For over 25 years, David C. McCourt, Chairman and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital has been an innovator, entrepreneur, and business leader across the construction, communications and media industries. He has founded or bought 14 companies in 7 countries, and is widely recognized as a transformational force in the telecommunications business. The Economist described him as having "impeccable credentials as a telecom revolutionary".
Most recently, Mr. McCourt formed Satellite Holdings, LLC (a partnership between Granahan McCourt Capital and The Edgewater Funds) as a vehicle to acquire and consolidate companies in the satellite industry. Having completed 3 acquisitions in 2009, Satellite Holdings has quickly and quietly become the world's leader in integrated satellite communications terminal equipment. Mr. McCourt currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Satellite Holdings LLC and its operating entity, Skyware Global. He describes satellite technology as "the most underappreciated opportunity in the next phase of telecom."
One of seven children, David McCourt was raised in Watertown, Massachusetts, and graduated from Georgetown University. In 1982, he created his first company, McCourt Cable Systems, which quickly became the largest privately owned designer and builder of cable systems in the country. The breakthrough methods he deployed to lay cable systems would, 15 years later, become the industry standard. During this same time period, Mr. McCourt also founded the Grenadian TV station, Discovery TV, which was eventually sold to the Grenadian government. By the late eighties, Mr. McCourt had also built Corporate Communications Network, America's first competitive phone company, later merging it with MFS Communications, which was sold to WorldCom for 14.3 billion dollars.
For his next venture, Mr. McCourt forged an alliance with Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc., (PKS) the world-renowned engineering and construction firm. Together they formed the London-based McCourt/Kiewit International, which quickly became the largest designer and builder of residential cable television and telephone networks in Europe. These new networks and the creation of the first competitive cable systems in the UK, foreshadowed the surge of new network construction in the United States in the last decade. In the mid-1990's, Mr. McCourt, as Chairman and CEO of C-TEC, a diversified telecommunications company based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, recapitalized the company, and monetized several non-strategic subsidiaries. He then engineered a tax free split of the company into four publicly traded companies: RCN Corporation, Cable Michigan, Inc., Mercom, Inc., and Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
The combined annualized returns of the companies spun-off C-TEC are approximately three times the returns of the S&P 500 over the same time period.
Beginning with his station in Grenada, Mr. McCourt has maintained a long-time interest in film and television production. Over the past several years he has served as an executive producer, including on the ten-part documentary series "What's Going On?", which examines the impact of global conflict on the lives of children around the world. The widely praised Showtime television series, produced in cooperation with the United Nations, attracted the support and participation of numerous prominent actors including Michael Douglas, Richard Gere and Meg Ryan. In 2005, Mr. McCourt won an Emmy for the critically acclaimed children's series "Reading Rainbow" and most recently produced Spike Lee’s "Miracle's Boys" on Nickelodeon. “Miracle¹s Boys” is a six part mini-series directed by Spike Lee and other filmmakers such as LeVar Burton and Bill Duke.
Today Mr. McCourt sits on the boards of The National Advisory Board of J.P. Morgan/Chase, the North American Advisory Board of the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College, Dublin, the Board of Overseers of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The American Irish Historical Society, the Societe de Louvre, Paris and The Shannon Development North American Advisory Council.
Mr. McCourt has taught various classes in entrepreneurship at Georgetown University, as well as lectured at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and Princeton University. He was recently appointed as USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism’s first Resident Economist.
In December, 1984, President Reagan presented Mr. McCourt with the first-ever award from the White House recognizing extraordinary accomplishments by private sector businesses. He was also selected as "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young LLP, as well as top entrepreneur by the Harvard Business School Club of New York. He has been profiled in many publications, including USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, The Boston Globe, The New York Times and was one of New York Magazines' New Yorkers of the Year. Mr. McCourt has had numerous opinion essays published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Financial Times. In November 2004, the American-Irish Historical Society presented Mr. McCourt with its Gold Medal, an award previously bestowed on President Reagan, author Mary Higgins Clark, and entertainer and human rights advocate Bono.
Mr. McCourt lives with his wife and children outside of New York City, but spends a considerable amount of time in Europe.