Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Alessandri leaving ESPN after being
with the company since '00 
Longtime ESPN exec RICK ALESSANDRI has left the company. The move follows ESPN's plan to relocate staff in its N.Y. office to Bristol, Conn., this summer. Alessandri and his family live in New Jersey, and he wanted to stay in the N.Y. area. He had been with ESPN since '00 and most recently served as Senior VP/Consumer Products and Managing Dir of the X Games. Prior to that, he served as assistant to ESPN/ABC Sports President GEORGE BODENHEIMER and as Senior VP & GM at ESPN Enterprises. Alessandri said, "In life, timing is everything, and this came together at the right time. It was time for me to move on from ESPN and at the same time there were some new challenges out there, and I hope to use my entrepreneurial skills to build something new again." Alessandri joined ESPN after it acquired SportsTicker, which he was the VP & GM of at the time.

Connexions Sports & Entertainment named MATT DELAWDER Dir of Business Development. He will work out of the company's Carlsbad, Calif., office (THE DAILY)....The NCAA Division I BOD last week elected the following new members: UC Riverside Chancellor TIMOTHY WHITE, Wright State President DAVID HOPKINS, South Carolina President HARRIS PASTIDES and Cornell President DAVID SKORTON (NCAA)....The CCHA has promoted Associate Commissioner FRED PLETSCH to Commissioner, replacing TOM ANASTOS, who resigned in March to become Michigan State's hockey coach (, 5/2).  

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

In Phoenix, Art Thomason reports Arizona State Univ. is “dropping the state's only PGA Golf Management program.” The program is “one of 20 in the nation, and one of four in the Southwest.” It will “continue for three years to allow the 173 current students to finish their degrees” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/3).

CHARITY STRIPE: Zurich Financial Services Group and subsidiary Farmers Insurance have pledged to donate $250,000 "to tornado relief in the southeast" in golfer BUBBA WATSON's name. Watson has won twice on the PGA Tour this year -- last weekend's Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the Farmers Insurance Open in January (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 5/2)....The Braves announced that they have made a $100,000 donation to the Salvation Army “to help in relief efforts for tornado victims across the Southeast” (, 5/2)….NHL Panthers President & COO MICHAEL YORMARK on Friday was presented with an award at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Leadership Conference in Orlando (SSE).

NAMES: Actress JUDITH LIGHT was nominated for a Tony Award this morning for her portrayal of MARIE LOMBARDI in the Broadway play, "LOMBARDI." Light was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Tony Awards)....The Pro Football Writers of America awarded the Dick McCann Memorial Award to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer BOB MCGINN for his “long and distinguished reporting on professional football” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/3)….Heat F LEBRON JAMES is featured in the cover story of the May issue of Fast Company (FAST COMPANY 5/’11 issue)….Men’s Fitness named James, Lightning C STEVEN STAMKOS, UFC co-Owner LORENZO FERTITTA, Galaxy MF DAVID BECKHAM and Packers LB CLAY MATTHEWS among its 25 Fittest Guys in its June/July issue (THE DAILY)….NHL Rangers G HENRIK LUNDQVIST and LW SEAN AVERY will open Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs this week in Manhattan. Tiny’s is Avery’s “second joint; he opened sports bar Warren 77 two years ago.” Avery “expects to open more Big Apple eateries at some point” (, 5/1).