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FOR A GOOD COS: COMEDIAN COSBY JOINS DOLANS' BROWNS BID
Published May 27, 1998
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).