Cablevision/Newsday synergies? Not quite

We thought we had a big story on our hands this afternoon when an email popped up in our Inbox proclaiming: “Newsday TV”.

Finally, Cablevision Chief Executive Jim Dolan is sticking it to the Doubting Thomases of Wall Street by serving up the synergies between his recent acquisition, the Long Island newspaper Newsday and his 3-million strong subscriber base of cable TV customers and cable networks, we thought.

It wasn’t anywhere close to what we imagined.

newsday-tv-landing-page.jpgYes, Cablevision has launched a new interactive Newsday channel. But the interactivity pretty much ends with an on-screen subscription form letting cable customers order up a Newsday subscription on TV screens and charged to cable bills.

From the Cablevision release:

Located on Channel 611, the Newsday channel features both 7-day and weekend delivery options (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), and promotional information on the paper’s various sections and benefits, including local news, sports, Long Island Home, area coupons, the Explore LI feature section and classifieds. Also available through the channel are long-form videos of some recent Newsday stories, and information on the paper’s “Newsday Insider” benefit program for subscribers.

Meanwhile Wall Street cable analyst Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research not only thinks there’s little obvious strategic sense in the Newsday acquisition for Cablevision but that the Dolans, who control the cable operator, probably paid $150 million too much for the paper in May.

DISH’s Ergen won’t give in to TiVo: ‘I’m just stubborn’

charlieergen1999-2.jpgYou can think what you like about the management of DISH Network Corp, the second largest U.S. satellite TV operator, but they’re nothing if not refreshingly frank about the economy, the state of the market and their competitors’ tactics.

Of course, a lot of that has to do with the disarming candor of founder and Chief Executive Charlie Ergen, whose conference calls tend to avoid the sort of obfuscation and Orwellian double-speak the media and investors have to come expect from C-level executives in corporate America.

Ergen had to be especially blunt today on a day his company announced a loss 0f 25,000 subscribers, which according to Bernstein Research’s Craig Moffett, was its first ever loss of subscribers.