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Volume 24 No. 159

People and Pop Culture

GroupM named JOHN KRISTICK Global CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships. Kristick, who most recently served as Premier Partnerships Managing Dir, will be based in N.Y. and will report to GroupM Global CEO IRWIN GOTLIEB (GroupM)....JUMA Entertainment named IMG Senior VP/Business Affairs PETER DEVITA to the newly created position of COO. DeVita will help open JUMA's N.Y. offices next month (JUMA)....The WWE Studios promoted Exec VP & General Counsel MICHAEL LUISI to President, succeeding MIKE PAVONE, who served as Exec VP until his resignation last month  (, 9/7)....KMPG's SCOTT LONDON has been elected Chair of the L.A. Sports Council's BOD, succeeding ALAN ROTHENBERG, who had held the position for the past nine years (L.A. Sports Council)....Warriors Dir of Basketball Operations KIRK LACOB has been named GM of the team's NBA D-League affiliate, the Dakota Wizards (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/8)....The Big South Conference named MATT VANSANDT Assistant Dir of Marketing (Big South).

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Lakers G KOBE BRYANT yesterday "finally entered the Twittersphere," but the @KobeBryant account "vanished" a few hours later. Within three hours of joining Twitter, Bryant's account "had rapidly inspired over 36,000 followers." But a source indicated that the release of Bryant's account "was premature and a decision was made to pull back" (, 9/8). A source said that Bryant's Twitter feed "will return in the future and that a social media professional assisting Bryant in setting up the account 'may have jumped the gun.'" The source added that Bryant, who posted one tweet, "will spend more time familiarizing himself with Twitter before the account goes live again" (, 9/7).

: Skateboarder and MTV star ROB DYRDEK joined Newark Mayor CORY BOOKER in announcing that Dyrdek's Safe Spot Skate Spot program "plans to build a skate plaza at Hayes Park East" in the city. Newark is the 10th city benefiting from Dyrdek's program, which "seeks to cultivate a sustainable skateboarding culture and create legal places in cities for children to skate" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/8)....Charlotte-based online footwear retailer is moving its HQs to the NASCAR Plaza office building, while the NASCAR Media Group "increased the amount of space it rents in the 393,000-square-foot building by about 11,000 square feet" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/7).

PART OF THE JOB: MMA fighter NICK DIAZ "was removed from his scheduled UFC 137" title bout after he "failed to show up for news conferences promoting the fight on consecutive days." UFC President DANA WHITE said, "I've had my reservations about Nick Diaz for a long time. You've heard me use the term 'play the game.' All I asked this kid to do was play the game this much" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/8). In Las Vegas, Case Keefer writes Diaz's career "has always been partly defined by mistakes -- a failed drug test for marijuana, a series of post-fight brawls and numerous missed press events" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 9/8).

NAMES: Jazz F GORDON HAYWARD has partnered with the IGN Pro League and will compete in an event for the video gaming competition next month (IGN)....The search committee tasked with finding the Univ. of North Carolina's new AD met yesterday for the first time since hiring search firm Carr Sports Associates to help with the process. UNC is paying Carr $50,000 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/8)....Yankees 2B ROBINSON CANO on Tuesday attended the ceremonial opening of the Robinson Cano Pediatric Physical & Occupational Therapy Suite at Hackensack Univ. Medical Center in New Jersey (NEWSDAY, 9/7)....Former NHLer CHRIS NILAN "plays the title role in a documentary that will be shown" tomorrow at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival. Several NHL owners funded "THE LAST GLADIATORS" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/7)....PRESIDENT OBAMA yesterday honored eight NASCAR drivers in a ceremony at the White House and "highlighted NASCAR's support for U.S. troops" (AP, 9/7)....Knicks F CARMELO ANTHONY's "two cellphones were stolen" after a charity basketball game in Baltimore last week (N.Y. POST, 9/7).