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SBD/Issue 151/Sports IndustrialistsPrint All
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Frank Leaving ESPN
For Personal Reasons
ESPN Senior VP & Managing Dir of Europe, Middle East & Africa LYNNE FRANK, who "masterminded the high profile entry" of ESPN into the U.K. market, is set to "quit the broadcaster for personal reasons," according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. Frank reportedly "plans to return to her native California for family reasons, with a successor due to be appointed by September." She "will stay on to oversee the transition." Frank "oversaw the grab for Setanta's Premier League rights when the Irish broadcaster plunged into administration in June last year." Prior to the launch of ESPN's dedicated U.K. channel, Frank "oversaw the launch of archive channel ESPN Classic, the acquisition of NASN and the rapid expansion of its online arm including the purchase of Soccernet, Cricinfo and Scrum.com." Frank previously worked for Turner Broadcasting Systems, "building its portfolio of European channels." ESPN Int'l Exec VP & Managing Dir RUSSELL WOLFF "will lead the search for her successor." Meanwhile, Gibson notes the U.K. operation is "one of ESPN's highest global priorities and faces a crucial period as it attempts to retain subscribers despite losing half of its live Premier League matches from the start of the new season in August." It is "generally believed that ESPN has made a slick, unobtrusive entry into the U.K. market, although the company continues to refuse to divulge its subscriber figures." Longer term, industry speculation "will focus on whether or not the U.S. giant will go head to head with Sky to become the leading sports broadcaster in the U.K." (GUARDIAN, 4/20).
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee promoted WINNIE STOLPER to Exec Dir, replacing BOB SULLIVAN, who concluded his tenure earlier this year. Stolper joined the committee in '06 to handle accounting and business duties for Super Bowl XLII and will now be the "face of the organization in Arizona's 2015 bid for the Super Bowl" (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/16 issue)….Tennis Channel named ALEXSONDRA FIXMER to Dir of Business & Legal Affairs, reporting to VP/Business & Legal Affairs PIERRE VUDRAG. Previously, Fixmer was an associate at the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP (Tennis Channel)….MLS/SUM named PHIL PIRRI Dir of Information Technology and JORGE QUINONES Account Exec for Partnership Marketing (MLS/SUM)….The Univ. of Miami appointed JESSE MARKS Assistant AD of Development for Major Gifts (Univ. of Miami).
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An unidentified 21-year-old Kansas woman yesterday filed suit against USA Swimming, alleging the NGB has a "culture of condoning inappropriate sexual relationships" between coaches and underage female swimmers, and complaints are "discouraged, overlooked and not adequately investigated." The 59-page suit filed in Independence, Missouri, seeks undisclosed punitive damages. USA Swimming in a statement said, "We have been investigating this matter for the last three months. Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain critical information from the individual bringing forward the complaint" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 4/20).
A's Pay Tribute To Steele
With His Own Bobblehead
HONORS & AWARDS: The Professional Basketball Writers Association has named 76ers C SAMUEL DALEMBERT the recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for the '09-10 NBA season. Dalembert since January has donated $100,000 to his native Haiti and visited the country twice to aid earthquake relief efforts (NBA)....Patriots Charitable Foundation President JOSH KRAFT this week will accept the Eugene T. Davidson MD Award for Public Service from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists on behalf of NFL owners for their focus on youth health through the league's Play 60 initiative (BOSTON.com, 4/19)....The A's paid tribute to former PA announcer ROY STEELE during Saturday's game against the Orioles with a bobblehead doll giveaway. Steele also threw out the ceremonial first pitch and "headed up to the booth to flex his golden pipes once more" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/18)....The Phoenix Business Journal has selected NFL Cardinals President MICHAEL BIDWILL as one of its 25 "Most Admired CEOs" for '10 (Cardinals)
JUST ANOTHER RUN DAY: MLBAM Sponsorship Account Exec JIM MCCLOUD ran yesterday's Boston Marathon in 3:48:17, and ESPN Outdoors Dir of Events ERIC LOPEZ finished in 3:15:36 (THE DAILY). Dolphins Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships & Integrated Media JIM RUSHTON crossed the finish line at 4:14:06 (BOSTON HERALD, 4/20). Meanwhile, Reebok VP/Government & Community Relations PAUL FOSTER attended a Boston Marathon party at M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, joined by Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY and his wife, LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/20).
NAMES: The Int'l Luge Federation yesterday issued its analysis of NODAR KUMARITASHVILI's death at the Vancouver Games, attributing the on-track accident to "gravitational forces." The federation found no deficiencies in the Whistler Sliding Centre track and said his death was caused by a "complex series of interrelated events" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/20)....Twins manager RON GARDENHIRE has been included among a group of "nationally prominent personalities," including COLIN POWELL, RUDY GIULIANI, SARAH PALIN and Vikings QB BRETT FAVRE, who will make "motivational presentations next month at Target Center" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/20)....Maloof Sports & Entertainment yesterday "dismissed its lawsuit against its former star-turned-restaurateur" CHRIS WEBBER. But MSE "still wants the $65,000 it says it's owed for marketing services, plus interest, provided to Webber's now-shuttered Center Court restaurant," which closed in November. MSE in the suit "alleged that Center Court with C. Webb Inc. had not fully paid for marketing work that Maloof performed" between July '08-January '09 (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/20)....Giants QB ELI MANNING and Colts QB PEYTON MANNING on June 19 will host "An Evening With The Mannings, Presented by BankPlus," a fundraiser that is part of Eli's effort to raise $2.5M for the Eli Manning Children's Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi. The fundraiser will be held at the Jackson Convention Complex (Friends Of Children's Hospital)....Patriots Owner BOB KRAFT attended yesterday's Rays-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Meanwhile, Celtics Managing Partner STEVE PAGLIUCA ate dinner Sunday night at Legal C Bar in Dedham, Massachusetts (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/20).