Cable mogul Charles Dolan will step down as executive chairman of AMC Networks, with the 93-year old shifting to a chairman emeritus role. In his place, Dolan’s son James Dolan will become chairman of the company, which owns AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and BBC America. Charles Dolan has led the board of AMC Networks ever since it spun off from his family’s cable TV business Cablevision in 2011.
The Dolans sold Cablevision to the European telecom giant Altice in 2016 for $17.7 billion, retaining control of AMC Networks and their Madison Square Garden businesses.
The Dolan family controls about 70 percent of the voting shares in AMC Networks, and also own controlling stakes in Madison Square Garden Sports, which owns the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns the namesake venue in New York City, as well as Radio City Music Hall and the forthcoming MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.
Charles Dolan is also credited with founding the predecessor to HBO, which he sold to Time-Life in 1973.
“The Dolans have led this company from its inception, and both Charles and Jim have provided vision, guidance and support through its long history of growth and evolution,” said AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan in a statement. “We look forward to their continued leadership as AMC Networks continues to stand out in a crowded environment through the strength and quality of our content and ability to forge strong and lasting relationships with viewers and fans.”
Separately, AMC Networks said it would buy back $250 million of its stock in a “modified Dutch auction” format, which will see the company buy back stock from interested shareholders at a price of between $22.50 and $26.50.