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).