AMC Networks Shareholders Quiz Execs About Gardening Shows, Athletes' Hairdos

Josh Sapan
Josh Sapan
 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Amid solid financials and stock gains, AMC Networks shareholders lobbed a couple of unusual questions -- including one about baseball players' hairdos -- at management at the company's annual meeting Thursday.

The company has had a strong year. At last year's meeting, AMC's stock price hovered around $38. Today, it's above $63.

CEO Joshua Sapan attributed the rise to improvements in the company's financials. At the shareholder meeting, he pointed out that revenue was up 14 percent to $1.4 billion in 2012. He said that ad revenue was up 17 percent and that the company was extracting increases in carriage fees.

Sapan also pointed to the success of The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad on AMC and touted the Sundance Network's newfound commitment to original scripted programming with shows like Top of the Lake and Rectify.

Without much to complain about, shareholders used the Q&A period of the meeting for questions of the non-financial sort.

One shareholder suggested that one of the company's TV networks should develop a show about gardening techniques to help her out. Sapan seemed to rule it out, answering, "It¹s not what we have historically focused on."

Another shareholder -- a man from Yonkers who said he has been attending shareholder meetings since 1955 -- tried to get chairman Charles Dolan to address why baseball players walk around with long hairdos. Dolan didn't have any insight to share.

He concluded the meeting by saying, "We remain excited about our company¹s future and to continue to create value of our stockholders."

Shareholders on Thursday approved the proposed slate of AMC directors.

The low-key nature of the meeting was in contrast to the recent annual meeting of Cablevision Systems, which like AMC is controlled by the Dolan family. That meeting was interrupted by union protesters.

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