Cablevision Board OKs Satellite Spinoff

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NEW YORK - Cablevision Systems Corp.'s board of directors approved an amended proposal Thursday to spin off the company's recently launched satellite service, and announced plans for current chief executive James Dolan to succeed his father as chairman.

Both moves had been expected. Following the spinoff, Dolan will retain his duties and CEO while replacing chairman Charles Dolan, who will head the new venture, Rainbow DBS.

In addition to Voom, the Cablevision satellite service launched last week, Rainbow DBS' assets will include Cablevision properties AMC, The Independent Film Channel, WE: Women's Entertainment and the Mag Rack.

The company said the spinoff would likely occur next year, subject to government approval. No dollar figure for the deal was released, but Cablevision said it would reduce its debt level and leverage, and increase credit availability.

Cablevision also said it has no plans to sell AMC, IFC or WE following the spinoff.

In a joint statement, Charles and James Dolan said that the spinoff would create two distinct companies with unique focuses that would benefit shareholders
 

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