SBD/August 15, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Longtime WEEI Program Dir Jason Wolfe Fired Amidst Ratings Slump

    Wolfe (c) had been with WEEI for 22 years

    Entercom Boston VP/Programming & Operations and WEEI-FM Program Dir JASON WOLFE "has been fired ... after a prolonged stretch of subpar ratings," according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. Wolfe, who "had been at the station for nearly 22 years," tweeted the news and "attached a letter that focused on highlights of his career." Wolfe wrote, "I'm so blessed to have played a role in the station's success, and that success can never be taken away, nor should it ever be forgotten. But this is a business, and in business companies are always looking ahead in order to decide what's best for their future. In this case, Entercom has decided to replace me because they feel it's time for a change with my position." Entercom VP, GM & Market Manager JEFF BROWN said that Wolfe's replacement "would be announced in the next couple of days." He added that other changes at the station "are not imminent." Finn notes WEEI during Wolfe's tenure "had enormous success in the late '90s and through the 2000s, fending off upstart challengers" such as WWZN-AM and ESPN Radio 890 Boston. But the launch of WBZ-FM in August '09 -- a station "with CBS Radio's support, broadcast rights deals with the Patriots and Bruins, and a strong FM signal -- provided the first real challenge to WEEI's sports radio supremacy." Ratings in the Boston area "now tilt heavily" in WBZ' favor (BOSTON.com, 8/15).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Olympic Public Authority President MARCIO FORTES has resigned. Fortes was one of the “most senior figures” involved in planning the '16 Rio Games, and his resignation adds to the "uncertainty over the city's ability to deliver on promises made during its bid." The resignation "comes two weeks before a visit to Rio by inspectors" from the IOC. The Olympic Public Authority is “responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Brazilian government and the state and city of Rio” (BLOOMBERG.com, 8/14). Fortes’ resignation raises "concerns about the city’s ability to stage the first games in South America,” and it “may concern inspectors” from the IOC (AP, 8/14).

    EXECS: Getty Images named LEE MARTIN Senior VP/Sports. He will also continue in his role as Senior VP/Sales for Europe and Japan (THE DAILY)....Sources said that the Jazz named ASM Sports basketball agent JUSTIN ZANIK Assistant GM. Zanik’s NBA clients included Thunder F SERGE IBAKA (DESERETNEWS.com, 8/14)....UMass-Lowell named UConn IMG Sports Marketing Senior Account Exec SCOTT DOLCH Senior Associate AD/External Operations (UMass-Lowell)....Belmont Univ. named St. Leo Univ. Assistant Dir of Marketing LAUREN EADS Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator (Belmont).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Bubka says he wants to help bring the Olympics to younger demographics

    The N.Y. TIMES' Christopher Clarey profiles IOC Exec Board member SERGEI BUBKA as he runs for the position of IOC president. Bubka is "by far the youngest" of the six candidates. Bubka said, "The most important is not age. The most important is experience. I have big and huge experience now." Bubka is "focused on strengthening the Olympics' ties to the screen-centric younger generation." He is "worried that the average age of global Summer Olympic viewers, according to his data, is 50." His campaign platform "includes a proposal to create a global youth council" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/15).

    CHARACTER ASSASSINATION: Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ, who voiced an "animated version of himself" in the children's film "HENRY & ME," will "likely find his character on the cutting-room floor because of his involvement" in the Biogenesis case. Longtime Yankee adviser RAY NEGRON, who is exec producer on the film, said its investors will "make a move to get another character" to replace Rodriguez, although "they still haven't pulled the plug yet" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/15).

    DEATH & TAXES: IRS lawyers are "defending a tax bill" of more than $2B sent to the estate of late Pistons Owner WILLIAM DAVIDSON, reiterating claims he "didn’t properly account for huge gifts to family members and the value of stocks put in trust for his heirs." The lawyers answered the estate reps’ arguments filed in June saying the tax bill -- $2.8B in all -- was "wildly inflated and that, despite a huge IRS notice of deficiency, the estate didn’t owe anything more" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/15).

    NAMES: PRESIDENT OBAMA, Comcast CEO BRIAN ROBERTS, World Bank President JIM KIM and former U.S. Trade Rep RON KIRK yesterday played a round at the Vineyard Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard (POLITICO.com, 8/14)....Boxer VITALI KLITSCHKO "revealed his intention to run for president of Ukraine" in '15 (LONDON TIMES, 8/15)....The documentary “BRANCA’S PITCH” on former MLBer RALPH BRANCA “has received North American distribution from Strand Releasing.” Strand is “planning a release on DVD and VOD to coincide with the end of the baseball season” (VARIETY.com, 8/14)....Miami-based Sportsmanias.com, an online startup that offers personalized sports news aggregation, has secured $1M in funding from Mas Equity Partners Founder JORGE MAS (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer)....Legacy Business Advisors CEO TANESHIA NASH LAIRD has entered into a partnership with Basketball HOFer JAMES WORTHY and James Worthy Enterprises to “work with companies to help them enhance sales and marketing initiatives (Legacy)....Bears OT JERMON BUSHROD “paid $790,000 for a four-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot house” in Vernon Hills, Ill. (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 8/15).

    IN MEMORY: Former Yankees traveling secretary BILL KANE died yesterday (TWITTER.com, 8/15).

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