Cablevision Execs Have Incentive

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Achieving positive free cash flow (cash flow after interest payments and capital expenditures are made) proved to be a windfall for several Cablevision Systems Corp. executives, including its chairman and CEO, both of whom will receive cash-incentive payments nearing $3 million.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday, Cablevision will give cash awards through a special long-term incentive plan to about 600 executives, including: CEO James Dolan ($2.8 million), chairman Charles Dolan ($2.8 million), former vice chairman William Bell ($1.75 million), chief operating officer Tom Rutledge ($1.12 million), vice chairman Hank Rattner ($700,000) and senior vice president of electronic business Brian Sweeney ($315,000).

Cablevision said it initiated the LTIP awards in 2003 instead of bonuses. The awards were payable once the MSO reached cash-flow-positive. The company added that this was achieved in 2004.

In June, the Dolans proposed taking the MSO private in a $7.9 billion deal. Cablevision appointed an independent committee of its board of directors to evaluate the proposal. That evaluation is still ongoing.

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