SBD/July 18, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Shake-Up At Turner: Phil Kent Steps Down As Chair & CEO, John Martin To Take Over

    Turner Broadcasting System Chair & CEO PHIL KENT will step down in January "after a dozen years at the helm" and will be succeeded by Time Warner CFO JOHN MARTIN, according to Cynthia Littleton of VARIETY. Kent will "remain chairman of TBS for a period" in '14. He said that he had been "mulling the decision to step down for some time, but the final agreement came together a few weeks ago during a long conversation over breakfast" with Time Warner Chair & CEO JEFF BEWKES as they "discussed the prospect of a new long-term contract" (VARIETY.com, 7/17).

    CRITICAL JUNCTURE: CABLEFAX DAILY writes Martin "inherits Turner at a critical venture -- the bulk of its distribution deals are up for renewal between now and sometime in '16." Some of those agreements "are 5-10 years old, with Turner looking for a much larger fee given NBA, MLB and other sports rights." Martin will be based "primarily out of NY but will have an office in Atlanta and will spend a lot of time there" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/18). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Peers & Hagey note Kent has "run Turner since 2003, a period of mixed performances for the unit." For Martin the "appointment is a chance to get operating experience at one of Time Warner's most important businesses." It positions him as "one of several potential successors" to Bewkes. Martin's appointment "likely signals a cultural shift" at Turner (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/18). In N.Y., Bill Carter writes Kent was "widely respected at Turner, but from his base in Atlanta he had somewhat less direct contact with the Time Warner leadership" than execs in N.Y. or L.A. (N.Y. TIMES, 7/18). In L.A., Joe Flint reports Turner may meet "resistance from distributors that are growing tired of footing the bill for sports programming that a majority of viewers don't watch." A Time Warner veteran, Martin will "still likely be viewed as an outsider by Turner." Martin may take a "more hands-on approach at Turner than Kent" (L.A. TIMES, 7/18). Flint wrote if "recent history is any guide, there may be an exodus of top executives at Turner Broadcasting in the wake" of Kent stepping down. At Turner, among those that "may have bruised egos about Martin getting the Kent job" include Turner President of Sales, Distribution & Sports DAVID LEVY. Levy could "end up getting some additional turf or an enhanced title to appease him" (LATIMES.com, 7/17).

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  • Silver Chalice Hires Former IMG, Host Exec Lawton Logan As Senior VP

    Former IMG and Host Communications exec LAWTON LOGAN has joined Chicago-based Silver Chalice as a Senior VP overseeing business development, marketing and sales for the company’s digital properties, including CampusInsiders.com and the ACC Digital Network at theaccdn.com. As a member of the firm’s executive management team, Logan will be involved in all facets of corporate development and operations, said Silver Chalice COO JASON COYLE. “Lawton brings a track record of success and tremendous industry knowledge,” Coyle said. Logan begins with Silver Chalice on July 29 and will report directly to Coyle. Logan previously had been a Senior VP at IMG in charge of U.S. business development, but earlier this year he was moved out of that role and into a regional sales position. Logan spent nine years at Host and IMG in college sales and marketing.

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  • Executive Transactions

    FS Arizona named Clear Channel Media & Entertainment President & Market Manager for Phoenix JEFF ENGLAND Local Sales Manager (FS Arizona)….Fanatics named former Turner Sports and PGA Tour exec PAUL VOLEN VP/Business Operations (THE DAILY)….LaCrosse Footwear President ROBERT SASAKI “has left ‘for personal reasons’” after joining the company in May. LaCrosse BOD Chair YASUSHI AKAOGI will assume the position (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/17)….A source said that NHL Manager of Hockey Operations & Player Safety ROB BLAKE “will be named” Kings Assistant GM later this week (MAYORSMANOR.com, 7/16). Blake would replace RON HEXTALL, who left to become Flyers Assistant GM & Hockey Operations Dir (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/17)….The Univ. of Memphis named Southern Miss Senior Associate AD/Compliance JASON GRAY Assistant AD/Compliance (UM)….Northwestern State Univ. named Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe Assistant AD/Operations ADAM JONSON Associate AD/External Relations and Exec Dir of the NSU Athletic Association (NSU).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    F1 owners are not yet forcing Ecclestone from his CEO position

