John Malone
Paul Sakuma/AP/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Liberty Media

John
Malone

Chairman

In the consolidating media sector, one man seemingly looms behind every deal.
John C. Malone has been on a dizzying buying spree in recent years, including a $4.4 billion deal for Formula One car racing; his partly-owned cable system giant Charter Communications purchasing Time Warner Cable for $78 billion in May 2016; taking a 10% stake in Lions Gate Entertainment through three affiliates in 2015; Lionsgate’s buy of Starz premium pay TV outfit for $4.4 billion from Malone’s portfolio; and two affiliates acquiring U.K.-based production conglomerate All3Media for $930 million in 2014.

And as 2017 draws to a close, he seems far from done: Malone was reportedly interested in taking a stake in Univision, and his Charter could very well do a deal to get into the wireless business. Malone’s strategy can be difficult to fathom from those and other eclectic deals, though they mostly emphasize distribution—especially subscription businesses where consumers pay monthly fees—over pure content creation.

His companies also have diverse interests, including 34% of concert behemoth Live Nation (70% on a voting basis), a 65% chunk of Sirius XM satellite radio, baseball’s Atlanta Braves and overseas TV/broadband systems. Also, Malone personally owns 21% (29% voting stake) of basic cable giant Discovery Communications, which announced a $14.6 billion deal for Scripps over the summer.

A veteran of the pay-TV business, Malone is also called the “cable cowboy” because he personally owns 2.2 million acres of real estate and lives in Colorado. His first jobs were at Bell Telephone Laboratories, consultancy McKinsey & Co., cable equipment outfits and cable system giant TCI, where he first emerged as a media mogul. He has an electrical engineering degree from Yale University, and a master’s degree in industrial management and Ph.D. in operations research from Johns Hopkins University.

Career

  • Lionsgate
  • Liberty Media
  • Starz Networks

Education

  • Yale University (CT, USA)
  • New York University (NY, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Dealmaker's Impact

News from Variety

Home-Shopping Spree: QVC, HSN Will Merge Under John Malone

Home-Shopping Spree: QVC, HSN Will Merge Under John Malone

Operators had better be standing by to handle this one: The nation's two best known home-shopping TV operations, QVC and Home Shopping Network, are set to come together under an all-stock deal valued at approximately $2.1 billion put together by John Malone's Liberty Interactive Corp.Under the terms of the deal, Liberty Interactive, which owns QVC and already controls a 38% stake in HSN, will combine the two outlets. Shareholders in HSN will receive 1.65 shares of QVC’s Series A stock for...

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