Chairman & CEO, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charles F. Dolan is the founder and chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation, one of the nation's leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies.
Over the past 34 years, Cablevision has developed a portfolio of operations that ranges from digital voice service, high-speed Internet access, and robust digital cable television packages to championship professional sports teams, world-renowned entertainment venues, and regional and national television program networks. Founded by Mr. Dolan in 1973, Cablevision started as a cable television operator serving 1,500 customers in New York's Long Island suburbs. The company now serves more than 3 million cable television households in the New York metropolitan area - the largest cable cluster in the nation.
Cablevision currently offers a range of digital and telecommunications services made possible by state-of-the-art fiber-optic coaxial cable networks. These services include iO: Interactive Optimum digital video, Optimum Online high-speed data, and Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable. This new generation of advanced digital telecommunications offerings is available to more than 4.4 million households in the company's service area. In addition to its consumer services, Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath offers integrated business communications services.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, a Cablevision subsidiary, reaches more than 200 million customers worldwide through its many popular national, regional and local programming networks, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, and News 12 Networks. Rainbow Media also operates the VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels available anywhere, for distribution to cable operators and satellite TV providers.
Firmly positioned in New York's entertainment industry, Cablevision also owns and operates Madison Square Garden L.P., which includes the arena complex as well as its sports teams: the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. In addition, the company owns Madison Square Garden Entertainment and, through that entity, holds a 25-year lease on New York's famed Radio City Music Hall. Cablevision also owns and operates the Beacon Theatre, one of the original art-deco showplaces still in existence in New York City, and Clearview Cinemas, one of the tri-state area's leading motion picture exhibition circuits.
Charles "Chuck" Dolan was born on October 16, 1926 in Cleveland. The son of an inventor, he served in the U.S. Air Force and studied at John Carroll University before blazing a trail in telecommunications. His earliest professional endeavors focused on the packaging, marketing and distribution of sports and industrial films. Working together with his wife in their Cleveland home, Mr. Dolan edited and produced short film reels of sports events for syndication to television stations. Selling the business, Mr. Dolan joined the acquiring firm and moved east to New York, the center of the developing electronic media world.
In the early 1960s, Mr. Dolan established Teleguide Inc., which provided information services via cable to New York City hotels. That same decade, he founded Sterling Manhattan Cable, the first urban cable television company in the nation. In its early years, Sterling forged first-of-its-kind agreements to bring New York professional sports teams, cultural programming and movies into the homes of New York City cable viewers.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Dolan founded Home Box Office Inc., the first premium programming service in the cable television industry. He organized Cablevision Systems Corporation on Long Island after the sale of Home Box Office to Time-Life, Inc. and has spearheaded many of the company's advancements.
Mr. Dolan is a trustee of Fairfield University in Connecticut and a member of the board of governors of St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, N.Y. He also serves on the board of directors of the Nassau County Crime Stoppers.
Mr. Dolan and his wife, Helen Ann, reside on Long Island. They have six grown children, three of whom are in management at Cablevision.