SBD/October 24, 2011/Media

Jon Litner Named NBC Sports Group President; Operations Moving To Connecticut

Litner will oversee Comcast SportsNet
RSNs and all of NBC's golf businesses
Mark Lazarus in his "biggest management moves since taking over" as NBC Sports Group Chair named Versus and Comcast SportsNet President Jon Litner his "top lieutenant and decided to move most of NBC Sports’ operations to Connecticut," according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Litner "was named a group president overseeing several businesses, including the Comcast SportsNet regional Sports Networks and all of NBC’s golf businesses." Golf Channel President Mike McCarley "will report to Litner and will see his role increased to include all of NBC Sports’ golf business across the broadcast network and Golf Channel." The move "already has taken place and sets up Litner as a second-in-command to Lazarus at NBC Sports, where he will be given responsibility over most of the group’s cable businesses." The move is "viewed as a positive one for Litner," and it is "significant in that it puts a longtime Comcast executive -- rather than an NBC one -- in a position of power at NBC’s sports group." It also allows Lazarus to "focus on better integrating Versus with NBC Sports." Versus will be renamed NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2, and it is "expected to share more programming and talent with the broadcast network." Meanwhile, much of NBC Sports’ senior staff "will move out of NBC’s famed 30 Rock offices and be based out of Stamford, which is around 35 miles" from N.Y. All NBC Sports sales execs "will remain in New York, and there will be some offices in 30 Rock to allow executives to work out of Manhattan on occasion" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/24 issue). The NBC Sports Group "already has several operations based in Stamford, including its Olympics division (NYTIMES.com, 10/21).

HIGH FIVE: The AP's Stephen Singer reported Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy "negotiated to bring NBC Sports to Connecticut as part of his 'First Five' initiative, which is intended to consolidate various tax credits to draw the first five businesses that invest $25 million in Connecticut and create 200 jobs over five years." So far, he "has struck deals with ESPN ... as well as insurer Cigna and the online ticket exchange TicketNetwork Inc." A government official said that "details about the tax credits in the latest deal still have to be worked out between the legislature and NBC Sports" (AP, 10/21). 
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