SBD/Issue 72/Sports Industrialists

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  • Cablevision Locks Up Three Key Execs, Including Hank Ratner

    Ratner (l), Dolan Receive New Five-Year
    Deals At MSG
    Three top execs at Cablevision “reached new employment agreements that aim to keep them at the company for the next five years, as the cable operator completes a spinoff of some of its sports and entertainment businesses,” according to Shira Ovide of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The new contracts are for President & CEO James Dolan, COO Tom Rutledge and Vice Chair Hank Ratner. Ovide wrote “locking up” Rutledge is a “particularly notable step for Cablevision because he is a longtime and well-respected Cablevision executive whose name is frequently floated as a candidate" for media-industry CEO posts (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/26). In addition to his Cablevision role and compensation, after the MSG spin-off, Dolan will be Exec Chair of MSG and "will devote a portion of his business time to that role." The new MSG agreement provides for Dolan's employment through '14, at a minimum annual base salary of $500,000 plus an annual target bonus of up to $2M. Ratner, who will be President & CEO of MSG following the spin-off, will "devote a majority of his time to his role at MSG but he will also retain his position as Cablevision's vice chairman and will devote a portion of his time to that role." He received two separate employment agreements that will become effective upon the consummation of the spin-off of MSG. As President & CEO of MSG, Ratner will receive an annual base salary of $1.2M and up to $4.8M bonus, “and long-term cash and/or equity awards with an aggregate target value” of $5.4M in ’10 -- “with similar awards expected in subsequent years” (, 12/24).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Schlachter Hired To Lead
    USOC Business Development
    The USOC has hired Jordan Schlachter to lead its business development team. Schlacter joins the USOC after working as an independent consultant to several brands including McDonald’s, Ford, Crown Imports, American Express, Panasonic, Honda and Procter & Gamble. Prior to that he worked as MTV Networks' VP/New Media Marketing & Content Sales and head of marketing for the Knicks (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

    REMAINING ON BOARD: Liberty Media Corp. President & CEO GREG MAFFEI "will stay with the company through 2014." Starting in January, Maffei will receive a yearly salary of $1.5M, which will increase 5% annually. He will be paid $7.8M if he is "fired without cause" (DENVER POST, 12/24)....Falcons President RICH MCKAY "has signed a five-year contract extension." McKay, currently in his sixth season as team president, will also continue to serve as the Falcons' "liaison with the NFL office regarding all football and business-related matters" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/28).

    EXECS: ESPN Radio announced several personnel changes, including the promotion of MO DAVENPORT to Senior VP and TIM MCCARTHY to ESPN Radio Group Senior VP. ESPNews Senior Coordinating Producer/Studio Production DAVE ROBERTS will replace McCarthy as ESPN 1050 N.Y. VP & GM. Also, JIM PASTOR will assume the role of Senior VP in the newly created department, with ESPN 1000 Chicago Dir of Sales JOHN CRAVENS replacing Pastor as the station’s VP & GM. In addition, MIKE CONNOLLY has joined ESPN Radio as VP/Audio Sales (ESPN Radio)....Fox Business Network’s VP/Business News and host of its "Opening Bell" ALEXIS GLICK is leaving the network “for an unnamed new venture.” Glick was one of Fox Business Network’s first employees (N.Y. TIMES, 12/24)....USL Minnesota Thunder President MANNY LAGOS has resigned (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/24)....The Prospect League West Virginia Miners have named former PGA Director of Operations MICHAEL GILLIGAN GM (Miners).

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  • Names In The News

    IMG Signs Former Broncos Coach Mike
    Shanahan For Representation
    IMG has signed former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan for all areas of representation, including coaching contract representation. Shanahan is one of the most sought after available head coaching prospects in the NFL. Sandy Montag, IMG Senior Corporate VP & Managing Dir of the client business, is personally representing Shanahan in all areas (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

    SALARY DROP: Documents filed with the SEC indicated that Disney President & CEO ROBERT IGER received a $2M salary and a $9.3M bonus for FY '09, down 28% from the previous year. Meanwhile, Disney Wednesday nominated Facebook COO SHERYL SANDBERG to its BOD (N.Y. TIMES, 12/24).

    MAKING NEWS IN '09: The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER listed NFL Panthers Owner JERRY RICHARDSON and Univ. of North Carolina Charlotte AD JUDY ROSE among its "The Carolinas' Big Names In 2009: Most Interesting Sports Figures of the Year." In Charlotte, Ken Tysiac wrote, "As chaotic as 2009 has been for Richardson, 2010 could bring additional upheaval with the future of the franchise at stake." Meanwhile, Rose this year oversaw the "birth of the Charlotte 49ers' football program" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/27).

    SHOWING THEIR HAND: In N.Y., Matt Villano reports technology that is part of a new system from Cantor Gaming, a subsidiary of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, allows sports betting "through hand-held devices no larger than a smartphone." The devices, called eDecks, allow bettors to place bets on sporting events "from anywhere in the casino and play other games like blackjack and baccarat." Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas Race & Sports Dir MARK GOLDMAN said that his sports books were "licensing 200 eDecks." Goldman added that older gamblers "have been slow to adopt them," while younger bettors "have shown interest." The books' overall betting "has increased since October" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/28).

    NAMES: SHEP HARMON is working on a film that will bring former NHLer DEREK SANDERSON's "life story to the silver screen." Harmon said that the film explores Sanderson's recovery from his "well-chronicled addiction to alcohol and drugs, 'as well as some real black adventures that bordered on the criminal'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/27)....WJFK-FM host LaVar Arrington's restaurant and sports bar in Largo, Maryland, "closed abruptly Wednesday." The restaurant owed "millions of dollars to numerous creditors" and was faced with "possible eviction" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/25)....Tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC will portray ALEKSANDAR KARADJORDJEVIC, the first king of Yugoslavia, "in a television series to be shot next year." The 10-part series, which is set to air in '11, "will retrace the life and reign" of Karadjordjevic (AFP, 12/24)....Canwest News Service named Penguins C SIDNEY CROSBY its male athlete of the year (CANWEST NEWS SERVICE, 12/26).

    IN MEMORY: Richard Childress Racing pit crew member DONALD RICHARDSON died Friday of H1N1 complications. Richardson, who had previously worked for Andy Petree Racing, Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Braun Racing, "spent last season as a tire changer on KEVIN HARVICK's crew (AP, 12/26)....Former Astros scout STAN BENJAMIN, who served in the role with the team "for nearly 40 years," died Thursday at the age of 95 (AP, 12/24).

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