Charles F. Dolan is the executive chairman of AMC Networks Inc., a leading producer of pioneering programming for multiple media platforms. AMC Networks owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in television and film including cable television networks AMC, BBC AMERICA (through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv, and independent film production and distribution division IFC Films. The Company also operates premium streaming video services Sundance Now and Shudder; AMC Studios, its in-house studio and production operation; and AMC Networks International, its global content distribution division. Mr. Dolan spearheaded the creation of a programming subsidiary of his earlier cable television business to bring compelling new programming to customers. That entity, Rainbow Media Holdings, was spun off in June 2011 into the separate public company which became AMC Networks Inc.
Mr. Dolan is also the founder and former chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp, which during his tenure, was one of the nation’s leading telecommunications and media companies. Over nearly four decades, Cablevision developed a portfolio of operations ranging from digital voice service, high-speed Internet access and robust digital cable television packages to local programming properties and publishing outlets. Founded by Mr. Dolan in 1973, Cablevision started as a cable television operator serving 1,500 customers in New York’s Long Island suburbs. Four decades later, the company operated the nation’s largest single cable cluster, spanning the New York metropolitan area. The sale of Cablevision to Netherlands-based Altice N.V. was completed in June 2016
In addition, Mr. Dolan serves on the board of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), a former Cablevision subsidiary. In 1995, he was instrumental in establishing Cablevision’s original partnership with MSG, which became a part of the Cablevision family of companies until its spin-off in early 2010. The MSG properties include the arena complex; professional sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty; and performance venues such as New York’s Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre and the Forum in the Los Angeles vicinity. Mr. Dolan also serves on the board of MSG Networks Inc, which was spun off from the Madison Square Garden Company in 2015 and operates MSG (TV network) and MSG Plus.
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 embarking on his career 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 nation’s first urban cable television company. In its early years, Sterling forged first-of-its-kind agreements to bring local 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. (HBO), the first premium programming service in the cable television industry. He organized Cablevision Systems Corporation on Long Island after the sale of HBO to Time Inc. and, as its founding chairman, spearheaded many advancements in the cable television industry.
Mr. Dolan is also chairman emeritus of the board of directors of The Lustgarten Foundation, which he helped found in 1998 and is now the nation’s largest private supporter of pancreatic cancer research. He is a trustee of Fairfield University in Connecticut and a member of the board of directors of the Nassau County Crime Stoppers.