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Cablevision executive changes; other business briefs

A shareholder is urging against selling Dell to

A shareholder is urging against selling Dell to a group that includes CEO Michael Dell, (Oct. 13, 2009) Credit: Getty Images

LONG ISLAND

Cablevision executive changes

Cablevision Systems Corp. Tuesday announced management changes that it said were designed to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Kristin Dolan was promoted to president of Optimum Services, responsible for the customer experience, marketing and sales. She had been senior executive vice president of product management, marketing and development. Wilt Hildenbrand will serve as senior adviser for customer care, technology and networks. He will continue to lead Cablevision's technology strategy and development of new customer systems and technologies, and oversee the customer service and field service departments. Brian G. Sweeney will fill the newly created job of senior executive vice president of strategy, focusing on long-term planning and operational efficiency. He also will serve as chief of staff to chief executive James L. Dolan. Sweeney had been senior vice president of eMedia. The three executives will report to James Dolan. Bethpage-based Cablevision owns Newsday.

                                                   -- James T. Madore

Cablevision rebuffs talks

Cablevision Systems Corp. Tuesday said it would not agree to settlement talks proposed by a federal agency to resolve a dispute over an unsuccessful union organizing drive in the Bronx. The National Labor Relations Board had sought a settlement of allegations lodged by the Communications Workers of America. The union accused Cablevision chief executive James L. Dolan of illegally interfering in a union vote by Cablevision technicians in the Bronx last summer. The workers voted 121 to 43 against joining the union. Most Cablevision employees aren't represented by unions with the exception of Newsday, where some are Teamsters members. "The CWA's allegations are not accurate," said Cablevision spokeswoman Sarah Chaikin. "Now the matter will proceed to an administrative law judge, and we look forward to an impartial hearing." Bob Master, a top official of CWA's District 1, said, "We look forward to the government officially finding that illegal behavior has been committed by management." NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland, speaking generally, said the board investigates "unfair labor practice" charges and "if we find probable merit, then we will issue a complaint."                               -- James T. Madore

NATION

Wholesale stockpiles decline

U.S. wholesalers cut their restocking in February by the most in 17 months. But their sales jumped, suggesting companies underestimated consumer demand. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that stockpiles at the wholesale level declined 0.3 percent in February. Sales at the wholesale level rose 1.7 percent, the most since November.

Dell urged to scrap CEO's deal

A major Dell shareholder is urging the slumping personal computer maker's board to scrap a $24.4- billion deal to sell the company to a group including CEO Michael Dell and pursue two competing bids instead. The request was made Tuesday in a letter from Southeastern Asset Management. Southeastern says bids from buyout specialist Blackstone Group and billionaire investor Carl Icahn are both better. The firm owns an 8.4 percent stake in Dell.

Rallying behind Fox network

Television stations that relay Fox programming are "on board" with a threat to transition the over-the-air network to cable and satellite TV if Internet start-up Aereo keeps reselling Fox's signal without paying for rights, the chairman of a Fox group said Tuesday. Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp., Fox's parent company, said if courts can't stop Aereo from reselling its signals to customers, the company would have to make Fox a subscription-only network.                                                               -- AP

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