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Posted 16 May 2001   For week ended May 18, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 15May01

By Kent Larsen

Checketts Fired

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Dave Checketts, the LDS Church member who has headed the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden for six years, was fired yesterday by the corporate owner of the Garden, Cablevision, according to the New York Daily News. News of his firing spread quickly yesterday, shocking members of the sports teams he ran but pleasing some fans, who were not satisfied with the Knicks and Rangers failures in the playoffs in recent years.

According to the Daily News' report, Checketts will be succeeded temporarily by his boss, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan, with whom he reportedly had a strained relationship. The failure of the Knicks to win a championship and the Rangers to make the playoffs this year led to the firing, according to the reports.

In spite of the firing, Checketts had good success at the Garden. He came to New York in 1991 from the Utah Jazz, taking a front-office job with the Knicks, a team that was then in turmoil. Surviving three changes of ownership at the Garden, he rose through the ranks to take over the corporation, which owns not only the two sports teams, but also Madison Square Garden, the MSG cable network, Radio City Music Hall, several theaters, and a few other businesses.

During his tenure, financial revenues for the company increased ninefold, and Checketts made Madison Square Garden into a "virtually unmatched sports and entertainment colossus," says the Daily News. He brought back boxing to Madison Square Garden, saw the Rangers win the NHL's Stanley Cup, and saw the two sports franchises become the most valuable in their sports. A Forbes magazine study last December valued the Knicks at $395 million, atop the NBA, and the Rangers at $263 million, ahead of all other NHL teams.

But recently, Checketts' luck has turned against him. The New York Yankees decided to launch its own regional cable network with the NBA's New Jersey Nets, which will cost Cablevision millions in lost advertising revenue from broadcasting Yankees games. In addition, the Rangers landed outside of the playoffs for the fourth straight year, and the Knicks failed to advance this year beyond the NBA playoff's first round.

Knick's star Allan Houston expressed surprise at the firing, "It's just a shock," he told the TNT cable channel last night. "I hope everything works out well for him. I think he did a good job." Some fans said that because the teams hadn't met expectations, it was time for a change. "They should have gotten rid of [Checketts] a long time ago," said Alex Windrem, 26, a fan from Bridgewater, N.J.


Checketts Checking Out Of MSG
New York Daily News 15May01 S2
By Dave Goldiner: Daily News Staff Writer
Announcement today

See also:

Ward's Comments Recall, Lead to Erroneous Statements on Mormons

Forbes Says Checketts' Knicks &Rangers Most Valuable

Dave Checkett's Sprewell Gambit Pays Off

Dave Checketts's game

Should Mormon Dave Checketts Save the SLC Olympics?


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information