SBD/27/Franchises

FOR A GOOD COS: COMEDIAN COSBY JOINS DOLANS' BROWNS BID

          Cleveland natives Charles and Larry Dolan announced
     that Bill Cosby has become an equity investor in the Dolan
     family owner-applicant group which is seeking to purchase
     the new Browns franchise.  If the bid is successful, the
     group announced that Larry Dolan would hold 30% of the total
     equity and act as the sole general partner, with majority
     voting control and complete management authority.  Charles
     Dolan would also hold a 30% stake, but would be a limited
     partner.  Dolan Family Trusts would hold a 30% equity stake,
     and Cosby would be a limited partner, with a 5% stake. The
     remaining 5% is being held in reserve (Dolans).  
          HEY, HEY, HEY: In Akron, David Adams wrote that the
     addition of Cosby, whose net worth was estimated at $300M in
     '96, "unofficially thrusts the Dolan effort to the head of
     the pack" of groups vying for ownership of the Browns. 
     Although Cosby has no local ties to Cleveland, he "does add
     a minority member to the group," something that NFL owners
     and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "consider to be a powerful
     factor" in its favor (BEACON JOURNAL, 5/23).  Also in Akron,
     Terry Pluto wrote that the addition of Cosby to the Dolan
     group "rings hollow" and looks like an attempt "to tell the
     NFL 'Hey, we have a minority owner, too.'"  Pluto added that
     while the Dolan group and the Paul Warfield/ Calvin
     Hill/Howard Milstein group "will probably end up" as the
     finalists for the Browns, "[d]on't count out" Cleveland
     businessman Al Lerner.  Pluto wrote that Indians Owner Dick
     Jacobs, however, is "disenchanted" with the bidding process,
     and plans to "remain on the sideline and see what develops"
     (Terry Pluto, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/24).

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