MSGN President McCarthy Resigns

Madison Square Garden Networks president Mike McCarthy announced his resignation Wednesday after 23 years at the company.

McCarthy will remain on as a consultant for the network through the end of the year and will be part of the search team to name a successor, the programmer said.

“After 23 years of living a professional dream, I feel that the time is right to make a change. This arrangement is a perfect fit -- it allows me to help chart the future of MSG Networks, while also exploring exciting new career opportunities for my future,” McCarthy said in a release.

After serving in various production capacities in the 1980s and 1990s, McCarthy took over the reins of MSGN -- which includes Madison Square Garden Network and FSN New York -- in 2000 as executive vice president, and he eventually was named president of the group in 2003.

Under his leadership, the networks won 73 New York Emmy Awards and received more than 250 nominations overall.

In addition, he oversaw the launch of the first-ever regional HDTV telecasts.

But his tenure will also be marked by the loss of content from several marquee area sports teams, including games from Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and the National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets, which now appear on Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network.

More recently, MLB’s New York Mets announced that the team plans to launch its own regional sports network in tandem with Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable in 2006.

MSGN is awaiting a Nov. 17 hearing in New York state court over a possible restraining order and preliminary injunction against the new Mets network.

“Mike is a top sports-television executive, and he has served this company for more than two decades in an exemplary manner,” MSG chairman and Cablevision Systems Corp. CEO James L. Dolan said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased that he will remain with the company as a consultant.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.