    F1 owners have "stepped back from forcing the resignation" of CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE after he was indicted by German prosecutors on a bribery charge. CVC Capital Partners last night published a statement on their website, but the content was "little more than a statement of intent to do nothing and wait and see what happens to Formula One's controversial chief executive" (LONDON TIMES, 7/18). Ecclestone's future with F1 has "been thrown into doubt" after the indictment. A lengthy court battle "would be a damaging distraction" for a sport that has an annual income of US$2.3B. Among those "suggested as possible replacements" for Ecclestone are grocery chain Sainsbury's CEO JUSTIN KING and EPL CEO RICHARD SCUDAMORE (GUARDIAN, 7/18).

    COURT REPORT: D'Backs Spanish language play-by-play announcer MIGUEL PEREZ QUINTANA "was arrested Wednesday accused of holding a kitchen knife to his wife's throat and threatening to kill her." He was "jailed on $10,000 bail after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, intimidation and criminal damage." D'Backs Senior VP/Communications JOSH RAWITCH said, "We have taken immediate action to suspend Miguel until this matter is resolved" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 7/18)....A Portage County (Ohio) judge has awarded Kent State $1.2M because former men's basketball coach GENO FORD "breached his contract" when he left to take the head coaching job at Bradley (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/18).

    LIFE ON THE HILL: The office of MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG "has spent $80,000 with Baker & Hostetler lobbying Congress on performance-enhancing substance issues, mental health programs for veterans and budget issues affecting team travel." MLB also is "lobbying the Department of Homeland Security on immigration issues" affecting the league and on "stadium security issues." The MLBPA "maintains KEVIN MCGUINNESS and the Glover Park Group for issues relating to professional sports leagues" (POLITICO.com, 7/16).

    CHARITY STRIPE: The ’13 ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic for the V Foundation for Cancer Research raised $1.15M in net proceeds (ESPN)….Golfer NATALIE GULBIS will join MLS Crew players and coaches at the Crew Soccer Foundation’s annual golf outing at Pinnacle Golf Club in Grove City, Ohio, on Aug. 6 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/17).

    HONOR ROLL: NHL Exec VP/Security DENNIS CUNNINGHAM today will be presented with the Distinguished Leadership Award during the ’13 National Center for Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition that started Tuesday (NHL)….ESPN’s COLIN COWHERD is will be inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association HOF on Aug. 17 at the Red Rock Resort (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/18).

    NAMES: Michigan AD DAVE BRANDON yesterday announced men’s basketball coach JOHN BEILEIN has received a three-year contract extension through the ’18-19 season. The deal will “immediately increase his annual compensation" to $2.45M annually, up from last year’s $1.8M. His new deal would “rank ninth nationally” based on USA Today’s salary data from last season (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/18)….TNT NBA analyst SHAQUILLE O’NEAL on Tuesday became an “official Golden Beach [Fla.] police officer” (MIAMIHERALD.com, 7/16)….Giants DE JUSTIN TUCK was a guest star on last night’s episode of USA Network's “Necessary Roughness” (ESPN.com, 7/17)….Real estate records show that sports promoter LEONARD BLOOM is selling his 15,000-square-foot San Diego home for $9.75M (UTSANDIEGO.com, 7/16)….MICHAEL PHELPS “looked like he was enjoying himself" at the ESPYs last night with his date, Golf Channel reporter WIN MCMURRY. They are “reportedly dating and Phelps recently caddied for her when she participated in the TOUR Wives Golf Classic” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/17).

    IN MEMORY: Former Wake Forest women’s AD DOT CASEY died earlier this week at the age of 87. She was “instrumental in the evolution of women’s athletics” at the school and “guided the Deacons through the influence of Title IX” (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 7/18).

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