Cablevision

(CVC)

just wants to make sure you're watching.

The New York-area cable TV system operator said Thursday afternoon it would cut 600 jobs, or about 4% of its workforce, to improve efficiency. The company said it would take a fourth-quarter charge of $55 million to cover the restructuring costs.

"Today's announcement is an outgrowth of a thorough strategic review of 2002 and beyond," CEO Jim Dolan said in a press release. The company issued the release after the market closed Thursday, two days after Christmas, when trading volume is typically light and few investors are believed to be watching for financial news.

Though there's never any good time for a company to take such a charge, this one comes at an especially awkward moment for Cablevision, which has 3 million cable subscribers in the New York City metropolitan area. The company only recently launched digital-signal television service in its systems, an upgrade well behind those of other major cable operators that are seeking to fight competition from satellite providers and are slowing basic cable growth with the advanced services made possible by digital cable.

Ahead of the release, the stock rose 69 cents to $46.74. Cablevision shares have lost more than 40% of their value over the past year.