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Volume 24 No. 156
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Names In The News

In N.Y., Mark Cannizzaro wrote Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT has built "one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sports," and it has all been "made possible by the product he has put on the football field." When Kraft's wife, MYRA, died in July, Kraft "began the 'Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund,' which gives scholarship money to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston." Kraft said that in the six months since Myra's passing, "more than $4 million has been contributed by 'mostly people I don't even know'" (N.Y. POST, 1/22). Meanwhile, in Boston, Michael Whitmer noted when he was considering hiring head coach BILL BELICHICK -- "which ultimately happened on Jan. 27, 2000 --- Kraft said he received phone calls from network television heads suggesting that the frequently dour, occasionally irascible coach might not be the best choice." Clips of Belichick "news conferences also were sent Kraft’s way." But Kraft said, "The key to life, whether it’s the partner you pick or the business you run, is that you try to see things that other people can’t see. We’re privileged to have him’’ (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/22). Following the Patriots' win over the Ravens in yesterday's AFC Championship game, Kraft "took a congratulatory phone call from longtime friend Sir ELTON JOHN, while speaking to the media postgame" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/23).

MEDIA MAVERICK: In N.Y., Amy Chozick profiles News Corp. Deputy Chair, President & COO CHASE CAREY and notes never in the company's history has an exec other than Chair & CEO RUPERT MURDOCH "taken such a major role in running the daily operations." Carey "leads earnings calls, speaks at investor conferences and strategizes on everything, including retransmission fees with cable and satellite companies." BTIG analyst RICHARD GREENFIELD said, "He's increasingly becoming the face of the company." Chozick notes Murdoch in '93 bet Carey $20 that the net "could not capture" NFL TV rights. Carey put together a $1.56B deal that "beat out CBS and put Fox on the map." Murdoch "paid up on his $20 bet" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23). 

DIVIDING ASSETS: In L.A., Michael Reicher reported Lakers G KOBE BRYANT's divorce from wife VANESSA "has not been finalized, but Orange County property records show the couple is beginning to distribute their assets." Three mansions in Newport Beach's "upscale Newport Coast community have recently been placed in Vanessa Bryant's name." The property records indicate that the homes "have a total value" of $18.8M (, 1/21). Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant appeared on a recent episode of ABC's "EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION," as part of "rebuilding efforts in connection to a tornado that swept through" Joplin, Mo. Bryant appeared in early October at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center, which "organized a clothing drive for the tornado victims" (, 1/21).

NAMES: Disney CEO ROBERT IGER "received compensation valued at $31.4 million" for '11 and his compensation "rose 11.9% over his package for the year prior, valued at $28 million" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/21)....Officials for Chicago Mayor RAHM EMANUEL announced yesterday that WMG VP/Basketball Management B.J. ARMSTRONG has been named to the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. Armstrong is a former NBAer and currently serves as Bulls G DERRICK ROSE's agent (, 1/22)....An arbitration panel ruled in favor of former MLBer DOUG MIRABELLI in his dispute with Bank of America Merrill Lynch's financial adviser PHIL SCOTT. The panel awarded Mirabelli and his wife, KRISTIN, "more than $1.2 million in damages and fees." The decision was the "second defeat" for Scott in the last 12 months (, 1/22)....The Maple Leafs yesterday hosted 800 kids and parents for their 34th annual Skate for Easter Seals Kids (TORONTO STAR, 1/23)....Nike endorser SPIKE LEE gave President BARACK OBAMA a pair of Air Jordan sneakers that will “come out in February under the ‘Bordeaux’ title.” The shoes will be priced at $175 a pair and will feature Spike’s "40 Acres and a Mule" logo (, 1/20)…Longtime Nike shoe designer D’WAYNE EDWARDS is “preparing to open a footwear design school” in downtown Portland. Edwards will open “Pensole Footwear Design Academy” on Feb. 4 (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/21)….Bears QB JAY CUTLER and his fiancée, KRISTIN CAVALLARI, are expecting their first child (, 1/22).