Andrew Lustgarten was named as president and CEO-in-waiting of Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) as the company seeks “final league” and MSG board approval for the move.
The live entertainment portion of the company will be named Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment).
“We look forward to the pending separation of our sports and entertainment businesses, which will better enable the two companies to pursue their own unique strategies, while providing our shareholders with the ability to more clearly assess the value of each company,” Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan said.
Following the completion of the spinoff, Dolan, who is the owner of the New York Knicks NBA franchise and the NHL's Rangers, will become the executive chairman of the sports business and executive chairman and CEO of the entertainment company. Lustgarten will serve as president of the entertainment company as well as CEO of the sports division.
“As a standalone entity, the sports company will be well-positioned to maintain its strong and steady financial performance, driven by our Knicks and Rangers franchises, and to deliver exceptional value for our shareholders,” Lustgarten said.
Dolan was in the news earlier this week after getting into a spat with Knicks mega-fan and movie director Spike Lee over the proper entrance Lee should use to get to his courtside seats.
Dolan, in 1995, was named CEO of Cablevision Systems by his father, Charles Dolan. In 1999, after the company purchased the 50% stake in MSG that it didn't already own, James Dolan became the head of one of the NBA's most valuable franchises.
While the Knicks are still the league's most valuable franchise - Forbes values the franchise at $4 billion with annual revenue of $443 million - James Dolan has taken the brunt of the criticism from Knicks fans for the fortunes of one of the league's most prominent teams.