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Former NASCAR VP/Strategic Marketing STEVE SCHIFFMAN was named Exec VP/Marketing for The Weather Channel. ALEX GOMEZ was named Dir of Promotions for Foot Locker World Wide N.Y. Gomez held a similar position with Fox Sports (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 1/18 issue)....Alpha One Marketing Group Founder and President DICK GARN was named President of Event Central, a new computer information technology division of MI-based GM EventWorks. Garn was also named Exec VP of Kaleidoscope Sports & Entertainment. Replacing Garn in MI is STEVE NORBUT, who was named VP of Kaleidoscope Sports and Exec VP of GM EventWorks, a division of Kaleidoscope (GM EventWorks)....Former Women's Sports & Fitness EIC DAGNY SCOTT was named editor of Women Outside, a brand extension of Outside magazine (MEDIAWEEK, 1/18 issue).
LEONARDO DICAPRIO was sporting a Lakers home jersey in a REUTERS photo that showed him on the site of his new film in Southern Thailand (USA TODAY, 1/18)...."VARSITY BLUES," the first motion picture produced by MARQUEE TOLLIN/ROBBINS -- a division of The Marquee Group -- was the number one box-office draw over the three-day weekend, with an estimated gross of $14.8M (THE DAILY)....Red Wings C SERGEI FEDOROV reiterated that he and ANNA KOURNIKOVA are just "friends," and said his leaving IMG for Advantage Int'l had nothing to do with her similar move. Fedorov, on IMG: "I didn't like the feeling of limbo -- I want my feet on the ground, you know? I just want to know where I'm coming from with (my) company" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/19)....Twins Owner CARL POHLAD's wife, ELOISE, "is recovering after having knee- replacement surgery" on both legs at MN's Mayo Clinic (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/17)....Winston Cup team Owner RICK HENDRICK talked to the media Friday for the first time since his sentencing for mail fraud more than a year ago. In Greensboro, Dustin Long wrote that Hendrick, who is also battling leukemia, looked "strong" (NEWS & RECORD, 1/16).
SAMMY SOSA will be the guest of PRESIDENT CLINTON during tonight's State of the Union address, according to King & Orin of the N.Y. POST. Sosa was flying in from the Dominican Republic and will "probably" sit with First Lady HILLARY CLINTON (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19). Meanwhile, Ira Berkow reports that Sosa was a "no-show" at the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) dinner last night in N.Y. at which he was to be honored. CORE's Gen. Counsel MEL SACHS said that Sosa's appearance had been "confirmed three times but then 'they kept making more and more demands.'" Sosa's agent ADAM KATZ called the statements a "distortion" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).