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Starter has divided its product management groups into licensed and brand categories: TONY PERUSO will serve as Dir of Merchandising for Starter Licensed, while ALAN HANDEL will serve as Dir of Merchandising for Starter Brand. Starter also named SUSAN CAISSY LEE as Dir of Design & Product Development, BOB FELICE as VP/Field Sales Operations and KEVIN MCCARTHY as Dir of Retail Marketing. Controller SEAN SMITH also assumed the title of Chief Accounting Officer (Starter)....ESPN Zone named JORDAN NAFTAL as the GM of its first restaurant in Baltimore, MD. Naftal, who comes from Hard Rock Cafe Int'l where he served as Dir of Operations, will oversee day-to-day operations at ESPN Zone. ESPN Zone also named MARK GRIMES as the Exec Chef. Grimes will oversee all menu development and kitchen staff for each location (ESPN Zone)....The PBA named JOHN LAZARUS to its Board of Directors. Lazarus is the Senior Partner, National Broadcast Operations for Bozell Worldwide Media (PBA).
N.Y. Sports Ventures President DAVID SELDIN announced changes to the organizational structure of the franchise. Coach/GM MIKE MILBURY has been signed to a five-year contract extension. JOHN SANDERS was named Senior VP/General Counsel. Sanders comes from CT-based law firm Levett, Rockwood and Sanders Professional Corp. WILLIAM SKEHAN, the team's General Counsel, remains as Alternate Governor. DAREN ANDERSON was named as VP/Hockey Operations. Former Dir of Player Personnel GORD CLARK has been promoted to Assistant GM/Player Personnel. MIKE SANTOS, the former Assistant GM, is now Manager of Player Contracts. Also named to the team's staff include BOB BRENNFLECK as VP/Media & Corporate Partnerships and JANET KASK as VP/Administration (Islanders).
Univ. of TX golfer BRAD ELDER has announced his decision to turn pro, beginning his PGA Tour career by playing in the MasterCard Colonial this week. Elder will be represented by O. LYNN ROACH, JR. of VA-based Players Group Inc. (PGI).... ALONZO MOURNING was a guest on NBC's "Tonight Show" last night. NBC's Jay Leno: "Now you seem like a nice guy, we were talking backstage..." Mourning: "You too. You seem like a nice guy." Leno: "And I get booed almost as much as you do." Mourning, on Knicks coach JEFF VAN GUNDY grabbing his leg during his fight with LARRY JOHNSON during their playoff series: "I really didn't feel him. Have you ever had a piece of gum on your shoe?" ("Tonight Show," 5/18)....ABC TV is expected to reveal nine new shows, including "BROTHER'S KEEPER," a comedy about a English professor whose brother plays for the 49ers, and "SPORTS NIGHT," a comedy built around an "ESPN-like sports newsroom" starring ROBERT GUILLAUME (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19)....REGGIE THEUS is "out" as the coach on NBC's "Hang Time." Theus will be replaced by DICK BUTKUS (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/19)....NBC's JAY LENO: "The Clippers have won the right for the first pick in the NBA draft. Talk about an incentive to stay in school" ("Tonight Show," 5/18)....THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL sponsored a luncheon in honor of REGGIE WHITE yesterday in Washington, DC, "saying no one else is standing up for his right to speak out against homosexuality." White, from the luncheon: "I'm tired of the devil pushing us around. God is trying to give people some guts to speak out on truth" (STAR TRIBUNE, 5/19).