Chief says no more to YES net

Hindery to devote time over next few months to philanthropy

Leo Hindery Jr. has resigned as chairman and CEO of the YES Network.

Bowing out before his three-year contract expires in September, Hindery said he feels vindicated by the decision of three arbitrators last week forcing Chuck Dolan’s Cablevision to carry YES on expanded basic, not on a tier that would cost subscribers an extra fee.

Once that binding decision became official, Hindery said he didn’t want to stay any longer in a job of such modest scope as a regional sports network reaching only New York and surrounding areas.

A search will begin for Hindery’s successor, led by George Steinbrenner, one of the owners of YES, and an investment group that includes Richard Friedman, chairman of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners; Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Providence Equity Partners; and Edwin Stier, a spokesman for the New Jersey Nets’ shareholders.

Hindery said he won’t go after a new job right away, instead devoting his time over the next few months to philanthropy, including work on solutions to the global AIDS epidemic. He also plans to help with John Kerry’s campaign for the White House.

While calling last week’s court decision “a smashing victory for YES,” Hindery nonetheless acknowledged that two years of battling in the press and in the courts with Dolan have left him more than a little weary of warfare in the corporate suites.

Before YES, Hindery, was chairman-CEO of GlobalCenter from 1999 to 2001. From 1997 to 1999, he was prexy-CEO of AT&T Broadband, formed out of the March 1999 merger of John Malone’s Tele-Communications and AT&T. At the time, it was the largest cable operator in the U.S.

Earlier, Hindery was managing general partner of InterMedia Partners, the ninth largest cable operator, which he founded in 1988.

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