Bilotti: Numbers tell all

Richard Bilotti was caught in the middle of two storms last week. One was a snowstorm in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was leading investor clients on a tour of Adelphia's cable system. The other occurred back at his Manhattan office when he sliced his ratings on Disney, Viacom and News Corp. Clients wanted information, and Bilotti wasn't there. "Here I was trapped in a car for 12 hours when I'm downgrading a whole sector," he says.

Such is the chaos sometimes surrounding one of Wall Street's top media analysts.
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magazine has ranked him the top cable analyst since 1997 and this year named him second among entertainment analysts.

The former airline analyst is known for exhaustive-often exhausting-studies of cable and entertainment companies. Bilotti and his team of four associates fill page after page with crunched numbers, plunging deeply into minutia that some of his competitors don't always study as rigorously. Bilotti's cable associate Benjamin Swinburne left Lucent's merger group to join Morgan Stanley a year ago.