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Volume 24 No. 154

People and Pop Culture

Fortune Magazine Creative Dir JOHN KORPICS “has jumped ship” to ESPN, where he has been given “an über-design role for ESPN The Magazine and,” according to Lucia Moses of ADWEEK. Korpics will have the newly created title of VP/Creative Dir of Print & Digital Media in a "new structure that combines print and digital." He will report to ESPN VP/Editorial, Digital & Print Media ROB KING. Korpics' hire “in part fills a role left vacant a few months ago” when ESPN The Magazine relocated from N.Y. to Bristol, a move that “led many staffers to leave rather than make the move.” King said that Korpics will start Sept. 6 and that his imprint “will be felt as early as October.” King: “We certainly want to make our magazine as vibrant in the digital space as it is in the print form. We definitely want to make the magazine stickier among readers.” King said that ESPN Exec VP/Content JOHN SKIPPER and Exec VP & Exec Editor JOHN WALSH “have wanted to hire Korpics for a long time.” Korpics also has worked at InStyle and Entertainment Weekly (, 8/2).
: ESPN also has hired DAVID SCOTT as Dir of Communications for News Content. Scott previously worked as Univ. of Kentucky basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI’s social media director and served as Editor. From ’01-08, he wrote a column for (THE DAILY).

American Airlines Center named North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee VP & COO TARA GREEN to the newly created position of Chief Revenue Officer, effective Sept. 1. She will be "responsible for generating and retaining revenue for suites, club seats and sponsorships" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/3)....The Blue Jays named EMI Music Canada VP/Sales MARK DITMARS VP/Corporate Partnerships for the team and Rogers Centre (THE DAILY)....Universal Sports Network named NFL Dir of Digital Media & Product Management ELLIOTT GORDON VP & GM of Digital Media, reporting to COO PERKINS MILLER (Universal Sports)....Longtime USA Track & Field CMO IVAN CROPPER has left the organization to pursue other opportunities. The USATF, which is being managed by interim CEO MIKE MCNEES, has not made a decision about how it will fill the position. USATF Chair STEPHANIE HIGHTOWER recently took over as President & CEO of the Columbus (Ohio) Urban League. The board still is looking for a permanent CEO (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal)....The 49ers named JOHN BECKER Senior Personnel Advisor. Becker served as Colts Coordinator of Player Personnel from '00-05 and as an Area Scout from '06-08 (49ers).   

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In L.A., Bill Shaikin reports Dodgers Owner FRANK MCCOURT Monday will "ask a judge in Boston to clear the way for him to pursue a malpractice claim against his former law firm," Bingham McCutchen, which was "responsible for the since-invalidated agreement that would have provided McCourt with sole ownership of the Dodgers." The move is "aimed at preserving his right to sue for a nine-figure damage award if he loses the team." McCourt is "likely to sue even if he does not lose the team." He has "promised to repay a $30-million personal loan from Fox with proceeds from" the claim (L.A. TIMES, 8/3).

: In Boston, Jay Fitzgerald profiles startup, which launched in May and is "now signing up sports fans to track their favorite teams -- and to rank their level of optimism, or pessimism, about their teams' chances of victory on the fields, courts and rinks." The goal is to "quantitatively measure the mood and collective analysis of a team's fan base at any given time, both during the playing season and the off-season." Besides ranking teams, fans also can "participate in comment sections and follow the site's official blog, giving an extra social-media dynamic." Fitzgerald notes FanTab's was co-founded by ROB ROESLER, FRANK HERTZ and SCOTT COHEN (BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/29 issue).

WHISKING HIM AWAY: In Charlotte, Anne Blythe reports a partnership between NASCAR HOFer JUNIOR JOHNSON and Piedmont Distillers has "produced Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon, the more traditional of the distiller's offerings." Johnson had "rebuffed" Piedmont Distillers Founder & President JOE MICHALEK "several times." But "after he got a taste of Piedmont Distillers' Catdaddy -- the best from the still in bootlegger slang -- Johnson slipped Michalek an envelope with a recipe" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/3).

PLANS DROPPED: In Dallas, Jeff Mosier reports the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee has dropped its plans for a Dallas-area sports commission. Local Super Bowl organizers said that the "clock will run out before they are able to use host committee seed money and the group's remaining staff to create a sports commission" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/3).

CHARITY STRIPE: In Pittsburgh, Jack Kelly reported Dick's Sporting Goods is "teaming with the locally developed imPACT test program to provide concussion counseling and a free baseline test for up to 1 million middle and high school athletes." To fund the program, Dick's will donate $1 to PACE for "every pair of athletic shoes it sells, and an additional dollar for each consumer who posts about PACE on the company's Facebook page" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/3)....Former NBAer BRIAN GRANT "held his second annual Shake It Til We Make It fund-raising event" Sunday and Monday in the Portland area. Organizers announced that this year's event "raised $500,000 to battle Parkinson's, helped by a $100,000 check a donor handed Grant at Sunday's dinner and gala at the Rose Garden" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/2).

NAMES: Basketball HOFer DAVID ROBINSON's "hilltop home" in San Antonio is "on the market." The house is on Admirals Way, the private street named for Robinson. The price "remains a mystery, but the Bexar Appraisal District values the home at $3.92 million" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/30)....A Luling, La., home owned by former NFLer DEUCE MCALLISTER "sold for $880,000 in an auction July 27." The sale "stems from a writ of seizure resulting from a lawsuit by Whitney National Bank against McAllister" (, 8/2)....Former Massachusetts state Speaker of the House SAL DIMASI and his wife, DEBBIE, were seen recently taking in a Red Sox game in team President & CEO LARRY LUCCHINO's box at Fenway Park (BOSTON HERALD, 8/3)