James Dolan to take over day-to-day operation of MSG as Tad Smith exits

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) CEO James Dolan will have the added responsibility of day-to-day operations for the family-controlled MSG, with the departure of CEO Tad Smith announced Monday.

Smith, who had assumed the top job at MSG only a year ago after a five-year stint at Cablevision, is joining auction house Sotheby's as CEO,

In a Monday morning conference call with reporters covered by Deadline Hollywood, Smith described the move as "a very difficult decision for me, but an opportunity that I could not pass up."

Smith's departure comes as rumors swirl around MSG. Last month, Dolan named longtime Cablevision CFO Gregg Siebert to the role of vice chairman of MSG, setting off speculation that the company would embark on a flurry of dealmaking.

MSG has been moving ahead with a spinoff plan announced last year, in which it will create a new company that manages entertainment venues including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. Another company will manage MSG sports teams including the New York Knicks and Rangers, as well as regional sports networks like the MSG Network and cable programming networks including SiTV.

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Variety story

Related links:
Cablevision's Seibert: MSO done with FiOS promo war, promises Freewheel app for iPhone and Android
Rumor mill: Cablevision's Dolan exploring NY Daily News purchase
Cablevision's Dolan calls 73-year-old Knicks fan a 'hateful mess'