Altice USA issued a detailed response to Thursday's story by Daily Voice about a lawsuit filed this week by the Dolan Family and a longtime News 12 anchor to prevent Altice from laying off more workers at News 12.
Janet Meahan, senior director of communications for Altice USA, said: “This lawsuit is without merit and paints an extremely inaccurate representation of our business. It is also surprising that the Dolan family would now challenge the strategic and organizational decisions that Patrick Dolan led during his 2 1/2 years with the company as President of News 12.
"Altice USA continues to invest in News 12 and we are very proud that under our leadership, News 12 is the most viewed TV network in Optimum households. We are excited about the future of News 12 and investing further in order to grow its hyperlocal news audience.”
Here are some excerpts from Altice USA's reply to the lawsuit filed by the Dolan family and News 12 Long Island anchor Colleen McVey:
"Our news business is a key part of our strategy – created a dedicated US News Division and have been staffing up, invested in Cheddar, acquired i24, continue to enhance the News 12 offering, expanded News 12 Connecticut and Hudson Valley to more areas in those regions."
"We’re very proud of our news business and that under Altice USA’s leadership, News 12 remains the most viewed TV network in Optimum households and has experienced a nearly 20 percent increase in average unique visitors across digital platforms compared to 2017."
Here are some excerpts related to Patrick Dolan’s role as president at news 12 and his decision making role:
"The indisputable facts show that, for at least 18 months before bringing this lawsuit, Plaintiff Patrick Dolan not only assented to, but in fact led, the very conduct Plaintiffs now seek to enjoin," Altice wrote in its reply to the lawsuit.
"Pursuant to this plan, approximately 60 positions were eliminated, bringing the number of full-time equivalent employees at News 12 from approximately 450 to 390."
"In particular, Mr. Dolan helped to:. . . determine the number of positions that would be eliminated pursuant to the restructuring, and shape the severance packages for the affected employees."
As it relates to the “fresh look” allegation, it is completely baseless and untrue, according to Altice.
Here’s an excerpt from Altice's legal brief on this point:
"One of the goals of News 12’s modernization and growth plan is to create a 'fresh look' on its broadcasts to convey innovation and modernism on its TV and digital platforms, including by adopting a new logo and graphics package, set enhancements, and investing in a state-of-the-art broadcast studio. Plaintiffs insinuate that these efforts included the planned termination of Ms. McVey for discriminatory reasons. This charge is both baseless and legally irrelevant to their claims. Altice categorically denies that it has engaged in any discriminatory conduct."
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