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SBD/July 3, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
JIM DELORENZO since taking over the role of SI.com & Golf.com VP & GM in May '12 has launched a new mobile website for both publications as well as several new channels on the SI side, including Swim Daily, devoted to the magazine's swimsuit franchise. DeLorenzo, a New Jersey native who lives in Montclair, recently spoke with THE DAILY about digital sports media's future, finding employees who can handle a crisis and playing drums in PETE YORN's high school band.
Key online metrics...
I don’t think there’s one sort of golden metric that you can look at and say, "This is what we’re going to use to drive our success." We look at a suite of metrics, it’s a combination of comScore, Omniture, some other internal tracking systems.
The future of sports media on the Internet...
Users continue to change the way they’re consuming sports content online. Platforms and products continue to change. It’s just going to be more a question of who has the right vision and is able to anticipate the way consumers going forward are going to consume content and what’s the best product for getting that content to them -- that’s the company that’s really going to start to make waves.
Looking for in a job candidate...
You can interview somebody and have a pretty good sense that, during the day-to-day operations, they’re going to be fine. But it’s really hard to see into that person’s makeup and their mindset to know if the going gets tough, is this person going to push through on their own accord. I spend a lot of time when I’m interviewing people really trying to focus on clues and things that I think may help me get some insight. But really until you have that first incident, the first fire drill, that’s really when you see what the person’s made of and if they’re going to push through.
What makes negotiations go awry...
I say this as an attorney -- but I think that when attorneys get involved too early in the process, it can cause things to go sideways. Because you can get lost in the weeds on technical legal terms when you don’t actually have agreement on what the business terms are going to be. It really should be the business terms setting the foundation and the framework, and you’re moving on to the legal position.
The industry needs more of...
Innovation. I try to seek out startups that are focused on sports media, and you see a lot of the same model being regurgitated. It's a really hard landscape to navigate as a startup, because a lot of people not of the world don’t understand the rights issues that are involved.
I am a big fan of Pulse, the newsreader app. I like the new Digg, I like what those guys are doing, in just curating some of the different stories. I like Techmeme just because I think it provides a nice clean interface and allows me to consume content really quickly.
I’m a huge fan of (HBO's) "Game of Thrones." I have not (read the books). That’s one of the debates with some of the guys I work with, whether it’s better to have read the books or not. There’s arguments on both sides. I actually love (NBC's) "The Voice," it’s something I watch with my wife. I am definitely more of an USHER/SHAKIRA guy.
Music I like and the road not taken...
FUN., I know it’s so not cutting edge but I like it. THE LUMINEERS is another one. And I grew up with Pete Yorn. I was actually the drummer in his first band, so I try to keep up with him. When I got out of college and went to law school, then moved down to DC as a young attorney, Pete came through touring, and played at the 9:30 Club down there. A really nice music venue down in DC, and that’s when I decided that I definitely made the wrong choice.
The White Sox named former MLBer JIM THOME Special Assistant to GM RICK HAHN (White Sox). Hahn said of Thome, who played for the White Sox from '06-09, "We want to bring guys back who can make a contribution. He's coming back as a guy we think can really help" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/3). Thome's job description is "working with major-league staff and players and visiting minor-league affiliates throughout the summer to evaluate player performance" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 7/3).
EXECS: Yahoo Sports Radio named Sports USA VP/Affiliate Relations KATHERINE GALANTY to the same position, effective July 8 (THE DAILY)....The National Collegiate Hockey Conference named Miami (Ohio) Univ. Associate AD JOSH FENTON Commissioner. Fenton replaces JIM SCHERR who left after 18 months to become COO of the inaugural '15 European Games (GAZETTE.com, 7/1)....CBS Collegiate Sports Properties named SCOTT STEVENS GM and BRETT FOLTZ and EVIE HAERTL Account Execs for Wichita State Univ.'s Shocker Sports Properties (KWCH.com, 7/1)....The Raptors named Bucks Assistant GM JEFF WELTMAN Exec VP/Basketball Operations (CP, 7/2)....UCLA Associate AD MICHAEL SONDHEIMER, who worked in the department for 36 years, "resigned last week amid allegations that he was engaging in ... 'inappropriate conduct.'" He was placed on administrative leave on June 3 and "officially resigned on June 27" (OCREGISTER.com, 7/2)....Grambling State Univ. AD PERCY CALDWELL on Tuesday resigned. Former interim AD AARON JAMES "again takes control of the department" (SHREVEPORT TIMES, 7/3)....UAB named Univ. of Memphis Associate AD/Development BILL LANSDEN Senior Associate AD/External Affairs. Lansden starts July 23 (AL.com, 7/2).
