Thomas M. Rutledge3/24/2006 7:00 PM Eastern
As chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems Corp., Tom Rutledge is responsible for overseeing cable and communications, Cablevision’s consumer products and services division; Rainbow Media, the company’s national programming division; Optimum Lightpath, the company’s business telecommunications division; Clearview Cinemas; and certain Cablevision corporate functions. Rutledge also oversees News 12 Networks, and Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation (RASCO).
Rutledge joined Cablevision in January 2002 as the company’s president of cable and communications. In this role, he completed the upgrade of the company’s fiber-rich network and managed all of the Optimum-branded consumer services delivered over this platform to customers in the nation’s largest cable cluster.
Honored by Multichannel News as the cable “Operator of the Year” for 2005, all of Cablevision’s consumer services are the most highly penetrated in the nation. The company ended the year with more than 1.9 million iO: Interactive Optimum digital video customers, 65% of the company’s video subscriber base. Cablevision’s Optimum Voice service, the first widely-deployed cable VoIP product, has attracted more than 731,000 customers in approximately two years, and the company is providing Optimum Online high-speed Internet service to nearly 1.7 million customers, nearly 38% of homes passed. Under Mr. Rutledge’s leadership, Cablevision has added basic video customers in each of the last seven quarters.
Under Rutledge’s direction, Rainbow Media creates and manages some of the country’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands — from revered national and regional television channels to cutting-edge on-demand and high definition networks. Rainbow’s national programming services include AMC, Fuse, Independent Film Channel, WE: Women’s Entertainment and the Voom HD Networks. Rainbow’s portfolio also includes a film distribution, production and exhibition division.
A 29-year cable and telecommunications industry veteran, Rutledge previously served as president of Time Warner Cable. Prior to his role as president, Rutledge served as senior executive vice president, spearheading the launch and development of a number of Time Warner Cable’s broadband consumer products, including digital cable, high-speed Internet, video on demand, and switched and IP Telephony services.
At Cablevision, Rutledge’s dedication to public affairs is most evident in his oversight of Power to Learn, Cablevision’s signature community affairs initiative. Through Power to Learn, Cablevision provides free Optimum Online high-speed Internet service and iO: Interactive Optimum digital-cable television to more than 5,000 schools and public libraries in Cablevision’s service territories.
Rutledge also has extended Cablevision’s commitment to locally produced public affairs programming, through seven regional News 12 networks and long-running initiatives like the company’s “Meet the Leaders” series, “Neighborhood Journal,” and coverage of community events.
Mr. Rutledge began his industry career in 1977 at American Television & Communications (ATC), a predecessor company of Time Warner Cable, starting as a manager trainee after graduating from college. He held a number of positions in addition to president of the company’s Austin, Texas, and Portland, Maine, divisions.
Rutledge currently serves on the board of the NCTA, CableLabs and the CTAM Educational Foundation, and he will co-chair the 2006 National Show in Atlanta this April. He received his bachelor of administration in economics from California University in California, Pa., in 1977. In 1995, he attended Harvard’s advanced management program.