Tag Archives: Cablevision

Cablevision Likely Selling to Time Warner in February

Rumors started a few years ago that Cablevision would ultimately sell the company. Now comes the strongest move in that direction. Tuned In has learned exclusively there is a 95 percent certainty that Cablevision will sell to Time Warner by the end of February. To make the acquisition more attractive, we’re told that the Bethpage, NY media company will undergo mass layoffs.

In addition, Cablevision honchos Tom Garger and Michael O’Neill, someone with knowledge of the situation says, have been given until February to make a case for public access being workable. If not, the channels and the executives likely would be gone.

Earlier this year, Cablevision sold its western cable outfit Optimum West to Charter Communications for $1.62 billion in cash. The company turned a third quarter profit in November, beating earnings projections. However, a year earlier Cablevision faced a $3.8 million loss.

Cablevision, founded by Charles Dolan, was started in 1973. The company failed to take itself private in 2005 and 2007.

While Cablevision have always stood firm against selling the company, in recent months that stance has wavered. For example, while announcing Cablevision’s earnings in August, CEO James Dolan said, “You never say never.”

A Cablevision spokesperson tells Tuned In, “As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not comment on rumor or speculation in the media.”

Cablevision’s Traffic and Weather Makes Major Overhaul

T&WThere’s a little less congestion at Channel 61.

Tuned In has learned that Cablevision has bludgeoned its News 12 Traffic and Weather service, located on Channel 61 in several tri-state locations.

Cablevision has confirmed the staff layoffs, although not by name or the amount of people affected.

“We recently made adjustments to News 12 Traffic & Weather that resulted in the elimination of some positions,” a News 12 spokesperson says. “News 12 Traffic & Weather continues to deliver traffic and weather updates more than 10 times per hour, 24/7, and viewers can also get real-time updates on News12.com or on News 12 mobile apps.”

Tuned In has learned that the entire full-time air traffic staff has been sent packing, leaving only a handful of temps in the wake. We were not able to confirm the fate of meteorologists at the channel.

Among those out the door in the restructuring, Lisa Ritchie, a longtime radio personality on Long Island. Producers Dave Steckel and Dave Squillante were apparently also part of the purge, sources say. However, we’re told that managers Pete Shields and GM Jeff Blum will remain.

T&W started in the early 1990s. It features an off-camera traffic reporter showing maps and cameras  for New York, the Hudson Valley, Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Layoffs at MSG Varsity; Channel Will Be Exclusively Online

MSG_Varsity_logoMSG Varsity is on the road between oblivion and obsolete.

Tuned In has learned that the Cablevision-owned channel had a “major purge” last week. An insider says that only five salaried employees are left standing, while all HD trucks have been sold.

Another insider was able to confirm the layoffs with an additional wrinkle. MSG Varsity is expected to be online only this year, the insider says, meaning the sports channel will no longer be shown on Channel 14.

Although a Cablevision spokesperson acknowledged layoffs, the Bethpage, NY cable company, in keeping with policy, refused to give any specifics.

“MSG Varsity has made some organizational changes that have resulted in some layoffs. As we prepare for the 2013 – 2014 school year, we are committed to covering local high school sports throughout the tri-state area and look forward to announcing our television and digital plans later this summer,”  the Cablevision statement reads.

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