mfarrell's blog

Shane Smith's Last Word

New York – Vice Media CEO Shane Smith endured the endless barbs of friends and colleagues as the recipient of the Center for Communication’s Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communications Wednesday, but the new media wonder boy got the last and perhaps the best word in as the luncheon fundraising roast for the non-profit journalism education foundation came to a close.


Patrick Drahi: Europe’s John Malone or the Dutch Paul Allen?

Patrick Drahi’s Altice NV has made another big splash in U.S. cable, agreeing to pay $17.7 billion for Cablevision Systems,  a deal that will vault the European telco (when coupled with its $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink Communication) in to the No.4 spot among cable operators in the country. The fact that Drahi has done it so fast – they announced the Suddenlink deal in May – and his whirlwind string of European telco deals over the past few years have drawn obvious comparison to cable legend John Malone.

Another Form of Cord Cutting

There has been a lot of talk lately about how consumers are cutting the Pay TV cord because of high prices and not enough choice, but the idea of doing without the video business is becoming increasingly attractive to some distributors as well.


2016: The Critical Year For Measurement

Anyone who has been around the media business for any length of time has heard the song before – [insert calendar year here] is the year we will finally experience the joy of true cross platform ratings measurement.  But at the risk of having to eat crow in the next six months, 2016 is beginning to shape up as the year it finally happens.


Tom Rutledge’s 'Texas Two-Step'

Tom Rutledge may be known as a consummate cable operator, having led Cablevision Systems and Charter Communications through some rough waters, but the Charter CEO knows how to dance around an onerous regulatory framework as well, using something known back in his early days at Time Warner Cable as the “Texas Two-Step.”


Rupert Passes the Baton

There was a lot of ink shed in the past couple of days over the talk that Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, was getting ready to pass the baton to his sons James and Lachlan. According to people familiar with the matter, James would become CEO and Lachlan would become co-executive chairman, sort of a brotherly tag team to run one of the largest and most influential media companies in the realm.


Bright House Critical in Charter-TWC Deal

It may take some time to figure out whether Charter’s $78.7 billion deal to purchase Time Warner Cable is a good one, but according to MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst Craig Moffett, a critical component of the deal was Charter’s purchase of Bright House Networks from Advance/Newhouse.


Five Things You Need to Know About Altice

While most people may have a hard time naming three things from Luxembourg (Hint: Jean-Claude Van Damme isn’t one of them), cable operators would be smart to bone up on their knowledge of the tiny country wedged between Belgium, France and Germany, and especially its telecom company, Altice.