SBD/10/Sports Media

RED WINGS OFFICIAL DEFENDS NO-STROBE POLICY

     Red Wings VP Atanas Ilitch said it was his decision to pull
the plug on the strobe lights before Game 1 of the team's opening
playoff series after complaints from players and fans, according
to this morning's DETROIT FREE PRESS.  The decision resulted in a
Sports Illustrated photographer being unable to shoot Red Wings
star Paul Coffey for the magazine's cover.  The cover -- and the
story -- were subsequently pulled by SI Managing Editor Mark
Mulvoy. Ilitch:  "The lights weren't focused perfectly in the
right directions.  We talked to our coaching staff and with
(goalie) Mike Vernon.  It's one of those jump balls.  It was a
difficult decision. ... We love all our media partners, but as
you can appreciate, we're trying to win the Stanley Cup."  The
lights will be working tonight.  But another team exec was
"outraged":  "That's a decision that affects all of us in this
league, and to have something like that cost us a chance to reach
23 million readers, something's wrong" (Gave & Bernstein, DETROIT
FREE PRESS, 5/10).
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