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James Dolan to Undergo Heart Surgery

Oct 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Cablevision Systems said Monday that CEO James Dolan was hospitalized Saturday and expected to undergo heart bypass surgery that day.

The cable operator declined to provide further details on what led to Mr. Dolan’s hospitalization, but said he was expected to recover completely.

Wall Street had little reaction to the news, in part because Mr. Dolan, despite being the company’s CEO, has more day-to-day involvement running Madison Square Garden and Cablevision’s sports teams, including the New York Knicks. The company’s core cable operation, considered the best-run and most profitable in the country by many Wall Street analysts, is managed by Cablevision President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge.

Shares in Cablevision slipped a penny to $28.74 apiece in midday trading.

Mr. Dolan’s hospitalization comes at a time when Cablevision is seeking to remake itself after more than two years of controversy. The company is presently in the process of taking its cable assets private, while at the same time spinning off its Rainbow Media unit to the public.

Several months ago Mr. Dolan, 50, was on one side of a boardroom showdown involving the fate of a now-defunct satellite television venture. Mr. Dolan had pushed to shut down the service, while his father, Chairman Charles Dolan, sought to keep it alive. After a fight that reportedly created a wedge between father and son, they agreed to shut down the service.