Billionaire Gerry’s return to the world of cable television will signal his first direct involvement in the industry since he sold his company Cablevision Industries Corporation (CVI) , at that time the world’s eight largest, to Time Warner in 1996.
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/ By Albert Hecht /
Jeffrey S. DeMond, President and CEO of BCI Broadband, is a very busy man. But not too busy to realize the advantages of bringing in someone with a lifetime’s experience in the cable industry to provide invaluable advice as his company continues to expand throughout the United States.
This is what the management team at BCI Broadband have acknowledged by calling on Alan Gerry to join their advisory panel.
According to Mr. DeMond, Alan Gerry is not just a cable pioneer, but one of the names so often credited with creating our modern cable broadband industry. “The relationship between BCI and Alan and his team is as deep as it is long. We welcome our new colleagues at James Cable to the BCI family, and could not be more proud to announce that we are the vehicle chosen by Alan to re-enter the industry.” De Mond summed up.
Gerry’s input couldn’t come at a better time for BCI Broadband, who have recently completed the acquisition of yet another cable provider, James Cable, whose systems will ideally complement BCI’s existing network in the states of Oklahoma and Texas, increasing the number of US homes connected to the cable system through BCI to 300, 000
BCI’s rapid expansion is particularly remarkable when you consider that the company was only established last year 2012, albeit by the senior management team from one of United States longest and well-established cable operators, Bresnan Communications. BCI was formed by former Bresnan Communications executives DeMond and Andrew Kober, with Kober taking up the role of chief financial operator. Also involved in BCI broadband is the well-known private equity firm BBH Capital Partners, who are sponsored by Brown Brothers Harriman.
Alan Gerry was born and raised in Liberty, New York, growing up in the pre-war depression years. During World War II, Gerry, by then in his teens, dropped out of high school to serve in the Marines during the last days of the War, where he had his first taste of working with electronics. He added to his skills after the release by learning television repair as part of the GI Bill program.
Gerry was one of the first people to see the potential in cable television during the 1950s, and with just $1, 500 behind him, he established his first cable company in 1956, which he gradually grew into Cablevision Industries (CVI) one of the largest cable companies in the United States. Gerry sold his company to Time Warner more than 40 years later, for a sum of close to $900 million. . At the time of the acquisition, CVI was the largest privately owned cable company in the United States serving over 1.3 million subscribers in 18 states.
With close to one billion dollars in the bank, Gerry founded Granite Associates, L.P, a diversified investment company, particularly active in telephony and communications, During the time they have been in operation, Granite have helped a number of startup Internet companies to get established, with a number of them having already reached the status of being public quoted.
As well as being still very active in several cable organizations, including CablePAC and the Entrepreneurs’ Club, Gerry remains a major contributor to educational and medical institutions including, endowing a chair of orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, establishing the Paul Gerry Dialysis Center in Sayre, Pennsylvania and involvement in a program at Boston University to find a cure for amyloidosis.
In addition, not long after selling out to Time Warner, Gerry bought up the parcel of land in Bethel, New York, that housed the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969, on which he built the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts at an investment of over $100 million.