Why I'll never buy stock in Cablevision or MSG
I have blasted Cablevision's incompetent ruling family, the Dolans, specifically James Dolan, numerous times in the past. If there's a worse CEO out there I don't know who he is. I hate nepotism in corporations, and James Dolan is a prime example of why shareholders should be afraid, very afraid if the son or daughter of a company's founder takes over as its CEO. I'm not saying that all children of companies founders are incompetent, but they often are.
Barry Ritholtz over at The Big Picture sums up my thoughts on Cablevision (CVC) and its recent spin-off MSG beautifully with the following post:
Congrats to Miami; About the NY Knicks . . .
Congratulations to Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. You have put together a very competitive team that should be fun to watch in the coming years.
Lost in all the hype is the fact that The NY Knicks have been part of a public corporation — the incompetent Cablevision (CVC), an $8 billion dollar telecommunications and media firm. They are also the largest holder of MSG Inc. (MSG), which now controls the Madison Square Garden arena, and the New York Knicks, along with the TV rights. (MSG was spun off from CVC in February 2010).
There may be no more hapless, pathetic, incompetent owners of any team since MSG was founded in 1874. Long suffering Knick’s fans have be watched the team mismanaged into basketball irrelevancy. Since the Patrick Ewing era ended, incompetent management has been unable to field a competitive squad, retain a top flight coach, achieve any success in the playoffs, been unable to attract and retain all-star talent. The inability to attract Lebron James to New York is merely the cherry on a failure cake.
CVC/MSG must pay for their sins: Cablevision’s credit ratings should be downgraded, their bonds sold, their stock shorted. Merely having their senior management resign in disgrace is insufficient; their gross failures should result in Seppuku, their disemboweled bodies buried in a pet cemetary. Season ticket holders should be given free grief counseling. MSG and the Knicks should be sold to some organization that is actually familiar with Sports.
I posted the other day that I would be absolutely shocked if the incompetent Knicks and Dolan didn't find some way to screw up their pursuit of LeBron James. Sure enough they did. Want to know when I was absolutely positive that I was right and LeBron was going to shun the Knicks? When I heard that Dolan sent Isiah Thomas to visit LeBron to make a last minute pitch to convince him to come to New York (link).
Isiah Tomas is the ultimate mush. Dolan's infatuation with him is proof that he has absolutely no idea how to run a sports franchise. After his successful career as a player Thomas has run every single venture that he has been involved in into the ground, from the CBA all the way to his complete destruction of the Kinckerbockers. As soon as I heard that Thomas was somehow involved with the Knicks again I knew that there was no way that LeBron was coming to New York.
I could go on for hours about the Knicks and Dolan's ineptitude, but I have to go pick up an ice cream cake for my son's birthday. Needless to say, I am staying far away from MSG's stock. There are a lot of attractive things about it, The Garden, it's a spin-off, etc...but I am positive that the Dolans will find some way to screw it up and destroy shareholder value.