James Dolan Accuses Mort Zuckerman and New York Daily News of Extortion


By Chris O'Shea Comment

If you’re a fan of media drama, you should probably sit down for this: James Dolan, Cablevision’s CEO and Madison Square Garden’s Executive Chairman, is accusing Mort Zuckerman and his paper, The New York Daily News, of extortion. Dolan claims that Zuckerman and the Daily News have engaged in a campaign of “intimidation” to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News. Good stuff, right?

According to the New York Post, Dolan has rejected Zuckerman’s repeated requests to combine the Daily News with Newsday, and that at one recent meeting between the two, “Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that ‘the bad press would end if we became joint owners’ (a direct quote).”

The “bad press” came big yesterday when the Daily News published an article claiming that the Knicks didn’t disclose how serious Jeremy Lin’s injury [Editor’s note: I am crying right now] was until after the deadline for playoff tickets sales had passed.

A joint statement from Cablevision and MSG said the story was “just another in a long list of articles and cover stories designed to provoke Cablevision and the Madison Square Garden Co.”

“I understand that there will always be those who are critical of anyone who owns a controlling interest in three New York sports franchises,” Dolan said in a statement. “But Mr. Zuckerman’s attempts to parlay this into a favorable arrangement could not be more misguided.”

As you can guess, the drama has only just begun. Enjoy.