SBD/13/Sports Industrialists

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         ACOG President BILLY PAYNE says some of the Olympic venues
    are ahead of schedule: "It's all scheduled to be completed
    sufficiently in advance of the games and tested with major
    international events" ("CBS This Morning," 3/13). ....Walt Disney
    Co.'s top TV exec, RICHARD FRANK, resigned Friday.  He will be
    replaced by DENNIS HIGHTOWER, who headed Europe and Middle
    Eastern Operations for Disney Consumer Products (L.A. TIMES,
    3/13)....CARL HIRSH, former President of the Spectrum arena and
    Spectacor Development, was named Managing Partner of Stafford
    Sports Ventures (Stafford). ....SHAQUILLE O'NEAL and MICHAEL
    JORDAN were ranked Nos. 1-2 as the most marketable athletes in a
    poll by Sportsfan Radio Network (WASHINGTON POST, 3/13)....JULIE
    FARIN has been named Promotion Director/Marketing at PR Newswire.
    She was Dir of Publicity at King World Productions (VARIETY,
    3/13). ....ABC's "Person of the Week" was former Negro League
    player BUCK O'NEILL ("World News Tonight," 3/10).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, People and Pop Culture, Viacom, Walt Disney

         Reports this morning indicate that Michael Jordan will
    announce his return to the Bulls this week, although Bulls GM
    Jerry Krause insisted that Jordan is yet to make his decision and
    nothing is scheduled (Mult., 3/13).
         SO, WHAT'S THE DEAL:  NEWSWEEK reports that Jordan is asking
    for more money and years added to his contract, and similar
    upgrades for Scottie Pippen (NEWSWEEK, 3/20 issue).  But, under
    the current no-strike agreement reached by the NBA and the NBPA,
    there is a moratorium on extending or renegotiating any
    contracts.  One league spokesperson:  "If they want to sit down
    and have a general discussion, that's permitted.  But they're not
    supposed to talk about numbers."  In Chicago, Sam Smith notes
    while the NBA would not stand in the way of Jordan's return,
    "hard feelings" remain between the NBA and the Bulls over the
    team's lawsuit against the league -- "suggesting any hint of a
    new agreement with Jordan could produce sever penalties."  The
    current direction of the NBA labor talks -- limits on so-called
    one-year "balloon payments" and on how much teams can pay to re-
    sign their own free agents -- also stand in the way of a new deal
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/12).  According to a league source, Jordan
    wants the NBA and NBC to compensate him beyond his salary (Fort
    Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL/Baltimore SUN, 3/13).
         LOOK, UP IN THE SKY!  Jordan was the hot topic from the
    White House to Wall Street.  President Clinton invoked his name
    at a Friday news conference (Mult, 3/10).  Jordan is on the cover
    of this week's NEWSWEEK.  Writing that it's still "uncertain" he
    will return, John Leland notes the no-bend negotiating tactics of
    Reinsdorf:  "If there is an NBA owner who would walk away from a
    chance to have Michael Jordan, it is Jerry M. Reinsdorf"
    (NEWSWEEK, 3/20 issue).  Jordan was the closing note on "This
    Week with David Brinkley."  George Will:  "Well, it's
    significant" (ABC, 3/12).  CNBC's "Market Wrap" examined what
    Jordan's return would do for Chicago's economy.  Gerald Roper of
    the Chicago Convention Bureau:  "You're talking about another
    $160 million" (CNBC, 3/10).  CNN's Steve Young examined Jordan's
    impact on advertisers and ratings.  Young & Rubicam Broadcast
    Buying Dir Robert Igiel:  "If you try and estimate how much extra
    audience a Michael Jordan could mean, your guess is as good as
    mine, but I would think another 10%" ("Moneyline," 3/10).  NBC
    analyst Julius Erving was the lone doubter:  "I would be hard
    pressed to feel that he's going to come back, that he's going to
    give up the freedom that he enjoys right now. ... How's he going
    to come back to a game where there are rules, regulations, and
    curfews?  Michael's not going to become a 10-day contract player
    and prostitute the game of basketball for 15 games and the
    playoffs" ("NBA on NBC," 3/12).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBC, People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney
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