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Mario Gabelli On Amazon Leaving New York: ‘It Was A Mistake’

Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Mario Gabelli of discusses why Amazon leaving New York was a big mistake. He also discusses the Disney-Fox acquisition.

Amazon Leaving New York

Mario Gabelli On Amazon Leaving New York: ‘It Was A Mistake’

Mario Gabelli: ‘Businesses Look At The United States As A Good Place To Be’

Mario Gabelli Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc. discusses the stock market, IPOs and media industry with Jen Rogers and Myles Udland of Yahoo Finance.

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Transcript

We're back with billionaire value investor Mario Gabelli. So we just looked at this map of the United States of your hotspots and there is Hudson yard which is here in New York City. And there is Nashville and there's Reno. And I wanted to have a little bit more into Hudson Yards close to home. There was some news today out of Bloomberg that and Macy's popped on us was up 2 percent filing a report that the retailer may build an office tower above their flagship store there. Does that go into the Gabelli Hudson Yards idea.

Well if you read some of the annual reports of companies and they talk about their vision for that area one of them is a real estate company tornado that I happen to see the sign when I walk into this building. Basically they highlight that look the vision of individuals and you've got to applaud him. Barry Diller helping create that Green Mile so to speak that we created down there and that is an interesting area. How do you participate in that.

That is basically the screw up in New York City was the financially illiterates that didn't understand that yet to bring Amazon it you need to create scale you need to create vibrancy you need to create that kind of feeling that so that next time New York doesn't has an air pocket they've got a whole new wave of talent. Reno is doing that. Nashville is doing that. New York has got it but it could lose it.

OK wait before we get to national real quick just on the Amazon do you think that was a huge mistake. Oh come on.

If you didn't think it was a mistake you have to be financially literate. It's not the twenty five thousand people it's the whole impact on psychology. It's the impact on the multiplier effect of people that come in. Okay.

I grew up in the Bronx and I understand the virtue of New York City. I also help him to work for a guy named Lindsay in this campaign. And six years later the headline says New York City is going to bust because we blew it and had did not plan for the future. You did not plan for the future by doing that.

I'm not emotional about it and I don't like queens to begin with. So I don't with it. Well Amazon feels the same way as you.

Because in addition to those 25000 jobs that were supposed to come to New York doing 5000 jobs that is actually happening in Nashville now that just like you seeing that is a growth area. Well a lot of I agree.

Like in Nashville is hard because look I was twenty five years ago I went down and bought Christian contemporary music and country and western because I liked the genre I thought with Bob with the Clinton being president it would be very helpful it was. So we own a big position in a company called Gaylord Ryman owns the Opry Land and Ryman and this is attractive. And more importantly the content is attractive. That is live entertainment because of Spotify and what is happening with Tencent and other streaming video music. So.

Grand Ole Opry. I've driven by it. I've never been have you been there.

Oh yeah. Just went 80 dollars a share. Five million fifty million shares for a billion market cap. They can't. They have to do something. They can't do venues. They screwed up in Manhattan. A technical term on Broadway where they try to do something. They took a 30 million dollar write off. They just have to romance the talent. And find a way to get it and are artists and repertoire and figure out how to get their labels started and do it again. And that could be attractive over the next 10 or 20 years.

Talked about content and broadcast earlier Fox and other company. You guys are involved in what you see in there.

OK. We started following Herb Siegel and Rupert Murdoch and you know us Steve Ross when they were trying to put these things together fast forward. We inherited that because if we owned the old fox we got thirty eight dollars a Disney paper cash and we got ten dollars we could cost this to buy Fox they split one for three so the 620 million shares a new Fox they got about 5 billion in debt. And what you're going to have is a tail and if it year ends June so for the year ending June of 2019 2020 they don't get the full impact of the elections but they get a lot of it. The election is going to have 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans running for office and the good thing is they all like TV so there is a big tailwind. Secondly they have a smart idea with regards to sports and news and I think they'll do quite well. So this and they're having the first analyst meeting in a couple of weeks. I think they'll lay out that plan their strategy we'll figure that out. But on balance at the thirty five thirty six thirty seven whatever the stock is it's again a split that's a 20 billion market cap. My preference would be for you to buy tag. My preference is I'd like next door but that's gone from 88 116. I think Meredith will do something with their broadcast properties that stock was around fifty five. So there's a lot going on in that area even Apollo is a late comer but will do quite well in buying into the market.

And you said earlier that you like Disney if Bob Iger is running it. Well Bob Iger is going to leave in two or three years or four years and I'm assuming that you think he's probably worth what he's getting paid.

I don't know if you've seen the pay. Bob right now. Disney though has been.