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Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business by [Robichaux, Mark]
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Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description


Robichaux, an editor of the Wall Street Journal′s "Weekend" section, covered cable television for the paper from 1989 to 2001. Here he draws on interviews and published sources to produce a well–written account of John Malone. In the early 1970′s, at the young age of 29, Malone took over a small cable company on the edge of bankruptcy known as Tele–Communications, Inc. (TCl), which he adeptly turned around and in 1998 sold to AT&T for $48 billion, making it the largest media merger in history. The author weaves an intricate tale of the cable industry and TCI as he reveals the brilliant deal–making strategies that built the largest cable company in the world. A typical strategy would be to swap stock, which defers recognition of profit on the deal whereby taxes would not have to be paid. Using these tactics, Malone acquired hundreds of companies and was viewed as a monopolist, creating a political backlash in Washington that caused him to be called Darth Vader, Genghis Khan, and the Godfather rolled into one. Readable and well researched, this work is unauthorized but was written with Malone′s cooperation. Recommended for media collections in public libraries and those interested in the "art of the deal." Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY ( Library Journal, January 15, 2003)

"Readable and well researched..." ( Library Journal, January 15, 2003)

From the Inside Flap

John Malone′s rise to power within cable television was wild and improbable, and it mirrors how the nation′s network of high–speed cable wires–the most sophisticated in the world–came to be.

Recognized now as one of the great unsung business titans of the information age and vilified as the "Darth Vader" of the cable–TV industry, John Malone cut the deals and created the companies that have defined modern entertainment and communications in our lives.

In Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business, author Mark Robichaux paints a riveting portrait of Malone and details the competitive struggles of the industry through the eyes of the man who would come to dominate it.

Vivid detail and a colorful narrative bring Malone′s story to life as the intelligent and opinionated thirty–one–year old passes on the opportunity of a lifetime in New York City to take control of a tiny debt–ridden cable–TV company in Denver known as Tele–Communications Inc. As Malone transforms his beloved TCI into a media colossus over three decades, he, too, is transformed, from an East Coast, Ivy League student and sailor, into a cunning and commanding cable cowboy. Malone and TCI jump into a ruthless corporate battle to control the world′s living rooms amid an onslaught of new technology and government rules.

You′ll see Malone navigate an uncharted industry, relying on deal–making savvy, a brotherhood of cable entrepreneurs, and a passion to create wealth that bordered on pure instinct. Malone develops TCI into a force in the young industry, which evolves from a low–cost antennae service into a high–speed electronic pipeline known as broadband. Everything changes with the biggest deal of his life, when he convinces the oldest and biggest telephone company in America, AT&T, to purchase the company for $48 billion in stock and debt.

Cable Cowboy follows Malone as he battles the court of public opinion, local and federal governments, and business leaders such as News Corp.′s Rupert Murdoch, Microsoft′s Bill Gates, and Viacom′s Sumner Redstone in his pursuit of a more lucrative cable company and more powerful cable industry.

Today, Malone continues the cable crusade here and abroad with his Liberty Media Corp. Read Cable Cowboy and find out how the vision of one man and one industry sparked a revolution felt around the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3956 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (20 July 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QCS888
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joan Malone and Liberty Global are an amazing Power House paving the way for Cable services unmatched by satelite, ADSL, DSL or wireless. Liberty Global will change the way we use the Internet!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x963c1f0c) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x969d40a8) out of 5 stars "Excellent coverage of John Malone" 24 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Malone is so pivotal a figure in telecommunications and cable that I'm surprised it took so long for anyone to tackle him. Robichaux has done an excellent job of getting inside the mind of one of the most compelling characters in American business. This one rates a 'must read!'
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9683e12c) out of 5 stars The definitive book on John Malone 31 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
John Malone is a mogul, visionary, pioneer, and one of the most powerful and influential businessmen of our time. Cable Cowboy tells the definitive story of how Malone built a cable empire and in the process dramatically enhanced the communications and entertainment lives of people everywhere.
The author's narrative is riveting, bringing to the life the real-life cowboys who along with Malone built the cable industry one line at a time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96538438) out of 5 stars free MBA in this book 26 Mar. 2009
By Taco B. Devries - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is worth an MBA education. Mr Malone never had it easy but by sheer will and superior brainpower he succeeded. He never took no for an answer & always tried new ways to get something done. A true innovator and industry leader, Mr Malone is truly a business superstar.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9637bbec) out of 5 stars Great learning about the cable industry and John Malone 18 Mar. 2012
By Amir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating story about the birth of an industry and how few determined people can create a change (an industry) against the odds and mighty opponents.

I found the description of the many struggles of John Malone and Bob Magness as they built Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) to a dominant cable company an unforgettable story. It is a story of a rancher (Magness) who sold is cattle to "climb on towers and wire homes", and of John Malone a financial and business visionary who saved the company from bankruptcy (some will say multiple time) and led it to its powerful position.

I like the author ability to both describes in technical details the early days of the first cable systems and the personalities of the industry visionaries as they fight against many challenges (regulatory, financial and personal).

This book might be more important today (2012) than it was when released in 2005, as the industry is losing some of its dominance. The few broadcasting companies that were undefeated semi-monopoly only 30 years ago were slowly overtaken by the young cable guys as described in this book. Today some of these guys and the mighty cable industry are facing tremendous challenges (cable video subscription had its first negative year), other players are taking prominent position as leaders in the media distribution industry, and once "hooked" clients are debating about "cutting the cord".

The author neither analyzes the industry nor judge its ways. However, it is telling the story of risk taking people with a vision to create a product against all odds.

One might find that the key lesson in this book is that it is not only a company, a technology or a unique position that creates tremendous success, it is also (some will remove the word "also") the people, the captains of change. Read the book and you will have the opportunity to learn about one of these captains, John Malone.

Amir Avitzur
Author of "Why do we sell low and buy high? The guide you must read BEFORE you invest"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96c9c618) out of 5 stars A Genius who has seen the Futur 24 Jan. 2013
By jwilliamgrimes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having known Malone through business in the 80's it was obvious that he was destined to lead the information industry. Book describes his accomplishments in good detail. More to the story today is that Malone is the nation's largest private landowner and that his family foundation is enabling many excellent private high schools to enroll bright students who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend.
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