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Madison Square Garden Co appoints new president

Andrew Lustgarten has been named president of Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) following last month’s surprise exit of former president/CEO David O’Connor.

Lustgarten (pictured) joined MSG in 2014 as executive vice-president of corporate development and strategy, and has since overseen the diversification of MSG’s live offering, including its acquisitions of hospitality company TAO Group, Bosting Calling festival promoter Boston Calling Events and esports organisation Counter Logic Gaming.

Prior to joining MSG, Lustgarten spent seven years at the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he served as SVP of global strategy.

MSG’s executive chairman, James Dolan, takes over as CEO.

“Andy is the perfect person to help lead MSG at this point in its history”

“Andy is the perfect person to help lead MSG at this point in its history,” comments Dolan. “His unique experience in sports, live entertainment management and corporate development will be critically important as we continue to focus on enhancing our core businesses and identifying compelling opportunities that further our presence and influence in live experiences.”

Lustgarten adds: “MSG is unlike any other company in the world. There is so much opportunity for our incredible assets to grow and to further expand MSG’s position as the world’s leading sports and entertainment company.

“I am deeply honoured to take on this new role and look forward to working with the extraordinary people across MSG to realise the enormous potential ahead of us.”

 


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MSG CEO David O’Connor steps down

David O’Connor, the president and CEO of Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), has stepped down with immediate effect, the company has announced.

No reason was given given for the abrupt departure of O’Connor (pictured), who has led MSG since 2015, when he joined the New York-based venue giant after more than three decades at Creative Artists Agency. MSG’s executive chairman, James Dolan, will serve as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

In addition to its eponymous 20,000-cap. New York entertainment and sports venue, Madison Square Garden Company owns Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre, also in New York, the Chicago Theatre and the Forum in Los Angeles, as well as the New York Knicks and New York Liberty basketball teams and the New York Rangers ice hockey team.

Under O’Connor’s leadership, MSG has additionally invested in esports team Counter Logic Gaming, restaurant chain Tao Group and festival promoter Boston Calling Events.

 


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MSG Company acquires 12% stake in Townsquare

The Madison Square Garden company has acquired a 12% stake in digital media firm Townsquare.

MSG, which owns a number of US venues, will be working with Townsquare’s radio stations, digital assets and live events to “drive additional value and growth” for both businesses.

That will include growth in both MSG and Townsquare’s live offerings.

Venues under the MSG wing include New York’s Madison Square Garden (pictured), The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, California, The Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre in Boston.

Townsquare manages over 550 live music and lifestyle events each year, including Mountain Jam, WE Fest, the Taste of Country Music Festival and Country Jam.

“I have had the opportunity to work the Townsquare team closely this past year. These guys really excel and are a perfect complement to what we are building at Azoff MSG Entertainment.”

Irving Azoff, Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, says: “I have had the opportunity to work the Townsquare team closely this past year. These guys really excel and are a perfect complement to what we are building at Azoff MSG Entertainment.

“When this opportunity presented itself, my partners at MSG enthusiastically invested. I look forward to deepening our relationship and working on both existing and new projects with Townsquare and MSG.”

David O’Connor, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, adds: “Using its diversified portfolio of radio stations, digital assets and live events, Townsquare creates compelling content that brings people together and builds communities.

“We understand and share their belief in the value of exceptional, live experiences, and look forward to working together through this new partnership – which is another opportunity that our partner, Irving Azoff, brought to our attention – to drive additional value and growth for both businesses.”

 


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