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CABLEVISION DENIES IT WILL MAKE GEORGE THE KING OF NEW YORK
Published September 18, 1998
Cablevision "immediately moved" yesterday to "quash the buzz" that it is in talks with Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner about his team, and a role for him as top exec of the Knicks and NHL Rangers, according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY. In a statement, Cablevision said: "We have had no discussions to relinquish either the control or the management responsibilities of Madison Square Garden and its teams and do not expect to have any such discussions in the future." MSG President Dave Checketts "declined" to talk about his reaction, but an MSG exec "said Checketts feels secure in his job." Zipay adds that MSG's revenue will reach $100M this year, up from the $12M a year before Checketts was named head in '95, and "those are the stats" that Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan "holds most dear." Rangers President Neil Smith called the speculation "too bizarre for words." One Steinbrenner associate said "that anything more than a figurehead position" for Steinbrenner "was a ridiculous notion" (NEWSDAY, 9/18). NOW CHILDREN: In NJ, Bob Klapisch reports that the possibility of Steinbrenner selling the Yankees "hinges on two key factors, according to people familiar with the Boss' thinking." First, Steinbrenner is "deciding whether he wants to leave" the team to his children, including his 29- year-old son Harold, and 43-year-old son-in-law, Steve Swindal. Second, Steinbrenner is "deeply committed to moving the Yankees to Manhattan's West Side, and, according to an official close to the team, Steinbrenner would like to continue his association with the team if a move occurs." But if N.Y. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone is successful in putting the future of Yankee Stadium to a referendum, sources say Steinbrenner "could well throw in the towel and sell to Cablevision" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/18). SCHUNDLER'S LIST: The N.Y. OBSERVER's Greg Sargent reports that Jersey City (NJ) Mayor Bret Schundler "is exploring ways to build - and aggressively market" a new ballpark on the border of Jersey City and Secaucus for "the Yankees or any other team" looking for a new home. Schundler: "We have the best location in the metropolitan area - bar none." He said a site proposal will be presented to Steinbrenner in several weeks (N.Y. OBSERVER, 9/21).