You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

No. 40: Liberty Media

Englewood, Colo.

Revenue: $1.53 billion

Net Profit: $1.49 billion

Liberty Media, an investment company not a straight-up media conglomerate, is one of Wall Street’s quiet favorites largely because of the acumen of its highly respected chairman and founder, John Malone.

Over the years, he’s put together an intriguing combination of programming and distribution assets in the U.S. and overseas. He’s got plenty of cash and has just filed to raise $2 billion more for future deals, and keeps investors and rivals guessing as to his next move.

Liberty owns pay TV group Starz Encore Media outright, along with 49% of Discovery Communications, a growing cable empire with a half-dozen channels and $1.8 billion in revenue last year. Malone owns a big chunk of News Corp. and is front and center in Rupert Murdoch’s plans for a new satellite subsidiary called Sky Global Networks. He’s got pieces of QVC, E!, Telemundo, AOL Time Warner and USA Networks along with international cable heavyweights UnitedGloalCom and Telewest.

Overseas cable is clearly a core Liberty strategy nowadays with assets held within Liberty Media Intl., which just bought a group of German cable systems from Deutsche Telekom and, some speculate, is looking to become a gatekeeper in Europe.

Investors and media players expect even more movement from Liberty since being spun off from parent AT&T on Aug. 10. Malone joined with AT&T when he sold the telco giant his cable company Tele-Communications several years ago. He recently resigned from the AT&T board.

Beware of the numbers, however. Given Liberty’s hybrid nature they’re far from simple. What the company calls its “comprehensive” profit/loss was a negative $5.5 billion in 2000 including $202 million in foreign currency translation and $6.75 billion in unrealized holding losses. Revenue for the attributed, or nonpublic assets like Starz Encore and Discovery, was $4.2 billion.

More Biz

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content