Cable Guru Paul Kagan Dies

(Image credit: PK Worldwide)

Paul Kagan, whose approach to research revolutionized the way analysts, Wall Street and the media industry itself looked at the cable business, died Aug. 23. He was 82 years old.

According to an obituary written by his family, the cause of death was kidney failure. 

Kagan is best known for his Carmel, Calif.-based research company, Paul Kagan Associates, which he founded in 1969 after a one-year stint as a broadcasting industry analyst for E.F. Hutton. Kagan was the first analyst to value cable companies based on multiples of cash flow -- instead of the traditional earnings valuations -- a move that more accurately tracked the then-fledgling industry.

In 2000 Kagan sold Paul Kagan Associates to Primedia. He stayed with the firm he founded for five years, forming PK Worldwide media in 2005, also based in Carmel. Primedia sold Paul Kagan Associates to MCG Capital in 2004, which renamed it Kagan Research LLC. In 2007, MCG sold the company to SNL Financial and in 2015 McGraw-Hill Financial purchased SNL Financial, including the Kagan properties. The research company continues to operate as Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.   

At its height, Paul Kagan Associates maintained offices in Carmel; Denver; London; and Hong Kong, published 38 newsletters, 95 databooks, conducted a dozen high-level conferences each year and valued billions of dollars worth of companies, provided expert witness testimony and consulted for leading companies and government agencies.   

Friends, colleagues, business leaders and family remembered Kagan as an innovator, a dedicated family man and mentor, who enjoyed a good joke and who lived life to the fullest.  

He was named to The Cable Center Hall of Fame in 2011 and was a co-founder and director of The Cable Center, a co-founder and Director Emeritus of the John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation, which offers grants to students seeking a career in radio, a fellow of the New York Society of Security Analysts and a member of the Media Analysts Group of New York. 

Kagan is survived by his wife of 62 years Florrie, daughters Melanie (Ross) Canter, Linda (Ron) Cosmero and grandchildren Mia Canter, Gabe Canter and Matthew Cosmero. 

The family said in memory of Kagan that it will be donating to the Warriors Community Foundation, which is dedicated to making a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.