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News Corp. named Philip Morris Co. Chair & CEO GEOFFREY BIBLE to its Board of Directors (N.Y. POST, 6/24)....Red Wings Assistant GM DON WADDELL was named GM of the expansion NHL Atlanta Thrashers. Waddell is "expected to sign a four- year contract" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/24)....Chicago Sun- Times Deputy Sports Editor RON RAPOPORT will return to writing a column on Monday, taking over PHIL ROSENTHAL's "Between the Lines" column. Rosenthal will become the paper's TV critic (SUN-TIMES, 6/24)....The IHL K.C. Blades named JANET CALANDRO as Dir of Corporate Sales; BILL KEARNS as Dir of Ticket Sales; CHRIS KREISER as Sales Manager; and NIKKI HORSCH as Administrative Assistant (Blades).
JOHN MCENROE was a guest on The "Late Show" with DAVID LETTERMAN last night. McEnroe, on how tennis has changed since his playing days: "I think people could relate to me and say, CONNORS, NASTASE, GONZALEZ in the sixties, more because we showed our emotions. They could see that it's a very difficult game. We'd get pissed off -- I hope you can say that on CBS..." Letterman: "Oh, yeah. CBS is the only place you can say that, by the way. See, nobody's watching." McEnroe: "Well, no one's watching tennis either. So we're all right there. But as time went on and the money got so much more it seems like the players became less personalities, more robotic and more boring. And frankly, something needs to be done or we should put some long pants on these guys again." Letterman: "You do a great job on the tennis commentary. It's nice to have somebody with brains shooting their mouth off." McEnroe: "The fact that I was out there, hopefully people will respect the fact that I may possibly know what's going on. Not like these bozos that come out there and pretend like they know what's going on. I'm not going to mention names because I have to work with these people." McEnroe, on JIMMY CONNORS: "He sort of reminds me of [JAY] LENO, you know? You gotta respect him, but to hell with him. He's a jerk." Letterman: "I didn't know Leno played." Letterman showed some video from Sunday's McEnroe-Connors "Challenge" match and asked McEnroe what the Senior Tour was called. McEnroe: "It's the Nuveen Tour. And anyone else that's willing to do it, we're more than welcome to have more sponsors" ("Late Show," 6/23).
LEIGH STEINBERG said that his firm, STEINBERG AND MOORAD, "is branching out by developing television shows featuring athletes, and even creating Web sites." Steinberg is also continuing to "pursue his dream" -- a "Sportstown" theme-park concept. Steinberg, on negotiations his firm has had with six "major corporations" about the possibility of selling the firm: "We're going to go ahead with our ideas regardless of what happens with these discussions. But it may be that these groups we're talking with can accelerate that process" (Mark Emmons, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/23). ....JERRY SEINFELD will throw out the first pitch at Saturday's Yankees-Mets game at Shea Stadium (N.Y. POST, 6/24)....Actor KEVIN COSTNER will star in his third baseball film, Universal's "For the Love of the Game." SAM RAIMI will direct, with some filming at Yankee Stadium (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/24)....In N.Y., Michael Starr examines "THE MAGIC HOUR," saying that it "needs to rebound if it's going to survive in the late-night talk show arena." TN Media VP/Research Whitey Chapin: "I think it's fair to say that the outlook isn't favorable" (N.Y. POST, 6/24)....Former Lakers G ANTHONY PEELER filed a negligence lawsuit claiming his ex-agent, ERIC FLEISHER, "didn't give him enough notice to renegotiate a contract or get traded before an option expired" (AP/ESPN SportsZone, 6/24)....Thursday's NHL TV Awards Special, which will air on ESPN2, will feature model LINDA EVANGELISTA, actors DAVE FOLEY, JOSHUA JACKSON, NICHOLAS LEA, JC MACKENZIE, ANGELA FEATHERSTONE and U.S. women's hockey member CAMMI GRANATO as presenters (NHL).