Cable TV operator Cablevision Systems Corporation announced Friday it had inadvertently awarded stock options to a vice chairman named Marc Lustgarten. No big deal ordinarily, except for the fact that he has been pushing up daisies since 1999.
Typical of most big companies, Cablevision followed its fiduciary responsibilities by reporting the embarrassing mistake, but wouldn’t comment further on the Lustgarten affair.
But, why bury it (pun intended)? Why limit the awarding of stock options to just one deceased former vice chairman? Just think about it: Cablevision’s crack communications department could really jump on this idea and rollout a nationwide, grassroots (again, pun intended) campaign asking consumers to nominate famous dead Americans who should receive Cablevision stock options. There would have to be some tie-in to Cablevision’s business for it to make sense, so maybe consumers should be directed to think about the history of television as they make their stock nominations.
If I were voting I’d give strong consideration to this pantheon of dead entertainers and broadcast industry notables:
1) Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the television set
2) Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel (stars of the prototypical TV sitcom)
3) Milton Berle (TV’s first superstar)
4) Johnny Carson (my favorite talk show host ever. Conan? Please…)
5) John Lennon and George Harrison (who, with their still breathing bandmates, made television history on the Ed Sullivan Show)
6) Carroll O’Connor (Archie Bunker remains my all-time favorite TV character)
I’m sure there are many other dead stars who would appreciate being remembered via posthumous Cablevision stock options. Who would you vote for? Let me know. Or, better yet, let the Cablevision corp comm people know. They’ll need your input to complete the PR plan.
Hat tip to Greg Schmalz for the heads-up about Cablevision’s blunder.