midem logo

Power Players

No. 81
James L. Dolan

Executive chairman; president/CEO
Madison Square Garden Co.
Cablevision Systems
The Big Show...

In a city full of power players, few loom larger than James (Jim) Dolan, the man who runs Madison Square Garden and its affiliated businesses, which include Fuse. Dolan is also president/CEO of Cablevision, a powerful media company with holdings that include News 12 and Newsday. In sports, Dolan's clout is considerable-he serves as governor to the NBA and NHL for MSG tenants the Knicks and the Rangers--but the Garden and its associated properties are critical plays in music. The arena is undergoing a multifaceted renovation that will infuse new life, just as similar projects, if on a smaller scale, restored the Beacon Theatre and Radio City Music Hall. Dolan took his clout beyond New York with Madison Square Garden Entertainment's acquisition of the Chicago Theatre and a booking deal with Boston's Wang Theatre. He also made a strategic play in acquiring a minority interest in Front Line Management. And Dolan even has a band called J.D. & the Straight Shots, managed by Front Line chairman/CEO Irving Azoff (see No. 1). Dolan's "intense passion for music" is a factor in the success of MSG's venue holdings, which Azoff points out are "renowned for the incredible sound and ambience for the music fan." (Azoff also calls Fuse "the last true music channel.") And today, as ever, most acts regard a Garden play as definitive proof of hitting the big time-a powerhouse.

Order the special edition Billboard Power 100 issue, printed on glossy stock with lavish original photography (available now).

What do you think of the 2012 Billboard Power 100? Sound off in the comments area of the Letter From the Editor page, where the criteria is explained.

« PREVIOUS: PJ Bloom | NEXT: Jesus Lopez »