Rumor mill: Charter has ‘battle raging’ between Rutledge and Malone

Liberty chief John Malone
John Malone

Charter Communications is beset by a “battle raging” between Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media czar John Malone, over the future of America’s second-largest cable company.

This information, which can only be categorized as juicy gossip at this point, comes courtesy of The New York Post and its typical anonymously sourced reporting.

The Post doubled down on its June report that Rutledge is looking to have Charter buy privately held Cox Communications, despite the Atlanta-based Cox’s staunch and sustained insistence that it’s not for sale.  

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Meanwhile, Malone, who controls 27% of Charter’s stock, reportedly wants to see Charter sold to Japan’s SoftBank or any number of other potential suitors. 

“I think Malone is a seller,” the Post quoted an anonymous source, who added that “the board is totally behind Rutledge.”

The paper said SoftBank recently offered Charter $540 a share. “I wouldn’t count Malone out,” the source said. “There is a 50% chance a SoftBank-Charter deal happens in six months.”

Neither Charter nor Liberty has commented on the Post story.