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Volume 24 No. 114

Sports Industrialists

          HOWARD SMITH was named VP/Licensing at MLB Properties. 
     Smith comes from Reebok Int'l, where he served as Group Dir
     of Sports Marketing.  Also, Group Dir of Licensing for Adult
     Wearable and Client Services MARLA MILLER was promoted to
     VP/Events (MLBP)....JUD PERKINS, VP & GM of Leisure
     Management Int'l in FL, will leave June 5 to oversee
     construction of the new Dallas arena.  Perkins had served as
     the Manager of the Broward County Arena.  Arena development
     Co. President ALEX MUXO will assume Perkins' duties until a
     successor is named (Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 5/22).

           MARTINA HINGIS is the "towering female tennis player
     of the present day, the only woman on the tour who really
     matters," according to Alan Richman, who profiles Hingis in
     a GQ cover story.  Richman: "With Hingis time passes not
     just painlessly but pleasurably.  Considering her one-
     dimensional past, it's hard to imagine how she turned out so
     well" (GQ, 6/98 issue)....RICHARD WILLIAMS, the father of
     VENUS and SERENA WILLIAMS, is profiled by Douglas Looney in
     today's CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR.  Looney, who calls
     Richard's approach with his daughters "unconventional":
     "[I]n a world in which there is near unanimous agreement
     that 14 is way too young for a little girl to become a
     touring professional, this most protective of all the
     parents abruptly decided that would be the proper next step"
     (CSM, 5/22)....NBA Coach of the Year LARRY BIRD "declined to
     confirm" that he would return next year to coach the Pacers
     again.  Bird: "We'll see" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/22).
     ...Former Jets head coach RICH KOTITE will play a coach in a
     film starring KELSEY GRAMMER.  The film is "Jersey
     Turnpikers" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/22)....A grand jury will not
     indict either Wizards F JUWAN HOWARD or Kings F CHRIS WEBBER
     for an alleged sexual assault (WASHINGTON POST, 5/22).

          Zapata Corp., the former oil company controlled by Bucs
     Owner MALCOLM GLAZER, offered yesterday to buy Internet
     search directory Excite for nearly $1.7B, but the offer "was
     immediately rejected by the company and ridiculed by some
     analysts," according to the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Excite cited the
     "complete lack of synergy" and gaping differences in market
     value between the two companies (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/22).  In
     N.Y., Reed Abelson reports that Zapata CEO AVRAM GLAZER,
     "cannot understand why he is not getting more respect," as
     his company aims to become more involved in the Internet. 
     Glazer: "If you look at my family's history, we have a
     history of going in on new things."  Zapata's shares fell
     87.5 cents, to close yesterday at $10.50.  Excite's shares
     rose 81.25 cents, to close at $61 (N.Y. TIMES, 5/22).
          HICK'S LATEST PRIZE: Sources of DAILY VARIETY's Richard
     Morgan say that HICKS, MUSE, TATE & FURST has won the
     auction for Pulitzer Publishing Co.'s TV properties and
     "plans to fold the nine network-affiliated stations into
     Hicks Muse-controlled Chancellor Media Corp."  The deal is
     expected to be valued at $1.8B (DAILY VARIETY, 5/22). 
     Stars/Rangers Owner TOM HICKS is featured in a FORBES cover
     story.  Matthew Schifrin writes that Hicks "rules over more
     than 400 radio stations in 100 markets across the U.S," has
     combined radio revenues of $1.5B and is "by no means
     finished building his media empire" (FORBES, 6/1 issue).