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Malone Talks About Buying Programmers

Fresh from backing Charter Communications' bid to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, cable titan John Malone is also thinking about rolling up programmers.

In talks with investors and in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Malone said that Lions Gate Entertainment, the studio he already owns a piece of, and Starz, a company he controls, could combine, then buy other smaller companies that own cable networks.

Those companies could include, AMC Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive.

“Lions Gate could buy Starz and potentially other free radicals in the industry,” Malone told the paper.

Malone could also find a way to incorporate Discovery Communications, another company in which he owns a stake.

He also called CBS a great asset and said he considered Viacom valuable.

None of the programmers commented to the paper.

Last week, analyst Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein, writing about media mergers, pointed to scenarios involving Malone combining Starz and Lions Gate, and then looking to roll up Discovery, Scripps, AMC and Viacom.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.