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Eagles President HARRY GAMBLE resigned to become the NFL's Coordinator of Football Ops and Club Relations. Gamble will join Jerry Seeman, Supervisor of NFL officials, in fielding complaints from head coaches about officiating (S.A. Paolantonio, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/31)....MSG President DAVE CHECKETTS is interviewed in CRAIN's NEW YORK BUSINESS's 10th Anniversary issue (CRAIN'S NEW YORK, 3/27). ....CHUCK DALY will offer Warriors President ANDY DOLICH candidates for their search for a VP/Basketball Ops, but "didn't sound ready to pursue the job" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/31)....JOHN LEHR has been named VP/Business Affairs and General Counsel of the new IHL club in L.A. (L.A. IHL).... Hope Beckham, Inc., the Atlanta sports marketing and media firm and owners of the Silver Bullets announced: DEBRA LARSON joins as team Dir of P.R.; NIRVA MILARD is the team's new publicist; GREG COHN is the new Dir of FL Operations; LAWTON LOGAN is Asst Marketing Manager; MIKE KING is the Merchandise Manager; BILLY HICKS joins Hope-Beckham as Director of Operations for the Mediterranean Baseball League (Hope Beckham)....BO JACKSON's guest spot in Friday's episode of CBS' "Diagnosis Murder" was profiled on "extra" ("extra," 3/30).
ProServ Chair & CEO DONALD DELL and President JERRY SOLOMON announced yesterday the creation of P.S. StarGames, a joint venture between ProServ and Solomon. Solomon will serve as Presidenty & CEO of P.S. StarGames, while remaining an active Director of ProServ. Dell will chair the new partnership. According to a ProServ release, P.S. StarGames will initially focus on producing events for TV and other media technology. The company begins operation with properties including "Halloween on Ice" and the "King of the Beach Invitational" volleyball event. Dell: "While ProServ remains fully committed to sports representation, marketing and television business, I feel there is an opportunity to develop greater strategic synergy between the sports and entertainment industries in an effort to produce exciting inventory for the ever-expanding multimedia universe." Solomon: "Our charter is to be on the cutting edge of where the worlds of sports and entertainment meet" (ProServ). The WASHINGTON POST reports that P.S. StarGames will represent Solomon's "most famous client," NANCY KERRIGAN, in addition to volleyball stars KARCH KARALY and KENT STEFFES. Dell said the announcement "bears no resemblance" to DAVID FALK's 1992 departure from ProServ, which featured Falk building his own firm around high-profile clients MICHAEL JORDAN and PATRICK EWING. Dell acknowledged that Solomon "had no equity stake in ProServ, and that Solomon and an investor group will own half of the new venture. ProServ will own the other half." Dell, on Solomon: "He's my partner now" (Paul Farhi, WASHINGTON POST, 3/31).
In a short statement, MIKE TYSON announced his decision to remain with promoter DON KING, a multi-year agreement with Showtime Networks, and a six-fight, 2 1/2 year contract with MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. A following is a summary of the coverage of yesterday's announcement (Mult., 3/31): BIG DEAL: The package deal with Showtime and MGM Grand could be worth $150M to King and Tyson. His first fight could come in August or September (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31). LARRY WOOLF, Chair of the MGM Grand Hotel, from CNBC's "Business Insiders": "Having Mike Tyson fight here for 2 1/2 years 6 fights, is going to be a major boon to Las Vegas, and a major boon to the MGM." Thomas Ulmstead, Senior Editor of MULTICHANNEL NEWS, said Tyson's deal with Showtime, "basically leaves HBO on the sidelines looking in" (CNBC, 3/30). In New York, Bob Raismann calls King's decision to keep Tyson with Showtime without entertaining other offers, "surprising." Raismann: "Sources said Time Warner was prepared to bid $100 million more than Showtime" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/31). Tyson's decision "was a stunning KO for Showtime that left boxing rival HBO climbing slowly off the canvas," according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY. It will "immediately boosts Showtime's profile, which had been slipping." HBO execs were "upset, not only because they were not given a chance to bid," but because they felt they had more "resources and experiences to offer." One cable exec: "HBO has more subscribers, but pay per view is where the money is. And (Showtime Event Television) Pay Per View is more powerful in marketing and distribution and exhibiting than TKVO (HBO's PPV arm)" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/31). LONG LIVE THE KING: In staying with King, Tyson "shocked many people in the boxing world." King's rivals "underestimated the hold" he has on Tyson. King's presence was "underscored" when "virtually everyone in Muslim garb at the news conference was asked to leave" (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31). Wallace Matthews writes rumors of King's dismissal may have been "an orchestrated campaign to dupe the media and rival promoters" (N.Y. POST, 3/31).