Cablevision approves AMC Networks spin-off

Cablevision has approved the spin-off of its US and international cable networks into a separate business, AMC Networks.

The new entity, which comprises the channels and programming entities currently operating under the Rainbow Media banner, will be run by Josh Sapan who will become CEO and president. He is currently running Rainbow and a 24-year Cablevision veteran.

Specifically, NASDAQ-listed AMC Networks will comprise the US and international versions of AMC, IFC, IFC Entertainment, Sundance Channel, WE tv and Wedding Central.

The board of Cablevision announced it had approved the deal yesterday and that Charles Dolan, founder of the US cable company, will become executive chairman of AMC Networks. Cablevision CEO, James Dolan, will also be on the AMC Networks board.

The distribution of shares in the new public company to existing Cablevision shareholders will start at end-June.

“With today’s board action, we are one step closer to creating two distinct companies for investors,” said James Dolan. “Rainbow today houses some of cable television’s most admired networks, while Cablevision’s portfolio of industry-leading telecommunications services and local content offerings has made it one of the nation’s leading media and telecommunications companies.”

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