Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 158

People and Pop Culture

Charles Regatta Exec Dir Fred Schoch
Ever wonder how executives in sports business spend their weekends? THE DAILY this week continues "What's Up For The Weekend," providing readers with an inside look at people in our industry. This week, we catch up with Head of the Charles Regatta Exec Dir FRED SCHOCH, who chatted with Staff Writer Theresa Manahan. The Head Of The Charles Regatta, held annually in October, is the world’s largest two-day regatta, attracting more than 8,500 rowers and 300,000 spectators to the banks of Boston’s Charles River.

Q: What are your plans for this weekend?
Schoch: As an alumnus of the University of Washington and member of the school's "Husky Fever Hall of Fame," I'm going to Seattle this weekend to deliver an address to the Huskies’ undergraduate rowing team to help kick off their spring season. While there, I will watch the 110th annual “Class Day Regatta” where teammates from each grade -- Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior -- face off in 2,000 meter races.

Q: What are you really looking forward to this weekend? Anything special planned?
Schoch: I'm looking forward to spending time with old classmates who live in the Seattle area. Living in Boston, I don't often have the chance to see them, so I'm excited to catch up with some of my good college friends and teammates.

Q: What do you like to watch and read on the weekend?
Schoch: I typically spend my weekends in Hanover, New Hampshire, where I like to catch up on non-work related reading. I'm a fan of history and fiction.

Q: What workout routines or activities do you like to do on the weekend?
Schoch: For exercise in the winter, I like to cross country ski and when the weather is warmer, I like to hike. For other activities, my wife and I have been learning to speak Spanish using Rosetta Stone -- we've been challenging each other to see who can become more fluent.

Q: The thing that our readers would be most surprised you love to do on your weekends is ...
Schoch: I like to cook and bake on the weekend. My wife is an excellent cook and with her help, I love a good challenge in the kitchen.

Q: Best weekend ever?
Schoch: My best weekend ever is when I have the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf with my two twenty-something sons, HENRY and WILLARD, and I always enjoy spending time with family.

Q: Favorite weekend getaway?
Schoch: About three years ago, I purchased my house in Hanover, New Hampshire, where I spend about three out of four weekends each month. While I'm at my primary home in Concord, Mass., I feel a little constrained by neighbors on all sides, but when I escape to New Hampshire, I have several acres and enjoy mowing the field and working in the garden.

Q: Guilty weekend pleasure?
Schoch: While baking is one of my favorite activities, making a molten chocolate lava cake and eating it hot out of the oven with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream on top is definitely my guilty pleasure.

Q: Favorite local restaurant?
Schoch: I don't go out for dinner all that much because my wife is such a great chef, so I would have to say my own kitchen is my favorite restaurant. However, when I do go out, I enjoy Eastern Standard in Boston.

Q: Do you have any routine weekend chores?
Schoch: There is always work to be to be done in New Hampshire. In the summer I’m painting and out working in the yard and in the winter, I am constantly snow blowing and splitting wood for the stove.

Q: What is your favorite local nightlife activity?
Schoch: As an active Master's Oarsman, I typically wake up at 4:30am six days a week, so I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm Rowing more than 1,000 miles a year, including my participation in the Head of the Charles, doesn't leave me much time to go out at night.

Q: Must see weekend game?
Schoch: That's easy -- The Boston Celtics.

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: CBS/TURNER -- It's hard to imagine that the first weekend of NCAA Tournament coverage under the new four-network format could have gone better for SEAN MCMANUS and DAVID LEVY. CBS, TNT, TBS and little-known truTV receive glowing reviews for coverage of the early rounds, the first time every game has been available live in its entirety on TV. Even more importantly, audiences respond as well, with ratings up 15% through the first three rounds. The combination of CBS and Turner personalities also sits well with most viewers, who are treated to such new delights as longtime NBA announcer MARV ALBERT calling a college hoops game for the first time.

Leaked "Top Spin 4" spot returns
Williams back into the spotlight
LOSESERENA WILLIAMS -- Having been sidelined for the better part of a year, thanks to various injuries and ailments, this can't be the way the tennis star envisioned her return to the spotlight. Williams' co-star in a promotional video for the "Top Spin 4" video game leaked the racy spot, one 2K Sports says it never intended to use. Williams herself posted a note on her Twitter feed about the spot. There's no doubt the ad, featuring Williams making "grunting sounds" in a "black leotard and stockings," is meant to be shocking, and 2K was spot-on with its decision to leave it on the cutting-room floor.

DRAWCACTUS LEAGUE -- As Spring Training prepares to give way to Opening Day in less than a week, results from March action in Arizona are a mixed bag. The D'Backs and Rockies started the spring with the debut of their stunning new facility -- arguably the most advanced Spring Training complex in Arizona or Florida. And while both NL clubs have seen big gains at the gate, the other Cactus League teams have not been so lucky. Ten of the 15 teams have suffered double-digit declines in attendance, including four down more than 20%. Among the biggest losers are the Dodgers, Cubs and Angels. Still, BUD SELIG remains confident that when the final numbers are tallied, Cactus League attendance will be near that of last season.

