 2004 under its long-term incentive plan: $240.7 million Percent of Discovery Communications to be held by the public after the Liberty spin-off: 50% Discovery’s Nasdaq stock symbol: DISCA and DISCB Source: SEC filings

The Daily


FTC To Talk ISP Privacy Practices

FTC staff is scheduled to present findings at Thursday’s open meeting on the privacy practices of six major ISPs. The evidence was gathered from orders issued in 2019 to AT&T , AT&T

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