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SBD/Issue 51/Sports IndustrialistsPrint All
Lazarus Will Oversee
Cable Sports Assets
Mark Lazarus has told colleagues that he will be leaving Atlanta-based CSE to take a high-profile job at the merged Comcast-NBC. Several sources have said that Comcast has tapped the former Turner Sports head to oversee the company's cable sports assets and report to NBC Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol once the merger gains official government approval. That means Versus President Jamie Davis, Comcast SportsNet President Jon Litner and Golf Channel President Earl Marshall will report to Lazarus. The move frees up NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer to oversee the company's broadcast sports assets, where he would continue to report to Ebersol, sources said (John Ourand, THE DAILY). In N.Y., Bill Carter takes a look at Comcast-NBC's strategy with its new executive lineup, which "confirms the accepted wisdom about the deal: that the cable division was 'clearly the crown jewel asset.'" On the entertainment side, BONNIE HAMMER and LAUREN ZALAZNICK "saw their portfolios expanded," as did Ebersol (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).
Marketing agent MIKE ORNSTEIN was "sentenced to eight months in prison Friday for selling scalped Super Bowl tickets and football jerseys fraudulently claimed to have been worn during pro games," according to Peter Krouse of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Ornstein admitted that he "bought Super Bowl tickets at greater than face value from people who had gotten them through their employment." In court on Friday, he "started to explain some of the details of the ticket scheme, saying players were given forms for them to sign indicating tickets would go to charity," but was stopped by his attorney, ANGELO LONARDO. Ornstein also admitted "to a scheme whereby he and others -- from late 2000 to early 2001 -- purchased NFL jerseys from a Wisconsin manufacturer and had them cut into pieces and sold along with trading cards falsely marketed as having a piece of game-worn NFL jersey attached." Ornstein said during his sentencing that "none of the cards with jersey material attached were actually sold and that he never made any money on the jerseys." But he "agreed to forfeit $350,000 linked to proceeds from the schemes, all of which has been paid." Lonardo told the judge that his client "was having money problems when his crimes were committed." Ornstein has been "cooperating with federal agents for the past four years," and in return "was given a lighter sentence." Krouse noted Ornstein "seemed shaken by the sentence, slumping onto the lectern in front of him." His attorney had "asked if Ornstein could serve his sentence under home confinement," but U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko said no (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/20).
Fahey Re-Elected To Three-Year
Term As WADA President
WADA President JOHN FAHEY yesterday was re-elected to a second three-year term. Fahey was "unopposed in a vote conducted at the agency's foundation board meeting." WADA VP ARNE LJUNGQVIST, who serves as Chair of the IOC Medical Commission, also was confirmed for a second three-year term (REUTERS, 11/21). WADA at the meeting also selected Johannesburg to host the fourth World Conference on Doping in Sport in '13, ahead of bids from Dallas and Sochi, Russia (AP, 11/21).
EXECS: Big 12 Conference Commissioner DAN BEEBE has engaged the services of former NCAA Exec VP TOM JERNSTEDT, who will be consulted as the Big 12 prepares for media negotiations and its future as a 10-member league (Big 12)....Philips Arena promoted Senior VP TREY FEAZELL to Senior VP & GM (Philips Arena)....Ping promoted VP/Engineering JOHN K. SOLHEIM, son of Ping Chair JOHN A. SOLHEIM, to President & Representative Dir of Ping Golf Japan, effective Jan. 1 (GOLFWEEK.com, 11/18)....SOCOG, "in an effort to replicate at the 2014 Sochi Olympics the success Canada had in Vancouver," has hired "many of the people who headed the creation" of Canada's Own the Podium program, including CATHY PRIESTNER ALLINGER, her husband TODD and JACQUES THIBAULT. Priestner Allinger resigned earlier this month from the Own the Podium BOD "because her work with the Russians put her in a position of conflict-of-interest" (TORONTO STAR, 11/21).
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Simms Fulfilled His Charity Commitments
Last Week Despite Severe Back Pain
In N.Y., Bob Raissman named CBS NFL analyst PHIL SIMMS his "Dude of the Week" for "fulfilling his charitable commitments while dealing with severe back pain." Simms "couldn't even stand up straight but made the scene" last Tuesday night at the Oyster Bar in N.Y. "for an Alzheimer's Research benefit." Simms accepted the Jim Nantz Sr. Tribute Award at the event. Simms on Thursday was "one of the honorees at the annual Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation Dinner on Staten Island" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/21).
FAMILY MATTERS: KATIE BURKE, daughter of Maple Leafs President & GM BRIAN BURKE, wrote an open letter to the Globe & Mail Saturday responding to columnist Bruce Dowbiggin, who last week "reported a debate as to whether the media in Toronto is holding back criticism of [Burke] out of sympathy, as Brian Burke continues to grieve the loss of his son BRENDAN in a car accident last year." Katie Burke wrote, "I do not take issue with anyone criticizing the Leafs in the win-loss column. That is part of the job, and part of the responsibility my dad eagerly assumed when he joined the team. ... The truth is, if anyone had taken the time to engage someone who knows my dad in this conversation, they would tell you that in this time of incredible loss, hockey is my dad's respite" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/20).
NAMES: A young boy died after falling 50 feet from a luxury suite at Staples Center following yesterday's Warriors-Lakers game. The boy, believed to be two to three years old, was taken to L.A. County-USC Medical Center, where he died (AP, 11/22)....An SEC filing made Friday indicated that Under Armour Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK "plans to sell up to 1,125,000 personal Class B shares over 10 months beginning in February." Plank also "plans to sell 125,000 shares of the company's Class B stock for his charitable organization." The sales are "being done for asset diversification, tax and estate planning and charitable giving purposes" (Baltimore SUN, 11/20)....GQ selected Saints QB DREW BREES and MLS Galaxy F LANDON DONOVAN as two of the magazine's men of the year. GQ Editor-in-Chief JIM NELSON said Brees was a "no-brainer." Nelson: "His story was about everything that New Orleans had gone through and it just gave you goose bumps to see him triumph." Donovan's "star turn in the 2010 World Cup, particularly his goal against Algeria, landed him a place on the coveted list" (ESPN.com, 11/19)....Former MLBer LENNY DYKSTRA last week lost his Thousand Oaks, Calif., home to foreclosure. Dykstra purchased the 6 1/2 acre home in '07 from Hockey HOFer WAYNE GRETZKY for $18.5M. The winning bid in last week's auction was $760,712 (L.A. TIMES, 11/20)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT attended Saturday's Wisconsin-Michigan football game at Michigan Stadium (“Colts-Patriots,” CBS, 11/21).
IN MEMORY: Former NYRA Dir of Media Relations STEVE SCHWARTZ passed away Saturday at the age of 64. Schwartz "started with NYRA in 1979 as assistant manager of sports publicity" and was promoted to director of media relations in '83. He later became Media Dir at The Racing Times, and also served as Exec Assistant to the President of NYRA (TIMESUNION.com, 11/20).