Cablevision Systems Corporation announced that longtime Rainbow Media executive Josh Sapan will become President and CEO of the new public company to be created by spinning off Rainbow. The new company is to be named AMC Networks Inc.
“Much of the success of Rainbow over the past quarter century is due in no small part to Josh Sapan. He has guided Rainbow’s growth for more than 20 years, overseeing the creation of some of the world’s most compelling television brands, and is the ideal executive to provide the leadership necessary as a new AMC Networks becomes a public company,” said Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan.
The new AMC Networks Inc. will include national programming networks AMC, WE tv, IFC, and Sundance Channel; AMC/Sundance Global, the company’s international programming business; IFC Entertainment, an independent film business that consists of multiple brands; and AMC Network Communications (formerly Rainbow Network Communications), a full service network programming origination and distribution company.
“Rainbow owns and operates some of cable television’s most admired networks, and over the past three decades, AMC has become one of the most established of those brands, recognized by consumers, advertisers and investors alike. As we move forward, we want to capitalize on that strong brand awareness for what will be our new public company,” said Sapan of the new name.
The leveraged transaction is to be structured as a tax-free pro rata spin-off to Cablevision stockholders and is expected to be completed by mid-year 2011.