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Everytime I Think I'm Out They Drag Me Back In



I've wasted way too much virtual ink on TiVo (TIVO). I suspect y'all are sick of reading my TiVo rants. I know for a lead-pipe certainty that I would be financially happier if I'd never met the company.

I freely and openly concede all those points and add that I have "emotion" on the name, as evidenced by the fact that I take things like the Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) and CNBC's "Will Tivo be public in a year" poll deeply personally. It's not that I think the company is particularly defensible... it's more a matter of most everything I read in the press and research reports seeming hopelessly dated and reactive.

My own hubris and sentiment having been laid out, I can offer the following in good conscience:

  1. The Solly view that Marty Yudkovitz' forced resignation will lead to "morale and execution problems" is silly. With all due respect to Mr. Yudkovitz, he was brought on board to land a cable deal. He didn't. In a more honest world he wouldn't have been allowed to natter on about the rigors of business travel by way of explaining his departure. He took a job, got paid too much shareholder money to do it and didn't get it done. Standing him in front of the troops, ripping off his epaulettes and casting him out in shame would actually improve morale, albeit in a "Dogs need a strong master" kind of way.

    I mentioned sending my ideas on fixing TiVo to various folks in the company. I know a decent number of folk down there and the column rather begged for someone there to offer me a tall glass of shut-up juice. To date I've gotten one response and it was one word: "Noice!" (sic).

    This isn't a company that is going to go into a funk because some folks get fired.

  2. If not for their absurd poison pill the company would already have been sold, in my opinion. TiVo's value to others is higher than what it's trading for as a stock right now.... it's simply a matter of getting a management team that can extract that value for shareholders.

  3. Phillip Swann, who I've disagreed with in a vocal way more than once, has a some very solid insight on the mood at TiVo (and a decent back-story on a potential Comcast (CMCSK) deal from last year that would make me drop the rest of my hair had I any left).

  4. As far as I know, TiVo is still in court with Echostar (DISH) regarding patent violations. Any verdict that doesn't include the judge openly laughing TiVo out of court would send the stock higher and make a buyout more probable.

    I'm sticking with my "add a bit whenever silly downgrades and/ or lousy press beat the stock down" strategy with the stock. For what it's worth...
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