Interview with Charles F. Dolan, December 20, 2013

Charles F. Dolan was instrumental in the creation of HBO. In this interview Dolan details how in the late 1960s, as CEO of Sterling Manhattan Cable, he brought what had theretofore been an exclusively rural service to the city of New York. He touches on some of the legal, regulatory, technological, market, and programming challenges of early cable. Dolan discusses his 1971 family vacation to France during which he composed a memo adumbrating the various foundational aspects of what would become HBO (then called The Green Channel). He also comments on the genesis of the HBO name–a kind of portmanteau of “converter box” and “box office.” Dolan talks about his early partnership with Time, Inc., which bought him out within a year, and shares his thoughts on some of his interactions with its executives. He mentions his negotiations with Hollywood film studios and New York City sports franchises. Dolan briefly reflects on his continued involvement with HBO by way of his Cablevision service provider.

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