As executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), James L. Dolan oversees the company’s many entities, including its world-famous arena complex, professional sports teams, sports and entertainment networks, and historic showplaces. Mr. Dolan also serves as chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, one of the nation’s leading media and telecommunications companies.
In his role at The Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Dolan is responsible for the Company’s overall growth strategy and manages all of its operations. He also serves as governor to the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League on behalf of the New York Knicks and Rangers.
To ensure the standing of the Company’s premier venues, Mr. Dolan has taken on a number of restoration projects throughout his tenure. In Inglewood, California, the legendary Forum arena is currently undergoing a reinvention that will create the largest indoor performance venue in the country focused on music and entertainment. This follows the October 2013 completion of a three-year Transformation of the Madison Square Garden Arena designed to significantly enhance the experience of customers, athletes, entertainers, suite holders and partners. Mr. Dolan was also the catalyst for a restoration of the Company’s Beacon Theatre, which was renewed to its former grandeur in early 2009. Among his most significant accomplishments as MSG chairman, Mr. Dolan also spearheaded a multimillion-dollar restoration of Radio City Music Hall in 1999, returning the national landmark and MSG showpiece to its original splendor.
Over the past few years, Mr. Dolan has taken additional steps to expand MSG’s entertainment properties. They include the addition of The Chicago Theatre, which was built in 1921 as one of the country’s most opulent motion picture houses, and the Forum, which has been a celebrated arena in the Greater Los Angeles area since its opening in 1967.
Mr. Dolan has led MSG’s response to local and national tragedies. He played a principal role in organizing several extraordinary benefit concerts, including “12-12-12,” which raised more than $50 million for the victims of Hurricane Sandy; “The Concert For New York City,” which generated more than $35 million in aid for 9/11 victims and heroes; and “From The Big Apple to The Big Easy,” which raised nearly $9 million for Hurricane Katrina relief. Mr. Dolan also supports The Madison Square Garden Company’s ongoing commitment to the community, particularly through the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-profit charity that works closely with all areas at the company to help children throughout the New York metropolitan area.
In addition to his leadership role at The Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Dolan is chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, which served as MSG’s parent company until February 2010, when the sports, media and entertainment business became a standalone, public company. Mr. Dolan oversees Cablevision’s comprehensive portfolio of advanced Optimum-branded telecommunications products, including its digital television, digital voice and high-speed Internet services, and Optimum WiFi, the nation’s largest regional wireless Internet network.
Also under his purview, and serving the New York tri-state area, are Cablevision’s local media properties, which include News 12 Networks and Newsday Media Group, featuring Long Island’s leading daily newspaper, Newsday.
Prior to assuming his present post at Cablevision and The Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Dolan was chief executive officer of Rainbow Media Holdings, the former Cablevision programming subsidiary that became a separate, public company named AMC Networks Inc. in June 2011. Mr. Dolan began his career with Cablevision in the 1970s and held a variety of executive positions before overseeing Rainbow Media.
Mr. Dolan serves on the board of directors for The Madison Square Garden Company and AMC Networks, and is a member of Cablevision’s board of directors and its executive committee. He is also on the board of The Lustgarten Foundation, an organization he helped found in 1998 which today is the nation’s largest private supporter of pancreatic cancer research. In addition, he sits on the boards of C-SPAN and the Breathe Easy Play Hard Foundation, and is a member of the New York University Steinhardt Dean’s Council.