I started my ad sales career at Cablevision of Boston, a Charles Dolan business that was a part of the Cablevision Systems empire. I left and rejoined Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of Cablevision and the network side of the business. There I worked with cable networks like Bravo and IFC; eventually, more networks and responsibilities were added to my job description. I watched the industry move from start up to mature and was sad when the Boston system was sold to Comcast and especially when Bravo and half the team I worked with was sold to NBC. Eventually I was downsized too and left the Cablevision team. Since then, Rainbow left Cablevision to become a standalone business AMC Networks, just as MSG did the same. And today, Cablevision itself has officially sold itself.
The cable industry continues to mature. Where once it was the upstart competing with broadcast; today, it is grouped with broadcast and competes with streaming. Those early days were quite special and money flowed freely. Business trips, management conferences to amazing locales, turkeys at Thanksgiving, stock options and more. But as accountability tightened up and profit margin mattered more than employees (or even customers), many of those perks were dropped.
I look at my career as I look at my life as chapters in a book still being written. Those early chapters with Cablevision and Bravo/IFC were amazing. I think back to them at times and smile. To see the company that I spent more than 15 years with become no more does make me feel a little sad. No regrets though as one must continue to keep writing the new chapters in living one's life. Who knows what the next story will look like.