That looks like a real possibility following the leadership changes that the Dolan family made at three companies it controls — Cablevision, AMC Networks, and the Madison Square Garden Company. Cablevision CEO James Dolan embraced his brother-in-law, Brian Sweeney, naming him CFO of the Long Island-based cable company. He replaces Gregg Siebert, the former Merrill Lynch head of global media practice, who will remain vice-chairman of Cablevision – but, perhaps more significantly, also become Vice Chairman of AMC Networks and MSG.
Sweeney “has been a long time, integral member of the Cablevision organization and exemplifies our company’s collaborative culture,” Dolan says. In addition to managing financial matters, Sweeney will “work closely with Mr. Dolan on the overall management of the company,” this morning’s release says. He’ll also oversee the Lightpath business services operation and oversee the company’s local media properties including Newsday and the News 12 Networks. The Wharton MBA sits on the boards of Cablevision, AMC, and MSG.
The move appears to broaden Siebert’s horizon. He will provide “strategic and financial counsel” to the cable provider as well as its two spin off companies: AMC and MSG. The AMC release says that will include “strategic transactions that further position the company for success.” The cable networks firm recently forged a joint venture with BBC Worldwide to manage BBC America.
MSG’s release uses similar language saying that he will use “his industry relationships and financial and strategic experience to identify and execute business opportunities and partnerships that further position the company for success.”
MSG shares are up about 2.3% this morning after the owner of the the Manhattan arena plus other major venues as well as the New York Knicks and MSG regional sports network beat analyst expectations for profits and revenues in the last three months of 2014. In October the company said it’s exploring a plan to spin off its entertainment businesses from its media and sports ones.