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ABC News CEO ROONE ARLEDGE announced Friday that after 21 years "he would turn over leadership" to the division's President, DAVID WESTIN, starting on Monday. Arledge, on his legacy: "ABC Sports hardly existed when I first started, and I built it into the greatest sports television organization there had ever been, at its peak" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/30). Arledge will remain Chair of ABC News and add the title of ABC Inc. Senior VP ("Business Center," CNBC, 5/29). Arledge will also continue as Dir of ESPN (N.Y. POST, 5/30). OTHER MOVES: Ascent Sports announced the following promotions: PAUL ANDREWS was promoted from Dir of Ticket Sales to VP/Ticket Sales & Operations; TAMARA MCMILLAN from Community Relations Assistant to Community Funds Manager; DAN SWEENEY from Sales Consultant to Ticket Sales Manager; CHE VIALPONDO from Season Ticket Holder Rep to Sales Consultant; CHRISTY BAIRD from Game Operations Coordinator to Promotions Manager and KIM ERWIN from Games Operations Coordinator to Community Events Manager. Also, HARLAN HENDRICKSON was named an Entertainment Coordinator (Ascent).
14-year-old RAY SMITH, who suffers from a heart condition, was the dugout guest of Yankees Manager JOE TORRE for Sunday's game against the Red Sox. Torre met Ray through the STARLIGHT FOUNDATION (Mult., 6/1)....GE CEO JACK WELCH is profiled in BUSINESS WEEK and John Byrne writes, "The private Welch is a sports fanatic, a movie buff, and media junkie engaged equally by scuttlebutt and facts" (BUSINESS WEEK, 6/8 issue)....MIKE LUPICA has co-written FRED IMUS' new book, "The Fred Book" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/31) ....San Diego City Councilmember BYRON WEAR, who "has been dogged by his opponents for his role in reaffirming a controversial contract" with the Chargers, reportedly received a $3,000 campaign contribution from Chargers Owner ALEX SPANOS and his family (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/30).
NHL Enterprises President RICK DUDLEY "is leaving for a top job at Mentmore, the real estate development and holding company that is involved in a rink development deal with the NHL," according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. Dudley, who has been with the league since '94, will leave after the Stanley Cup playoffs to become President & CEO of Mentmore's MHC Investments. Dudley will oversee the rink development venture and the hockey-themed apparel brand Rival, a joint venture with the league. Dudley said the Mentmore portfolio will eventually include "everything from (sports-related) hard goods to land-based destination entertainment facilities to possible construction or ownership of minor or major league sports facilities and teams." Lefton reports that league VPs of sponsorship, licensing and fan development reporting to Dudley will report to NHL COO STEVE SOLOMON "until the league hires Dudley's replacement, expected to be from outside the league" (BRANDWEEK, 6/1).