Harbinger ups ownership stake in Cablevision

Cablevision management might want to pick up their pace a little, because hedge fund Harbinger is gaining on them. Regulatory filings yesterday showed the activist investor, which likes to shake up the management of companies it has a stake in, increased its holdings to 8.1%, some 18.95 million shares of the Long Island-based company's Class A stock.

While the dual-class stock structure makes it nearly impossible to empty out Cablevision's executive suite, the nation's fourth-largest cable operator could find itself in the center of a high-profile media battle. Or, simply, with a couple of new board members ready to vote "no" when appropriate, ala the New York Times after Harbinger set its sights on the Gray Lady.

Harbinger could just be sending a not-so-subtle message that it's time for management--and CEO James Dolan especially--to be more responsive to shareholders. After all, it's not always a bad idea to speak softly when your carrying that big stick in the form of a sizeable ownership stake.

"They are sending a message that they want to play a role in the direction the company takes," said Thomas Eagan, an analyst at Collins Stewart.

For more:
See the Wall Street Journal story

Related articles:
Hedge fund buys Cablevision stale. Harbinger report
Cablevision makes nice with Wall Street. Cablevision report
Cablevision surprised investors with plans to actually TALK to them. Cablevision report
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