Cable Notes: $715M Fine for Adelphia as DOJ-SEC Probe Ends

May 2, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Adelphia Communications, the bankrupt cable operator that agreed two weeks ago to be sold to Time Warner and Comcast, last Monday reached a settlement with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission under which Adelphia will pay a $715 million fine to settle charges related to accounting misdeeds and attempts to dupe investors about the company’s financial health. The fine will go toward compensating investors. In addition, the company’s founding Rigas family agreed to forfeit 95 percent of their assets, worth more than $1.5 billion and said to have derived from the fraud. Included in the forfeiture is the Rigases’ interest in several cable systems managed by Adelphia.

Dolan Relents on Effort to Alter Cablevision Board

Cablevision Systems Chairman Charles Dolan is backing off a plan to reshape the cable operator’s board of directors, including reducing the number of directors and having Mr. Dolan himself elect three-quarters of its members. Mr. Dolan offered no explanation for the about-face, which was outlined in a regulatory filing submitted last Tuesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, his change of heart, which was reached at an April 22 board meeting, came after he lost a bruising battle with the board over the fate of his struggling satellite service Voom. Mr. Dolan had wanted to keep the venture alive, but he faced fierce opposition from several board members, including his son, Cablevision CEO James Dolan, which led Charles Dolan to oust three board members and install people he considered more aligned with his interests.