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Dolan Back in the Saddle

The man responsible for introducing Home Box Office, hiring AOL Time Warner
Inc. chairman Gerald Levin into cable and crafting some of the industry's
highest-priced programming packages is taking charge of Cablevision Systems
Corp.'s next critical endeavor.

Company officials confirmed that Cablevision chairman Charles 'Chuck' Dolan
will be 'actively involved' in completing the branding, packaging, sales and
marketing strategies for the long-awaited rollout of the MSO's digital-cable
product this fall.

Sources within Cablevision said Dolan's son, CEO James Dolan, had the idea
for putting Dolan pere in charge of rolling out the Sony Corp.-made
digital set-tops.

James had been overseeing the digital plans, but his responsibilities inside
the company have grown of late. He recently took charge of Madison Square
Garden, for example.

One analyst who did not want to be identified called the move a strong signal
to Wall Street that the company's digital project was in good hands for a
fourth-quarter deployment after it missed at least two self-appointed launch
dates for the service.

Because Cablevision plans to introduce a broader array of advanced services
in its digital platform than other MSOs, others in the industry are keenly
interested in how the company packages and sells the service.

Company sources said there are no plans for Cablevision to go to an
all-digital platform, but that would have a better chance of happening after the
digital service had wide penetration.

The MSO has set up a digital-television content lab in Manhattan called
Sterling Digital Inc. to work with programmers on interactive television.
Sterling was also the name of Dolan's first cable system, also in Manhattan.

Cablevision named another key digital-rollout player last week.

Kristin Reynolds has been named vice president of digital product management,
a newly created role. She will work with Cablevision's senior managers --
including executive vice president of engineering and technology Wilt
Hildenbrand and senior vice president of consumer product management and sales
Pat Falese -- to help integrate the digital launch into the company's
operating structure.

Reynolds, who is engaged to marry James Dolan, had been vice president of
field operations. Cablevision insiders say Reynolds is considered a strong
executive with organizational, marketing and people skills.

Sources inside the company also said Cablevision may tweak its deployment
road map for the boxes.

Originally the company had planned a massive rollout on its home base of Long
Island, N.Y. Now, company officials are considering installing digital boxes
aggressively in areas where Cablevision has a high penetration of both
advanced-analog boxes and cable modems in an effort to get into 'early adopter'
homes as soon as possible, the sources said.

A spokeswoman said the company's deployment plans remain
unchanged.