James L. Dolan CEO Of Cablevision James Loraine Dolan (born 1956) serves as Chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation and Chairman of Madison Square Garden, Inc. Dolan is married and resides on Long Island with his wife Kristin. He is the son of Cablevision founder Charles Dolan and nephew of Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan. Dolan’s two brothers, Patrick and Thomas, serve on Cablevision’s Board of Directors.
After originally pursuing a career in music, Dolan eventually switched to a major in communications at SUNY New Paltz and began working for Cablevision in various capacities including sales before eventually being dispatched to Cleveland by his father to manage the launching of a sports radio station. In 1995 he was made CEO of Cablevision. Throughout his early adult life Dolan battled drug and alcohol problems and was reportedly known for having a volatile temper. In 1993 he was sent to drug rehabilitation at the Hazel den clinic in Center City, Minnesota.
Dolan performs blues-inspired rock as the singer for JD & the Straight Shot and is also an avid sailor. Dolan contributes money to charitable causes. Among some of his charitable ventures, he founded The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research in 1998 and remains active in it as a member of its board of directors. He was also a key organizer of the 2001 Concert for New York City benefit concert after the terrorist attacks of September 11 of that year. Additionally, he has made significant donations to Dikembe Mutombo’s charity projects which include a hospital in Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2005 Dolan helped to organize “From the Big Apple to The Big Easy” benefits concerts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Dolan was an ardent opponent of his father’s proposed Voom satellite service, which became a polarizing controversy among Cablevision’s Board of Directors. While supporters argued Voom could propel Cablevision into the future emerging satellite market and a wider customer base, opponents of the plan, including James Dolan, argued it was too expensive with no expense relief for the foreseeable future. In the end, the younger Dolan prevailed and Voom was shut down.
This was an instrumental event in Dolan emerging from his father’s shadow, albeit reluctantly, as a viable businessman. However, his business career has not been without failures, which include purchasing the failing Wiz electronics and entertainment chain which ended up posting losses of $250 million before being liquidated and the Clear view Cinemas chain which has failed to generate any significant revenue. In 1994, Paramount Communications, the owner of Madison Square Garden, was acquired by Viacom, who in turn sold the MSG properties to Cablevision and ITT Corporation, which had 50% ownership each.
ITT would sell its share to Cablevision three years later. In 1999, Dolan was given an increased role in managing Cablevision’s sports properties and is now the primary manager of these assets. The teams under his domain include most notably the National Basketball Association’s New York Knicks, the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers, the Women’s National Basketball Association’s New York Liberty, and the American Hockey League’s Hartford Wolf pack.
As Chairman of Madison Square Garden, he supervises day-to-day operations of its professional sports teams and regional sports networks, which include MSG Network and MSG Plus. He also serves as a governor of the Knicks and Rangers to their respective leagues. As president and chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, James L. Dolan oversees the company’s extensive media and telecommunications properties. Mr. Dolan also serves as executive chairman of Madison Square Garden (MSG), the national sports and entertainment leader that was formerly part of Cablevision’s business portfolio.
Under Mr. Dolan’s direction, Cablevision is one of the nation’s largest operators of cable television systems, developing and delivering the benefits of broadband and digital communications to millions of residential and business customers across the company’s New York tri-state area footprint. The company’s popular telecommunications services include iO TV digital video, Optimum Voice digital voice, Optimum Online high-speed Internet and Optimum WiFi, the nation’s largest and most advanced WiFi network.
Cablevision meets the needs of larger companies through Optimum Light path, a leading provider of integrated business solutions. Mr. Dolan also oversees Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, a programming pioneer that reaches hundreds of millions of consumers through some of the countries most watched and recognized cable networks, including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE TV. Additionally, this Cablevision subsidiary houses IFC Entertainment, a leader in the independent film industry that is dedicated to bringing specialty films to the largest possible audience.
Cablevision’s portfolio of operations also includes local media and programming properties. These consist of News 12 Networks’ local news channels, MSG Varsity’s suite of television and online services covering high school activities, and Newsday Media Group, which features Long Island’s leading daily newspaper Newsday. Other entertainment businesses under the Cablevision umbrella include Clear view Cinemas, one of the tri-state area’s leading motion picture exhibitors. On the civic front, Mr.
Dolan supports Cablevision’s Power to Learn program. The nationally recognized education initiative provides all K-12 schools in the communities Cablevision serves with free access to the company’s full suite of Optimum-branded digital video, high-speed Internet and digital voice services. Mr. Dolan is also dedicated to Cablevision’s partnership with The Lustgarten Foundation, an organization he helped found in 1998, which today is the nation’s largest private supporter of pancreatic cancer research.
In 2008, Cablevision made a multi-year commitment to underwrite the Foundation’s costs, ensuring that 100 percent of every donation goes directly to researching this deadly cancer. With Mr. Dolan’s backing, Cablevision also uses its assets to advance the cure PC campaign, aimed at increasing public awareness of pancreatic cancer, and is responsible for organizing the Holiday Rock & Roll Bash, the Foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser.