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JACK DONOHUE has joined the Grizzlies as Dir of Int'l Public Relations. Donohue was coach of the Canadian National Team and is in the Basketball Canada Hall of Fame. He will also serve as Grizzlies Dir of Canadian Player Development (Grizzlies)....MICHAEL CHICO has joined ESPN as Senior VP/Integrated Sales and Market Research (L.A. TIMES, 12/15)....News Corp. will reportedly set up an executive committee to determine "strategic directions" for the company. The committee will include CHASE CAREY, Head of the Fox Network (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/15).
DAVID CONE testified yesterday at the federal tax evasion trial of his former accountant, ERIC GOLDSCHMIDT, admitting he was "a little uneasy" when Goldschmidt told him to just "put in a figure" on a blank 1040 form for money he made from autographs. Cone said he inadvertently failed to report one $1,500 show in the process. Though Cone admits he underreported, prosecutors say he broke no laws because they can't prove he did it on purpose (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/15)....The Eastern Motorsport Press Association has named IRL Founder TONY GEORGE as its "Newsmaker of the Year" (Ernie Saxton Communications)...."ET" went on location with CAL RIPKEN in his role as a technical advisor for the film "The Fan," to be released this June. Ripken was shown advising WESLEY SNIPES on hitting. Ripken: "He's got good bat speed." ET's John Tesh: "It takes a lot of balls to play a major leaguer" ("ET," 12/14)....SHAQUILLE O'NEAL will make his return to the Magic tonight against the Jazz. The star center will not start, and commented, "I'm not a prima donna who needs to start. I don't want to mess with any chemistry. I'll go for the Sixth Man award. It's mine" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/15)....Nets guard Kenny Anderson has hired DAVID FALK as his new agent (N.Y. POST, 12/15).