MSG Shareholders Sue James Dolan, Reportedly For Spending Too Much Time With His Band

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Photo: Richard Drew (AP)

A group of shareholders in the Madison Square Garden Company claim that MSG CEO and Knicks owner James Dolan is paying himself way too much money for a job he’s barely doing. Court records show shareholders filed a civil suit against Dolan in Delaware chancery court in late March, alleging that he doesn’t put enough time into his role as CEO and executive chairman, instead focusing his energy on making music.

The news was first reported by Agenda and Pitchfork, who report that Dolan was paid $75.6 million by MSG over the last three years. “By comparison, MSG’s peer companies paid their CEOs an average of $17 million for the same three-year period,” the complaint reportedly said. Perhaps that wouldn’t be a problem if he were a more active CEO, but the complaint said Dolan “works at MSG only part time.”

So what is he doing instead of CEO stuff? According to the aggrieved shareholders, he’s spending too much time recording and playing kick ass roots rock jams with his band J.D. & The Straight Shot:

In 2017, for example, the band performed 50 times in six countries and 41 U.S. cities, an increase from the 32 shows it performed in 2016. In late 2017, the band released its sixth album, and is in the process of recording a seventh.


In a statement, MSG said, “This lawsuit amounts to nothing more than corporate harassment,” while a Dolan family spokesperson went after the firm who filed the suit, saying their actions “represent the worst in our legal system. They manufacture complaints and then advertise for clients, also known as trolling.”