Net Worth: $2.8 billion -33%
Last Year: $4.2 billion
Residence: Beverly Hills
Source of Wealth: Television production, broadcasting
The Money: Saban lost big on 2007 purchase of Univision Communications, which wrote off $5.4 billion of its value this year as advertising declined. But creditors stand to lose more in heavily leveraged deal than Saban, who personally only put up $300 million. Saban and partners bought additional 11 percent in Bezeq Israel Telecom, upping total stake to 41 percent. Shares of Israel? leading phone company have risen nearly 20 percent.
Tough year for Saban. On top of advertising slowdown, there was settlement of Univision? long-running lawsuit with Mexican broadcaster Televisa, which supplies Univision TV shows. Settlement came at a high price for the Spanish-language broadcaster. Big Democratic supporter was indirectly implicated in a political scandal when wiretap caught Rep. Jane Harman allegedly discussing arrangements to have Saban threaten to withhold funding from Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless the Venice Beach Democrat was made chair of House Intelligence Committee. Saban told Los Angeles Times he had ?o idea?what was behind allegations. Harman didn? get position, but Saban continues to donate, contributing more than $100,000 during the 2007-08 election cycle. In addition to Hillary Clinton? presidential campaign, gave to locals Harman, Xavier Becerra and Hilda Solis. Together with wife Cheryl, donated $5 million to restore Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills. Spouse appeared on TV talkers ?he View?and ?ood Morning America?to promote her new book, ?hat Is Your Self Worth??Born in Egypt and raised in Israel, Saban made first fortune by buying U.S. rights to Japanese TV show ?ighty Morphin Power Rangers.?Later bought and sold Fox Family Network and German TV network ProSiebenSat1.
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