SBD/27/Franchises

CHECKETTS CHECKS IN AS INTERIM MSG HEAD

     One day after Bob Gutkowski's dismissal as the president of
Madison Square Garden, his interim replacement, Dave Checketts,
said his "immediate goal is to break the logjam in contract
negotiations" with Rangers star center Mark Messier.  But in a
break from his predecessor, Checketts said he would let Rangers
President/GM Neil Smith conduct the negotiations.  And "in
another break from Gutkowski," Checketts said he would not
discuss any progress in the talks with the news media.  Checketts
new role "may indeed be temporary."  Viacom will conduct a search
for a permanent MSG president.  Checketts: "I was told I would be
a candidate" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/22).
Checketts, on the possible resale of the Knicks and Rangers: "I
have been told by Cablevision/ITT executives that the teams are
not going to be resold" (N.Y. POST, 9/22).
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