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Cablevision hires Tom Suozzi as MSG Varsity consultant

Cablevision Systems Corp. announced Monday that it has hired former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi as a consultant to a high school sports venture.

Suozzi, who narrowly lost his bid for a third term to Republican Edward Mangano last fall, will advise MSG Varsity, a group of television channels and a Web site devoted to high school athletics on Long Island and in other parts of the metropolitan area served by Cablevision. MSG Varsity, which takes its name from the company's Madison Square Garden, was launched five months ago.

In a memo to employees, Tad Smith, head of the division that encompasses MSG Varsity, Newsday and the News 12 networks, said Suozzi would not lobby governments and others on Cablevision's behalf. "Most of Tom's efforts will be focused on working . . . in support of the company's most recent local programming initiative, MSG Varsity."

Suozzi, a Democrat, was on the job yesterday. Both he and Cablevision declined to reveal the length of his contract or the amount he is being paid.

In a statement, Cablevision said Suozzi's "considerable experience will be vital as we look to grow and expand our new MSG Varsity initiative."

Of MSG Varsity, Suozzi said, "It is a cutting-edge concept that uses Cablevision's technology to empower our local communities."

Suozzi recently told Newsday that he wanted to work in the private sector and would only consider running for federal or state offices in the future. He is a lawyer and accountant who first served as Glen Cove mayor and then spent eight years as Nassau executive.

Another former county executive, Democrat Patrick Halpin of Suffolk, also does work for Cablevision. Halpin hosts the "Meet the Leaders" program on News 12 Long Island.

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