Cablevision taking its show on the road to Wall Street

Cablevision CEO James Dolan, who traditionally has played the company’s operations close to his vest—and has made a career of creating minor dust ups with Wall Street and his biggest investors—will be meeting with some of the cable company’s largest shareholders next week in an effort to garner support for what the company says will be meaningful strategic moves, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Dolan says the company’s share price isn’t where it should be, and he’s looking to stir the pot a bit. Wall Street is skeptical anything significant will come out of the latest round of spin-off rumors—although Mario Gabelli, the head of one of its largest shareholders, Gamco Investors (which has an 8.3 stake in the Long Island company), is pushing for a sale of Cablevision’s cable systems—that’s right, its cable systems—to Time Warner Cable. Barring that, he says the company should sell its Rainbow Media unit and spin off Madison Square Garden. Gabelli will be hosting the meetings, which will be the first time in years that Cablevision has deigned to meet with its investors.

"It is a nothing short of staggering, and a clear sign that there has been a major inflection point that Cablevision shareholders need to be thinking about," said one stock analyst.

Not everyone is buying into the hype the Dolan family will finally be willing to part with any of its holdings. After all, last year the Dolans tried hard to take the company private, looking to buy up shares on the cheap, said Lauren Silva and Anthony Currie in breakingviews.com. And, it just recently completed the purchase of Newsday, one of the largest newspapers in the country. “At best, they will split off the entertainment assets while keeping the same supervoting stock structure that cements their control and drags on shares. That way, they nod toward shareholders while still holding onto their favorite toys.”

For more:
- See the Wall Street Journal story

Related articles:

Cablevision added 81,000 voice customers. Cablevision report
Cablevision announced a WiFi initiative in May. Cablevision report
Cablevision's Newsday buy is unlikely to start a trend. Cablevision report

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