Leadership > Hank J. Ratner
Hank J. Ratner
Vice Chairman, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Hank J. Ratner is vice chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation, a leading media and telecommunications company that serves millions of customers across the New York Metropolitan area. A Cablevision executive for nearly 30 years, Mr. Ratner works closely with the Cablevision executive team to help set corporate direction, and oversee major business partnerships and negotiations. During his tenure as vice chairman, he has helped to guide the company through several strategic transactions, including the spin-offs of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) in 2010 and Rainbow Media (now AMC Networks) in 2011, both now standalone, public companies.
For nearly three decades, Mr. Ratner has been influential in formulating and implementing management activity and strategic direction for Cablevision and its former subsidiaries. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Ratner served as president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company where he directed the overall strategy and day-to-day operations of the business. Cablevision had owned and operated MSG until MSG's spin-off in 2010. At the time of the spin-off, MSG included the arena complex, Radio City Music Hall, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre in Boston, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, the New York Liberty, Hartford Wolf Pack, MSG Entertainment, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, MSG Networks, and the music network fuse.
At MSG, Mr. Ratner played a significant role in spearheading the company's strategic initiatives and acquisitions, leading to an unprecedented period of dynamic and enduring growth for the company. Mr. Ratner presided over the historic three-year top-to-bottom $1 billion Transformation of the iconic Madison Square Garden Arena, which now delivers an enhanced experience for customers, athletes, entertainers, suite holders and partners. He also played a key role in bringing some of the country's legendary venues under MSG management, including the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre in Boston and the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Mr. Ratner served as MSG's vice chairman for seven years before being named president and CEO. Additionally, he served as alternate governor to the NBA and NHL on behalf of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers from 2003-2014.
Prior to being appointed Cablevision vice chairman in 2002, Mr. Ratner spent nearly 15 years at Rainbow Media where he served in various positions including chief operating officer leading the executive management team directing AMC, IFC, Bravo, WE tv, 10 regional sports networks, two national sports networks, five News 12 regional news networks, Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, among others. In addition, he played a primary role in the agreement between Rainbow Media and MGM's investment in Rainbow, and the establishment and management of the company's partnership with NBC in 1988. Mr. Ratner negotiated Rainbow Media's sale of Bravo to NBC in 2002.
Mr. Ratner oversaw the negotiations with News Corp., in 1997 which led to the creation of Fox Sports Net and to Fox's $850 million investment in Madison Square Garden and Rainbow Media's sports properties. He was also instrumental in Cablevision's purchase of the MSG properties including the New York Knicks and Rangers franchises as well as the MSG Network in 1995. Mr. Ratner began working at Rainbow Media in 1988, overseeing its legal and business affairs departments, a year after he had joined Cablevision as assistant general counsel.
In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Mr. Ratner has been a driving force behind the creation and significant expansion of The Garden of Dreams Foundation, the nonprofit that works closely with MSG to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. Since its inception in 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has provided experiences for almost 300,000 children through over 4,700 events. Mr. Ratner had been chairman of The Garden of Dreams Foundation from its inception in 2006 until 2014 and now remains a board member.
Prior to working in the media, entertainment and telecommunications industries, Mr. Ratner was an associate with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. He received a bachelor's degree and doctorate of law with distinction from Emory University.