Marc Nathanson

Marc Nathanson (May 12, 1945) is an American entrepreneur. He is best known for his founding of Falcon Cable, which he sold in 1999 for $3.7 billion. He is a member of the Cable TV Hall of Fame, awarded with Inc.s Entrepreneur of the Year and a former chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Marc B Nathanson
Born (1945-05-12) May 12, 1945 (age 75)
EducationBA and MA
Alma materUniversity of Denver and University of California Santa Barbara
OccupationBusiness executive
Known forFounding Falcon Cable, American billionaire
Spouse(s)Jane Nathanson

Early lifeEdit

Nathanson was born in Los Angeles and raised in Illinois.[2] Nathanson graduated from Highland Park High School and in 1967 from the University of Denver.[2] He also earned an MA from the University of California Santa Barbara.[1][3]


In 1969, he took a job with Cypress Communications Corporation (owned by Harriscope Broadcasting) in Los Angeles, California, where he became head of marketing (Cypress was eventually sold to Warner Cable in 1973).

After Cypress Communications, Nathanson became vice-president of marketing and programming for TelePrompTer Corporation. In 1973, he left to start his own firm, Falcon Cable, with a self-investment of $25,000. He received a $2 million investment from his father and father-in-law, and $6 million from a bank loan.[citation needed] The first cable systems he ran were in Gilroy, Porterville. Altadena, and San Luis Obispo, California.[1][4] The umbrella corporation for the cable company and Nathanson's other ventures was Falcon Holding Group, which Nathanson served as president for until 1999. The corporation included Falcon International Communications and Falcon International. He also served as the company's CEO from 1975 until its sale in 1999. From 1988 to 1999 he also served as chief executive officer and president of Enstar Communications Corp, and as chairman of the board for each of the companiesl.[5]

According to the Los Angeles Times, "while many larger cable TV companies have scrambled to wire major metropolitan areas with flashy, 75-channel, state-of-the-art cable TV systems, Falcon has found success in operating no-frills systems in areas that get poor TV reception."[4]

The Falcon Group formed in 1984 with Nathanson co-owner of the cable company. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company was formed with other co-owners, including the Mutual Life Insurance of New York, following a $50 million deal for 18 cable systems in seven states that were owned jointly by Warner Communications and American Express.[6] Nathanson was a part of larger mergers between cable entities during the 1990s as well.[7] In 1998 Tele-Communications Inc. took a 47 percent stake in Falcon, and the following year the company was sold to Paul Allen's Charter Communications for $3.7 (initial reports pegged the price closer to $3.6 billion).[8] The deal provided Nathanson with the second largest stock holding among the Charter shareholders.[9] According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the deal made "Charter the fourth-largest cable TV operator in the country, with 5.5 million customers."[10] In 1994, he was Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year.[11]

President Bill Clinton appointed Nathanson to a three-year term on the Board of Governors of International Broadcasting of the United States Information Agency in 1998.[5] He served as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors during the Clinton and Bush administrations, is a member of the American Democracy Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace's International Advisory Council, and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His tenure as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors lasted from 1995 to 2002 and included leading the Broadcasting Board of Governors through its international response to the September 11 attacks.[citation needed]

Nathanson invested the profits from the sale into his investment firms Mapleton Investments and Mapleton/RDS Real Estate Group, which has investments in industries ranging from radio to real estate to waterless urinal companies[1] with Falcon Waterfree Technologies, which he first invested with in 2000.[12] He is currently Chairman of each firm.[11] Falcon Waterfree Technologies is the largest manufacturer of waterless urinals in the world.[citation needed]

Nathanson became vice-chairman of Charter Communications upon the sale of Falcon and a director of the board, until 2008. He also served as director of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and a trustee of the Aspen Institute. He had also previously served as president of the California Cable Television Association, as a member of Cable Pioneers, and founded both the Cable Television Administration and Marketing Society (CTAM) and the Southern California Cable Television Association. In addition he is co-chair of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Affairs Council, and several charity boards in Southern California.[5][13] He is also a member of the board of directors for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.[14]

In 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Nathanson as her representative to the Board of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is currently vice-chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and was founding Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council for Los Angeles."[11][15][16] Nathanson was an early supporter of Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential nomination campaign.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d "The World's Billionaires: #1014 Marc Nathanson". Forbes Magazine. March 5, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Marc Nathanson interview". Cable Center. November 8, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  3. ^ Janet Stilson & Simon Twiston Davies (June 6, 1994). "Falcon feathers nest with overseas deals". Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  4. ^ a b JOHN LIPPMAN (July 19, 1992). "How Falcon Cable Got to Be a Plugged-In Firm : Entertainment: Marc Nathanson keeps expanding his Los Angeles-based company, which is one of the most politically connected enterprises in the state". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Marc Nathanson overview". BusinessWeek. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  6. ^ JAMES BATES (April 15, 1986). "Nathanson Company to Buy Conejo TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Mark Robichaux (2002). Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business. John Wiley & Sons. p. 180. ISBN 9780471434320. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Cable Deal for $3.6 billion is Expected. Cableoptics Newsletter: Covering Worldwide Developments in the Application of Fiber Optics in CATV Systems. July 1999. p. 4. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Margie Manning (October 31, 1999). "St. Louis' biggest stock offering". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Charter to buy Falcon". St. Louis Business Journal. May 26, 1999. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Speaker's Biography: Marc Nathanson". The Milken Institute. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Joshua Davis (June 22, 2010). "Pissing Match: Is the World Ready for the Waterless Urinal?". Wired Magazine. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Kelsey Volkmann (December 10, 2008). "Third director resigns from Charter's board". St. Louis Business Journal.
  14. ^ David Ng (March 6, 2014). "Jane and Marc Nathanson to sell three works from collection". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Marc Nathanson profile". Aspen Institute. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  16. ^ David Dadge (2004). Casualty of war: the Bush administration's assault on a free press. Prometheus Books. p. 36. ISBN 9781591021476. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  17. ^ Amy Wallace (August 13, 2008). "Haim Saban". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)