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SUSAN O'MALLEY's success at selling seats at USAir Arena while having a losing basketball team is profiled in the January 16 issue of BUSINESS WEEK. Since O'Malley was put in charge of business operations in 1988, the team's average attendance has jumped from 9,814 to almost 18,000 (17,859 as of January 4). O'Malley credits her success to "promoting games against high- profile teams," and creating ticket packages for those games "to avoid missing the big ones." The big crowds for these games prompted "others to spring for season tickets." Pistons President Tom Wilson says the idea "went against the grain in the NBA. ... But has been copied throughout the league." According to NBA sources, the team was losing $4M a year before O'Malley took over. The Bullets are expected to make around $1.5M this season (Amy Barrett, BUSINESS WEEK, 1/16 issue).
Bulls Chairman JERRY REINSDORF is personally trying to work out a deal for SCOTTIE PIPPEN to be traded (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/12)....Miami Coach DENNIS ERICKSON will reportedly announce today that he will become the next head coach of the Seattle Seahawks (MIAMI HERALD, 1/12).... Blazers Owner PAUL ALLEN will back an upstart production, TV and multimedia company called Storyopolis and focused on children's stories and classic tales (L.A. TIMES, 1/12). ....Former Dolphins CB PAUL LANKFORD has joined the Jaguars as Dir of Player Programs (Jaguars).....HARVEY GANOT has been promoted by MTV Networks to Pres of Advertising & Promotion Sales (AD AGE, 1/9 issue)....TOM MAZZA has been named Exec VP/Current Programs and Strategic Planning by Paramount Network Television, Hollywood (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 1/9 issue)....Louis Vuitton has named WILLOW BAY as spokersperson for the Louis Vuitton Cup, the races which determine who are America's Cup challengers (Louis Vuitton).