John Malone, Media Mogul, Now Largest Landowner in America

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John MaloneWell, at least one buyer was able to take advantage of low interest rates.

John Malone, the press-shy chairman of media conglomerate Liberty Media, has just been named the largest individual landowner in the nation with a whopping 2,200,000 acres in his portfolio.

Malone overtook his Stetson-wearing pal and business partner, Ted Turner, for the top spot in Land Report Magazine's annual list of the 100 biggest property barons. Turner, a media powerhouse in his own right, who has had in hand in everything from the success of a 24-hour news channel (CNN) to the resurgence of professional wrestling (WCW), dropped to number two on the list, with slightly more than 2 million acres.

The key to Malone's major purchases this year, he told The Land Report, was twofold: a drop in land prices and cheap borrowing. It's a refrain that should sound familiar to less well-heeled buyers, too -- except that for the vast majority of the buying public, qualifying for a mortgage is easier said than done in today's tight credit market.

Malone, whose businesses include Time Warner Cable, SiriusXM radio, Barnes & Noble and the Atlanta Braves, began amassing his impressive land holdings back in the '90s, when he purchased properties in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. And in a decision that sparked controversy among some environmentalists earlier this year, Malone bought up 1 million acres of timberland in Maine and New Hampshire, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But Malone maintains that he is an avid conservationist, according to The Land Report, and plans to eventually put all of his land into conservation easements. He currently raises horses and cattle on much of his western property.


An aerial shot of Frontier Forest in Maine, which Malone purchased in 2002.

Pictured below, a satellite view of Hardscrabble Mountain in Maine. Between New Hampshire and Maine, Malone purchased more than a million acres in 2011. It gives new meaning to the expression "all that the eye can see."



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John Malone, Media Mogul, Now Largest Landowner in America

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