Cablevision cuts news network staff in restructuring of Optimum Local and MSG Varsity

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Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is reportedly laying off at least six staffers with the restructuring of its Optimum Local and MSG Varsity operations.

The MSO announced last week that it was combining the operations of high school sports network MSG Varsity and Optimum Local. At least six Cablevision News staffers lost their jobs as part of the restructuring, including reporter Kristine Conte, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal.

Cablevision spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew told FierceCable Monday that MSG Varsity GM Theresa Chillianis will lead the combined MSG Varsity and Optimum Local operation. While McAndrew confirmed that some positions were cut, she wouldn't say how many jobs were eliminated through the layoffs.

Cablevision said in a statement that the restructuring will help it add local public affairs, educational and news programming to the MSG Varsity schedule.

Seperately, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan may be looking to expand MSG programming to subscribers outside the New York metropolitan area. On Friday, the New York Post reported that MSG is considering launching a national version of the sports network. The network wouldn't contain live games from the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and other teams that MSG carries, but would instead focus on behind-the-scenes content related to teams featured on MSG, according to the report, which was based on anonymous sources. Cablevision spun off MSG into a separate publicly traded company in 2010.

For more:
- see the Cablevision release
- the New York Post has this story
The Poughkeepsie Journal has this story

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