SBD/Issue 145/Sports Industrialists

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  • FanHouse Continues Push By Hiring Nine More Acclaimed Writers

    AOL’s FanHouse.com has hired another batch of nine writers for the sports site, continuing a dramatic wave of editorial hiring over the past several months. Less than a month after adding seven prominent writers, the latest collection of talent to join FanHouse.com includes former Atlanta Constitution columnist TERENCE MOORE, who will write columns, and former Dallas Morning News football writer CALVIN WATKINS, who will cover NFL and MLB. Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer and MLB.com writer GARY WASHBURN will cover college sports, NBA and MLB;  S.F. Chronicle baseball writer SUSAN SLUSSER will cover the NHL; former Orlando Sentinel basketball writer TIM POVTAK will cover the NBA; and former Washington Post soccer writer BRIAN STRAUS will cover soccer. Florida-based journalist and author JIM HENRY, former Houston Chronicle writer TERRANCE HARRIS and former CBSSports.com columnist and author CLAY TRAVIS will also cover college sports. The new hires, which supplement the addition of columnists JAY MARIOTTI, LISA OLSON and KEVIN BLACKISTONE in January, will be a mix of full-time, contract-based and freelance additions. Slusser, for example, will keep her role at the Chronicle. FanHouse.com now boasts more than 50 writers, columnists and bloggers on its roster as it seeks to forge a new position in the sports online content marketplace.

    PART OF LARGER PLAN: AOL Senior VP MARTY MOE said, “Our aim is to assemble the leading team of sports journalists in the country, and I believe we are well on our way. We want to be among the blue-chip brands out there, and we still see a great future for high-quality content. There’s obviously a sea change going on in terms of what’s happening with traditional media and business models therein. But we’re all about building a sustainable and scalable platform going forward that will support this kind of high-quality content.”

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  • Longtime Broadcasters Merle Harmon, Les Keiter Pass Away

    Sports Broadcaster
    Merle Harmon Dies
    Longtime sports broadcaster MERLE HARMON, whose coverage for NBC and ABC included the Super Bowl, World Series and Winter Olympics, died yesterday at the age of 82, according to the AP. Harmon also covered college football for ABC and college basketball for NBC. His son, KEITH, works for the Brewers radio network (AP, 4/16). Harmon, who retired in '89, also called baseball games for the Twins, Brewers, Rangers, Milwaukee Braves and K.C. A's, as well as football games for the Chiefs and Jets. In Dallas, Barry Horn notes the Rangers yesterday "observed a moment of silence in Harmon's memory" before their game, and the team "plans to mount a plaque outside" the TV booth in his honor (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/16). Rangers broadcaster ERIC NADEL said Harmon "had a unique style that nobody's ever imitated or duplicated." Rangers broadcaster TOM GRIEVE: "He was a giant in the industry. He was a Hall of Fame caliber announcer, but he was also just a great guy" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/16).

    MOMENT OF SILENCE: The AP reports former boxing announcer LES KEITER, who "was known for his radio re-creations" of MLB Giants broadcasts for N.Y. listeners after the team moved to S.F., died Tuesday at the age of 89 (AP, 4/16). MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez writes, "Aided by his Western Union ticker reports, taped crowd noise, a drumstick and wooden block alongside his microphone, Keiter recreated Giants games using telegraph reports that brought the play-by-play into the WINS studio. He filled in the rest with description based on his best guess as to what was happening" (MLB.com, 4/16).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Turner Joins FS Detroit
    As General Sales Manager
    Delaware North Companies Sportservice promoted KEVIN AUSTIN and JOE SIMS to VP/Operations, reporting to President RICK ABRAMSON  (Delaware North)....FS Detroit named Detroit Newspapers Senior Sales Dir MARCIA HOLLAND TURNER General Sales Manager, replacing HENRY FORD, who was named FS Ohio Senior VP & GM (FS Detroit)....The Liberty Bowl named KEVIN KANE President, MIKE LONGO Chair, WILLIE GREGORY VP, PATRICIA SHANNON Secretary and RAY POHLMAN Treasurer (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 4/15)....XOS Digital named BRIAN PHILO Dir of Digital Sales for the West, BRAIN LIEBLER Dir of Digital Sales for the Northeast and TODD FOSTER Dir of Digital Sales for the Midwest region (XOS).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    Jonny Flynn Has Signed With CAA Sports
    Agent Leon Rose For Representation
    Syracuse Univ. G JONNY FLYNN, deciding to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and enter June's NBA Draft, yesterday signed with CAA Sports' LEON ROSE for representation (SYRACUSE.com, 4/16)....In Cleveland, Brian Windhorst reports Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES, also a Rose client, "had been in touch with Flynn, ostensibly to recruit him, in the days following Syracuse's elimination from the NCAA Tournament." According to a report, "Flynn met with James in Cleveland on April 6" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/16).

    NAMES: Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT and Indians President PAUL DOLAN yesterday pushed for Cuyahoga County (OH) commissioners "to allow for more public debate by postponing today's expected deal with a private developer" to bring a $425M medical mart and convention center to Cleveland (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/16)....Court documents show that suspended sprinter JUSTIN GATLIN has agreed to a settlement with the USADA, USOC, USATF and IAAF in a civil suit Gatlin filed, claiming that the four organizations "discriminated against him" based on the Americans for Disabilities Act (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 4/14)....The Pohlad Family Foundation yesterday pledged $20M in grants "to help businesses and nonprofits retain jobs, rehab houses and issue home and business loans" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/16)....PGA Tour Commissioner TIM FINCHEM yesterday played in the Pro-Am ahead of this week's Verizon Heritage in Hilton Head as DAVIS LOVE III's partner(CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/16)....Red Sox P CLAY BUCHHOLZ last month got engaged to NBC's "Deal or No Deal" briefcase model LINDSAY CLUBINE, and the couple are planning to wed November 14 at Trump National Golf Club in L.A. (BOSTON HERALD, 4/16)....Celtics F KEVIN GARNETT is featured on the cover of the May issue of Men's Fitness magazine, due out Monday (Celtics).

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