Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., observed that under managerial capitalism, salaried managers tended to pursue policies that promoted the long-term stability and growth of their enterprises. The U.S. cable television industry provides a case study of how managers responded when stability and growth were mutually consistent objectives, and when they were mutually exclusive. From the late 1950s through the early 1980s, agent-led newspaper publishers and television broadcasters invested aggressively in the cable business. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, investing in cable implied a tradeoff between stability and growth objectives. As a wave of mergers swept the cable industry, agent-led companies avoided acquisitions that might dilute earnings and depress stock prices. Confronting an increasingly turbulent competitive environment during the first half of the 1990s, agent-led companies were much more likely to divest cable assets than owner-managed firms. In agent-led companies, managers believed that their cable units would require massive capital investments, and they were reluctant to “bet the company” on a business facing so much competitive, technological, and regulatory uncertainty. Owner-managers, emotionally attached to the cable industry and to the firms they had built, and often harboring dynastic ambitions, were more reluctant to sell: they were willing to gamble on growth.