Rainbow Media To Be Renamed AMC Networks

Cablevision Systems said that it is going forward with the spin-off of its Rainbow Media business and that the new company will be named AMC Networks Inc.

Josh Sapan, the long-time head of Rainbow will become president and CEO of the new public company, Cablevision said Thursday.

"Rainbow owns and operates some of cable television's most admired networks, and over the past three decades, AMC has become one of the most established of those brands, recognized by consumers, advertisers and investors alike," Sapan said in a statement. "As we move forward, we want to capitalize on that strong brand awareness for what will be our new public company."

AMC Networks Inc. will be comprised of AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel, plus the AMC/Sundance Global international programming business, the IFC Entertainment independent film business and what is now called Rainbow Network Communications, a network programming origination and distribution company.

The spin-off is expected to be completed in mid-year. It is subject to a tax-free ruling from the IRS, finalization of financing and approval by Cablevision's board of directors.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.