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Cablevision cuts 100 jobs; other business briefs


Cablevision cuts 100 jobs

Cablevision Systems Corp., based in Bethpage, has laid off about 100 workers across three states as part of its move combining MSG Varsity with Optimum Local, according to a source with knowledge of the cuts. The layoffs were spread across the company's service territory in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. They did not impact News 12 or Newsday, which are owned by the company. Cablevision declined to say exactly how many people were impacted by the cuts, which occurred in mid-February. The consolidation, announced last month, was part of an effort to cut costs and expand MSG Varsity's high school sports coverage to include public affairs, educational and other programs from Optimum, Cablevision's local programming channel. The new lineup will begin airing on MSG Varsity and Optimum TV channel 14 in mid-2013.-- Joe Ryan


Judge: J.C. Penney took a risk

J.C. Penney, already struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves. New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing told Penney Monday the chain took a risk by ordering products from home diva Martha Stewart's company. Oing said he could force Penney to stop the products as they come off the docks if he determines the order violated Stewart's agreement to sell certain goods only to Macy's. His statements came during a trial that pits Penney against Macy's over their relationship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. At issue is whether Macy's has exclusive right to sell some Martha Stewart branded products.

Monster counters death claim

Monster Beverage is hitting back at a lawsuit alleging its energy drinks were responsible for the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl, saying that no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of "caffeine toxicity." The disclosures come amid intensifying scrutiny of energy drinks and their caffeine levels. A lawsuit filed last year by the family of Anais Fournier said the girl went into cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster drinks in a 24-hour period. Monster's lawyer Daniel Callahan said the company hired a team of physicians to review the medical records in the case, which he said suggest Anais Fournier died of natural causes brought on by her pre-existing heart conditions.

Exxon defense up in N.H. case

Lawyers for ExxonMobil have begun presenting their defense against New Hampshire's claims that the oil giant should pay hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up groundwater contamination from the gasoline additive MTBE. The first defense witness is a former ExxonMobil environmental specialist who warned of MTBE's environmental hazards in the mid- 1980s. Former Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Robert Varney testified he was "shocked" ExxonMobil didn't share findings with the state, but lawyers for ExxonMobil say findings were widely available at the time. Lawyers for ExxonMobil also contend MTBE did what it was supposed to: reduce air pollution.

Experts: PC sales will fall in '13

Sales of personal computers will continue to shrink this year after a grim 2012, as consumers flock toward tablets, research firm IDC said Monday. IDC expects global PC sales to contract 1.3 percent this year after falling 3.7 percent last year. PC makers had hoped Windows 8, which Microsoft Corp. launched in October, would help make the personal computer appealing again. But the new operating system hasn't helped, IDC notes. Another research firm, Canalys, put 2012 tablet sales at 115 million, up from essentially zero before 2010, when Apple launched the iPad. That compares with 353 million PCs sold last year, according to Gartner, another technology research firm. -- AP

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