Activist hedge fund buying stake in Cablevision

Analysts and industry watchers who celebrated the "new openness" of Cablevision and its CEO James Dolan after the company hosted a three-day meeting for investors this week can start cleaning up the confetti. Turns out the powers that be at the Long Island-based cableco may have felt compelled to be a bit more investor friendly after realizing hedge fund Harbinger Capital Management -- which has a history of, um, "helping to shape the management" of companies in which it invests  -- was quietly building a 4.9 percent stake in Cablevision, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Cablevision execs had to be a tad surprised -- and maybe nervous -- when the new players didn't bother to attend their soiree. Regulatory filings Thursday show Harbinger bought 11.45 million shares of Cablevision Class A shares, making it the fifth-largest shareholder.

"Everybody was wondering why Jimmy got religion all of a sudden," Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., told the Journal. "Now we know why."

For more:
See the Wall Street Journal story

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