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In Salt Lake City, Whitehurst & Falk in a front-page piece report a three-month investigation paid for by the Univ. of Utah found that former swim coach GREG WINSLOW “used ‘fear and intimidation’ that may have amounted to psychological abuse for some of his swimmers,” and he “should have been fired … because of ongoing problems due to alcoholism.” However, AD CHRIS HILL “will not be disciplined for what investigators called a failure to act on information regarding Winslow’s alcoholism” in July ’11. Hill said, "It's a big mistake. It's my big mistake. Hindsight, there's no reason why I shouldn't have taken a look at that more deeply. And I know if I looked at it deeply, I knew what was going on, I know what I would have done" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 7/3). Also in Salt Lake City, Gordon Monson writes Tuesday's news conference was an “embarrassment for Hill, who was raked by investigators” and school President DAVID PERSHING “for his missteps.” But Hill was “emotional, calling the wellbeing of the school’s student-athletes the ‘core’ of his administrative philosophy.” He “apologized to Utah’s other coaches,” and his tone was “perfect for the occasion” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 7/3).
TAKING ACTION: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio reported the NFLPA has "taken action" against agents ETHAN LOCK, ERIC METZ and VANCE MALINOVIC for the "partial ownership of a company" that they each indicated did not provide services to athlete clients. The agents "agreed to pay fines in the amount of $5,000 each." Additionally, agent J.R. RICKERT "agreed to serve a three-month suspension and to pay a $5,000 fine for failing to make promised payments to another contact advisor under an agreement regarding the sharing of client fees" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 7/2).
FROM THE HARDWOOD: Sources said that the NBA has fined 76ers C SPENCER HAWES, Grizzlies Gs QUINCY PONDEXTER and TONY WROTEN, and Kings G ISAIAH THOMAS $15,000 each for participating in an "unsanctioned" Univ. of Washington alumni basketball game June 23 at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/3)....The NBPA, President DEREK FISHER and publicist JAMIE WIOR on Tuesday "filed motions to dismiss" former NBPA Exec Dir BILLY HUNTER's "lawsuit against them" in California Superior Court. The NBPA, Fisher and Wior also are "asking the court for attorneys' fees" (USA TODAY, 7/3).
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cal AD SANDY BARBOUR last week wrote a letter to the San Jose Mercury News editor regarding the paper’s recent series on the financing of Memorial Stadium (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/28). The writer of the series, JON WILNER, posted the letter on his blog Tuesday and wrote, “I wanted to make sure readers are aware that Cal AD Sandy Barbour responded to the series with a letter to the editor that published in the Merc late last week” (MERCURYNEWS.com, 7/2).
NAMES: ESPN college basketball analyst DIGGER PHELPS is "cancer free ... following nearly two months of treatment to fight bladder cancer." Phelps is now a "two-time cancer survivor, having already beaten prostate cancer" (WSBT.com, 7/2)....Heat F LEBRON JAMES will "present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award" to "GMA" co-host and cancer survivor ROBIN ROBERTS at this year's ESPY Awards on July 17 (MIAMIHERALD.com, 7/2)....NFL Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON and wife, SUZANNE, will "host a dinner party" for former Florida Gov. JEB BUSH on July 23 -- two days "before the Jets report for training camp" (NJ.com, 7/2)....IndyCar team owner A.J. FOYT is "recovering from hip replacement surgery" (TWITTER.com, 7/2)....The Celtics on Monday unveiled the renovations last year's team made to the Mildred Avenue Community Center. Celtics Managing Partner STEPHEN PAGLIUCA was on hand (Celtics)….ECHL Toledo Walleye President & GM JOE NAPOLI was named the league’s Exec of the Year. Toledo set a new team record for attendance with 226,743 fans this season. Napoli in addition to serving as Walleye President and GM also is Triple-A Int’l League Toledo Mud Hens President (ECHL).