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HITTING THE ROAD: FEHR IN ATLANTA; SPONSORS GO SHOPPING
Published September 20, 1994
MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr makes the first of his seven stops around the country today at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. Fehr's goal "is to not only update the players, but also get a handle on their feelings." Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine and players from other clubs who live in the area will attend. After Atlanta, Fehr heads to Tampa on Wednesday and New York on Friday. Next week, he will be in Chicago, L.A., Phoenix and Grapevine, TX (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/20). Fehr, Acting Commissioner Bud Selig and others will appear before House hearings on baseball's antitrust exemption on Thursday. WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO? AD AGE's Jeff Jensen examines the options for advertisers forced to reallocate funds originally targeted for baseball: "Some time is left in NFL broadcasts on Fox and NBC but at more than $200,000 per spot. College football on ABC and cable sports networks, as well as [NHL] broadcasts on ESPN and Fox, stand to benefit." While execs at The Baseball Network will have to release about $95M of the $130M in sales reached for the '94 season, they claim they're seeing "brighter prospects" for '95. One TBN exec said, as of now, '95 sales are 30% ahead of where they were going into '94. Others hard hit: Dorna USA will have to return 30% of '94 revenue from rotating signs; and Anheuser-Busch, which had allocated an estimated $30M for the post-season. Anheuser-Busch Senior VP/Corporate Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo: "We lost a showcase marketing vehicle that averages a 20 rating in prime time for at least four nights in the fall" (AD AGE, 9/19 issue). AD AGE'S BASEBALL STRIKE WINNERS AND LOSERS: WINNERS LOSERS Ken Burns' "Baseball" The Baseball Network Fox's rookie NFL season Griffey, Thomas, Williams Football Anheuser-Busch, Texaco USA Today Baseball Weekly KENNEDY ON BOARD: In a candidates forum in Boston, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) "indicated he was prepared to support eliminating the anti-trust exemption ... even though he voted earlier this year to retain it." Kennedy: "I'm more inclined to do it after the way (the owners) behaved this year than I was before" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/17). CREDIBILITY GAP: Braves pitcher Greg Maddux: "I heard that by canceling the season, the owners can also get out of their deal with that new Baseball Network, the one that wasn't for a lot of money. And then they can open up the bidding to the Fox network that's buying up football and hockey. How's that if it's true. And it's always us who are greedy" (Beb Verdi, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/20). LOOKING BACK: Astros Owner Drayton McLane, asked whether he would still buy a sports franchise knowing what he knows now: "Absolutely not, or I wouldn't be standing here. I'd be selling groceries somewhere. ... I've never been around so much conflict as I've seen in the two years I've been in baseball. ...But now that I'm in, I'm going to stay." McLane maintains his "hard- line" position: "We're going to work hard to reach an agreement, but if not, we'll implement our plan. We're going to have baseball next spring, if you see nothing more than [GM] Bob Watson and [manager] Terry Collins and me running around in shorts, we're going to play baseball (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18). MORE STAFF LAYOFFS: The Mets fired 28 of remaining 79 full- time administrators, totaling 66 employees laid off since the strike began. The Astros have laid off 19 and the Padres have let 25 go ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/19). Mets' layoffs included Asst Media Relations Dir Craig Sanders and Traveling Secretary Bob O'Hara (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20).