SBD/April 2, 2014/Olympics

Appointment Of USOC's Probst As IOC Press Chair A Sign Of Improved Relations

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Probst's new role shows strengthening ties between USOC and IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach yesterday appointed new leaders for 14 of the organization's 30 commissions, including key positions overseeing the marketing, press and finance commissions. Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda was named IOC Marketing Commission Chair. The 66 year old will take over responsibilities for the IOC’s billion dollar sponsorship program from Norway’s Gerhard Heiberg. USOC Chair Larry Probst was named IOC Press Commission Chair, a post formerly held by Australia’s Kevan Gosper. Probst has pushed the USOC to improve relations with the IOC since Chicago lost its bid in '09 to host the '16 Olympics, and the new position is the latest evidence of strengthening ties between the organizations. Singapore’s Ser Miang Ng will take over as Finance Commission Chair from Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrion. Both men ran against Bach last year.

TV GUIDE: Bach, who is interested in launching an Olympic network, named himself chair of the TV & New Media Commission. Former IOC President Jacques Rogge previously held that post and divided responsibility for rights negotiations between Bach, who oversaw Europe, and Carrion, who oversaw the U.S. and other markets. Bach did not make clear who would take over responsibility for those negotiations in the future. NBC holds the TV rights in the U.S. through the '20 Tokyo Games. New members of that committee, which is responsible for the bulk of IOC revenue, include Le Prince Feisal Al Hussein (Jordan), Habu Gumel (Nigeria), Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr. (Spain), Gerardo Werthein (Argentina) and Zaiqing Yu (China). Ottavio Cinquanta (Italy) and John Coates (Australia) remain on the committee.

MORE MOVES: Other new chairs include Turkey’s Ugur Erdener (medical), Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera (women and sport), Great Britain’s Princess Anne (nominations), Belgium’s Baron Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant (audit), Coates (judicial, sport and law), Taiwan’s Wu Ching-Kuo (Olympic philately, numismatic and memorabilia commission), Werthein (radio and television) and Monaco’s Prince Albert (sport and environment). 
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Olympics, IOC

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