Mandalay Baseball Properties CEO ART MATIN has been named Chair of Minor League Baseball's online cooperative, Baseball Internet Rights Co. (BIRCO). Matin succeeds FRANK BURKE, owner of the Double-A Southern League Chattanooga Lookouts, who played a key role in the formation of the digital rights holding company. Matin, who has been on the BIRCO board as a Class AA representative, will essentially trade roles with Burke, who moves to Matin's prior classification position (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: MSG has hired Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Senior VP & GM of Arena Operations ALEX DIAZ as Senior VP & GM for MSG arena. Diaz, who previously oversaw development of Barclays Center, will be responsible for overseeing all facility operations for MSG, the Theater at MSG and the MSG Training Center (MSG)....St. John's Univ. has hired Coca-Cola Sports Marketing Manager ED KULL as Dir of Development for Men's Basketball (THE DAILY)....BOB KENDRICK Thursday was officially introduced as President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (K.C. STAR, 3/25)....WPS Dir of Communications & Broadcast Relations ROBERT PENNER is leaving the league to become Head of Global TV Distribution & U.S. Media Relations for the '11-12 Volvo Ocean Race, effective April 4. Penner will be based in Alicante, Spain (THE DAILY)....Volcom, Inc. has hired Firewire Surfboards Limited co-Founder & Dir DOUGALL WALKER as CEO of Volcom Australia, replacing JOHN CLAPHAM (Volcom)....Charlotte Collegiate Football has hired ANGELA BUTLER as Dir of Ticket Operations. Butler previously worked in ticket operations for Charlotte Motor Speedway (Raycom Sports)....Quicken Loans Arena has hired Aramark Sports & Entertainment Regional Dir of Facility Services BRIAN MILNER as Dir of Housekeeping (Cavaliers)....The Professional Hockey Players' Association has hired SIMON FRECHETTE as Dir of Player Relations for the ECHL (PHPA).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chair & CEO BRUTON SMITH received a 3.9% salary increase and COO MARCUS SMITH earned a 15.3% salary increase in '10, according to an SEC report filed Friday. Bruton Smith earned $1,776,000 in '10, while Marcus Smith earned $1,622,326. SMI CFO BILL BROOKS earned $1,502,455, a 21.2% increase over '09. SMI reported a net income of $44.5M for the '10 fiscal year, reversing a net loss of $10.3M in '09. Total revenues were dragged down by a $24M decline in ticket revenues and a $22.2M decline in event-related revenues in '10 (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

SUSPENDED FROM LOCOG: The BBC's Bond & Pearce reported British Olympic Association Chair LORD COLIN MOYNIHAN and CEO ANDY HUNT "have been suspended from the board of LOCOG ... following the legal row over the financial surplus from the Games." LOCOG "has suspended them because of a conflict of interest and both Lord Moynihan and Hunt did not attend a meeting of the board on Thursday." By suspending them, LOCOG is "sending the clearest indication yet of the seriousness of the dispute which is overshadowing London's preparations" (, 3/24). Moynihan and Hunt "will continue to serve as directors of LOCOG" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/25).

TWEET A LITTLE TWEET: ESPN's ERIN ANDREWS appeared on the's "The Hot Clicks Podcast" and discussed her use of Twitter. Host JIMMY TRAINA asked, "How are you enjoying Twitter? You seem to fight back with people on there which is interesting." Andrews said, "Obviously, there are some things that people say on there that are really nasty and mean and you're just like, 'Oh my gosh, that's so hateful'" (, 3/24).

HOLLYWOOD BEAT: New Line Cinema has "picked up the story" of Bengals cheerleader LAURA VIKMANIS, who at 42 years old is the "oldest cheerleader in NFL history." New Line acquired Vikmanis' "life rights as well as a pitch by scribes EMILY COOK and KATHY GREENBERG" for a motion picture (, 3/24)....FX has canceled its "LIGHTS OUT" boxing show. The decision "was a fairly easy one considering the show -- while a hit with most critics -- never drew enough viewers to make it a long-term player." The show through 11 episodes averaged 863,000 viewers and 513,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demo (, 3/24).

NAMES: NFL Films President STEVE SABOL is preparing to "begin treatment for a primary tumor on the left side of his brain." In a note to NFL Films employees, Sabol wrote, "The doctors told me that there is no 'Hail Mary' treatment for my condition. To make progress I just have to 'move the chains' and keep making first downs. (MERRIL HOGE will be happy with my gameplan)." He concluded, "Don't give away my parking space" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/25)....Nine workers in the Auburn Univ. athletic department who were laid off or reassigned "have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the school of racial discrimination." The lawsuit against the school was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. Five of the former "custodial workers were laid off last May and four others were moved to other departments during a reorganization" (AP, 3/24)....Giants QB ELI MANNING and his wife, ABBY, are "celebrating the birth of their first child, a daughter named AVA FRANCES." The baby girl was "born on Monday, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces" (N.Y. POST, 3/25).