The Madison Square Garden Company Announces Leadership Changes
February 28, 2014 --
Hank Ratner Takes New Role as Vice Chairman and Will Join Company's Board of Directors
Tad Smith Becomes New President and CEO
NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Madison Square Garden Company (Nasdaq:MSG) today announced that, following a successful tenure as president and chief executive officer, Hank Ratner has taken on a new role as vice chairman and will be joining the company's board of directors. The company has also announced that Tad Smith, a well-regarded executive with a proven track record of effectively operating and growing diverse organizations, has succeeded Mr. Ratner as the company's president and CEO.
Throughout his tenure at MSG, Mr. Ratner has been responsible for overseeing the overall daily operations of the business and has played a significant role in spearheading the company's strategic initiatives and acquisitions, leading to an unprecedented period of dynamic and enduring growth for the company. In his new role as vice chairman, Mr. Ratner will continue to assist in setting corporate direction, and work closely with MSG's new president and CEO on the overall advancement of the company.
Mr. Smith joins MSG after five years with Cablevision Systems Corporation, where he served as president of Local Media, responsible for the company's digital and linear television advertising sales division; News 12 Networks, an award-winning local news leader; and Newsday Media Group with assets that include Long Island's leading daily newspaper Newsday and amNewYork, the nation's most widely circulated free daily serving New York City. In his new role, Mr. Smith will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of The Madison Square Garden Company, including the overall strategy and day-to-day operations of MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, as well as the company's administrative areas, including Finance, Legal, Human Resources, Communications and Business Operations.
"Hank has achieved enormous success over his long-career with the company, particularly over the last decade, when his leadership and business acumen has allowed MSG to enhance its position as one of the world's leading sports, media and entertainment companies," said James Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company. "We are extremely grateful for the integral role Hank has played in driving the company's significant growth, including spearheading the historic Transformation of The Garden, and look forward to his continued contributions to the company."
Mr. Dolan continued: "We are pleased to welcome Tad to MSG as its new president and chief executive officer. Over the last five years, Tad's unique ability to grow organizations and identify key talent has helped to guide Cablevision during a period of unprecedented change. We are confident that he is the ideal executive to lead MSG into a new chapter of the company's history and to seize the opportunities that lay ahead."
"Being able to lead Madison Square Garden during such a pivotal and historic period has been a dream come true for me," said Mr. Ratner. "I am extremely proud of our record of success, which has not only marked a period of tremendous growth, but also ensured the company is well positioned for the future. I am honored to have played such a meaningful role in MSG's evolution, and look forward to continuing my relationship with the company in my new role."
"Madison Square Garden is unlike any other company in the world, with an unparalleled group of legendary, beloved brands and assets that set the standard for sports, media and entertainment," said Mr. Smith. "I look forward to working with MSG's executive staff and employees across the company to ensure we continue to deliver excellence across our operations, and pursue strategic growth initiatives that will allow us to expand our leadership position, and build on our tremendous legacy."
During his tenure at MSG, Mr. Ratner was responsible for overseeing the company's spin-off from Cablevision in February 2010, and has played a key role in driving the company's financial performance, tripling MSG's adjusted operating cash flow since its debut as a standalone company. In addition, Mr. Ratner has helped bring some of the country's landmark venues under MSG management -- The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre and, most recently, the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Recently, Mr. Ratner oversaw the historic, three-year Transformation of the Madison Square Garden Arena, which will ensure the iconic venue continues to deliver unforgettable moments for decades to come. Mr. Ratner is also the visionary behind The Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with MSG to help make dreams come true for children facing obstacles. He will continue to serve as chairman of Garden of Dreams. Mr. Ratner began his 27-year career with Cablevision in 1987 before moving to Rainbow Media Holdings, the precursor of AMC Networks, where he became chief operating officer in 1998. This was followed in 2002 by his appointment to vice chairman of Cablevision, and then a year later, vice chairman of MSG. In 2010, following MSG's successful spin-off from Cablevision, he was named the company's president and chief executive officer.
Before joining Cablevision in 2009, Mr. Smith worked for Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a worldwide provider of business information, where he served as chief executive officer of the company's U.S. division, Reed Business Information (RBI). At RBI, Mr. Smith oversaw a number of well-known brands, including Variety, Daily Variety, Publishers Weekly, Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable. He was also responsible for developing and running RBI's digital media businesses and was successful in significantly increasing the proportion of revenue generated from these e-commerce businesses.
Before RBI, Mr. Smith served as senior vice president of e-commerce for Starwood Resorts and Hotels Worldwide, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive global Internet strategy for the company and its world renowned brands, such as Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis hotels and resorts. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Smith was with BMG Entertainment, a subsidiary of global publisher Bertelsmann AG, where he managed the strategy, acquisition and restructuring for the company's North American business units, including Arista Records, RCA Records, BMG Direct Record Clubs and BMG Music Publishing, among others. He was named managing director of that company's merchandising unit in 1997. From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Smith served as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, Inc., a leading management consulting firm for national and international commerce, industry, government and institutions.
Mr. Smith received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.
The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the Company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from the Company's venues. MSG Media's television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks; and Fuse, a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Networks also include high-definition channels, MSG HD and MSG+ HD, and Fuse includes its high-definition channel, Fuse HD. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company's diverse collection of venues. These venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.
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CONTACT: Barry Watkins
The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company