From the Village Voice:
You can be sure that Time Warner believes that its decision to bump the Yankees and move a minor news network all the way from channel 104 to a prime spot on the dial carries some weight with the city and the man who runs it.
And that's because Mike Bloomberg, besides running New York, also owns a company called Bloomberg LP, which happens to run a little business-news network called Bloomberg TV.
Which you can now find on your cable system at channel 30.
Because Bloomberg is not only the mayor but also the richest man in New York, he agreed to several conditions when he took office in 2002. In order to make sure that his decisions about the welfare of all New Yorkers would not be complicated by his personal business welfare, he was required by the city ethics board to sell his publicly traded stocks and his interest in a hedge fund. Much was made in the media of how well the billionaire, and the city he ran for a salary of a dollar a year, had been sealed off from his (potentially corrupting) billions.
After nearly two full terms, however, the walls between the mayor's money and his public office that once looked so strict have appeared more and more porous. In some cases, like with Time Warner, that may not have been Bloomberg's doing. And in others, it may not have even been what was on his mind. But as he nears a third term, there's little doubt that Bloomberg's business interests have become increasingly intertwined with his government, a conflicted marriage unprecedented in the life of the city and unchecked by an independent overseer.
One of the rules Bloomberg agreed to was that he would keep his hands off "all matters involving cable television."
While Bloomberg has backed wholesale deregulation and higher rates for cable, saying that carriers "don't make a lot of money," there is, in fact, no evidence that Bloomberg has ever personally intervened in the decisions about the three national companies that have contracts with the city. But it's clear that his network did benefit, mightily, from Time Warner's channel change.
It's also true that television is increasingly important to Bloomberg LP's long-term business plan. Until Bloomberg's most trusted aide, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, announced his departure from city employment, he had overseen the city's cable franchises (his designated successor, Ron Lieber, does that now). Doctoroff left the city to become president of Bloomberg LP, where he has made the revamping of the television operation a top priority, bringing in NBC's Andrew Lack and adding Charlie Rose.
Two months after Doctoroff was installed as Bloomberg LP's president in January 2008, the Time Warner channel switch happened.