SBD/February 9, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Lawsuit could undo goodwill Snyder has earned lately
In DC, Jason Reid writes Redskins Owner DANIEL SNYDER's libel lawsuit against the Washington City Paper "typifies the kind of self-inflicted public relations crises that have characterized Snyder's 12-year tenure as owner." What is "worse is that, in one step that has nothing to do with football, Snyder has undone whatever goodwill he may have earned since hiring" BRUCE ALLEN and MIKE SHANAHAN more than a year ago. Reid: "Most of the fans who buy tickets and jerseys and concessions couldn't care less about the details of libel law. What should concern them is that the organization continues to put itself in a negative light through bad judgment even after Snyder turned the football operations over to Shanahan last January" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/9).

GETTING GOOD VIBES: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Brett Pulley cites a source as saying that Basketball HOFer MAGIC JOHNSON has "agreed to invest in Vibe Holdings LLC, a magazine and television company focused on the urban market," along with Penguins co-Owner RON BURKLE. As part of the deal, Johnson will become Chair of the N.Y.-based Vibe (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/9).

SUPER DEED: Steelers S TROY POLAMALU last week helped raise $135,000 "for veterans, service members and their families through an online auction on Twitter." The gift is a "record for Operation Once in a Lifetime, a Dallas-based charity that helps the military, often with free tickets for travel or entertainment," but the total "fell short of expectations -- possibly because of the Super Bowl." Operation Once in a Lifetime Founder & President PATRICK SOWERS said that "about 30 celebrities ... had said they would help out, but never filled out the paperwork to participate" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/9).

PITCHING MILLIONAIRES: Walt Disney Pictures has tabbed screenwriter TOM MCCARTHY to write "MILLION DOLLAR ARM," based on the "inspirational story of how sports agent J.B. BERNSTEIN discovered professional pitchers RINKU SINGH and DINESH PATEL through his Indian reality show." MARK CIARDI and GORDON GRAY's Mayhem Pictures "are producing alongside JOE ROTH" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/8).

SEEKING A TURNAROUND
: The L.A. TIMES' Andrea Chang profiled Pacific Sunwear CEO GARY SCHOENFELD, who has been in the role since '09, as part of the paper's "How I Made It" feature. The Anaheim-based "seller of surf and skate apparel, which has reported sales declines and losses for the last nine quarters, is struggling to recover from the recession." Schoenfeld said after being offered the job, he "went out and looked at some of the stores" and "called back and said 'No, thank you.' I didn't like what I saw." Schoenfeld added that he was "put off by the cluttered stores, excessive discounting and the lack of authentic surf and sports brands." But Schoenfeld said after meeting with several PacSun BOD members, he was "confident that the board understood the realities of what it would take to turn the business." He added of his tenure so far, "The honest answer is I would have liked to have made more progress by now. I'm hopeful that we'll begin to see a demonstrable shift" (L.A. TIMES, 2/6).

NAMES: Singer JOSH GROBAN "will sing the national anthem Feb. 20 at the 60th NBA All-Star Game." Others "scheduled to perform during the first NBA All-Star Amex Entertainment Series are LENNY KRAVITZ and RIHANNA" (USA TODAY, 2/9)....Bengals G EVAN MATHIS is partnering with Kickstarter.com to fund a documentary about the looming NFL lockout. The documentary, which can be seen at LockedOut.tv, is Mathis' first-ever media project (LockedOut.tv)....CBS announcer BILL MACATEE will be honored as one of Lamar Univ.'s '11 Distinguished Alumni (Lamar Univ.).
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