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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

NBC's “Today” Exec Producer JIM BELL “will leave the morning program for a full-time position at NBC Sports, where he’ll be executive producer of the network’s Olympics coverage,” according to sources cited by Marisa Guthrie of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. It is unclear “exactly when Bell will exit the formerly top-rated morning show, but his departure has been rumored for some time.” Bell, who counts former NBC Sports Chair DICK EBERSOL “among his mentors at NBC, rose through the ranks of NBC Sports,” and he “pulled double duty during the summer as executive producer of the London Olympics.” NBC has the U.S. rights to the ‘14 Sochi Games, and last year “locked up rights to the next four Olympics for $4.38 billion.” Bell had “professed as recently as late September to being fully committed to ‘Today,’ even as rumors of his departure were rampant” (, 11/12). In N.Y., Don Kaplan notes Bell “has been at the helm of ‘Today’ since 2005 and many in the television news industry believe that the show lost its dominant place in morning TV because it became ‘stale’ under Bell’s watch” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/13). Also in N.Y., Brian Stelter noted Bell led the effort earlier this year to remove ANN CURRY from "Today" and "received much of the blame for the damage done by the transition." In his new role, Bell will report to NBC Sports Group Chair MARK LAZARUS (, 11/12).

The '16 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee named SIDNEY LEVY CEO, replacing LEO GRYNER, who becomes COO. Levy will officially start in his new position on Jan. 1, but will participate in the IOC debriefing of the London Games that will be held Saturday in Rio. Rio 2016 President CARLOS ARTHUR NUZMAN also “downplayed Gryner’s removal” from the CEO position (AP, 11/9).

: Colorado Mesa Univ. AD BUTCH MILLER has resigned effective immediately, citing personal health and family reasons. Miller served five-and-a-half years in the position (Colorado Mesa)….Georgia Southern Univ. named Kent State Univ. Deputy AD TOM KLEINLEIN AD (SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS, 11/13)….The Univ. of South Dakota named Learfield Sports' Coyote Sports Properties Account Exec JON SCHEMMEL Associate AD/Development (South Dakota)….Maryville Univ. named KRISTEN ELY Assistant AD/Student Services & Compliance (Maryville).

: Twitter has named Broadcasting & Cable Editor-in-Chief BEN GROSSMAN Head of Global Operations for Twitter Media (THE DAILY)....Nonprofit Good Sports named Dolphins Senior VP and Chief Revenue Officer JIM RUSHTON to its advisory board (Good Sports)….The Little League Int'l BOD named Morgan, Lewis & Brockius partner HUGH TANNER Chair-Elect its BOD (Little League).

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In Detroit, Christine Ferretti reported former Lions Community Affairs staffer KIMBERLY DOVERSPIKE is suing the club's parent company "on claims she was passed up for a promotion and later terminated based on her age and gender." Doverspike alleges "her civil rights were violated earlier this year when she was denied a director's position before the company let her go in July." She had been employed by the Lions "for two decades." The complaint, filed Oct. 31 in Wayne Circuit Court, is "seeking a trial and damages exceeding $25,000 on claims of age and gender discrimination under Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act" (DETROIT NEWS, 11/12).

STILL A MYSTERY: The GUARDIAN's Decca Aitkenhead reviewed former LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE's autobiography "Running My Life." Aitkenhead wrote, "Seldom can a memoir have revealed less about its author -- or less of what anyone might actually want to know, anyway." If the "interminable minutiae of obscure athletics meetings is your thing, then, to be fair, 'Running My Life' may be for you." But if "you are curious to know what Sebastian Coe was like as a child, what athletics meant to him, how he felt about his arch rival STEVE OVETT, why he went into politics, or what it felt like to be in charge of the Olympics, it will leave you none the wiser." The pages are "bleached of all emotional meaning, and how the author got through them all without boring himself to death is a mystery" (GUARDIAN, 11/11).

CHARITY STRIPE: Last Saturday's alumni game between former Predators and Blues players at A-Game Sportsplex in Franklin, Tenn., "brought in between $4,000 and $5,000 for Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital and Hurricane Sandy relief" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 11/12)....Golden Boy Promotions and Caesars Atlantic City are "chipping in to help those impacted" by Hurricane Sandy. Golden Boy will "donate $2 for every ticket sold and $1,000 per knockout registered during" Saturday night's card at Caesars, with Golden Boy President OSCAR DE LA HOYA and Caesars "matching the donation" (, 11/12)....Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN "donated $100,000 to help residents of Far Rockaway after his friend, [MSG] Knicks reporter JILL MARTIN, spotted a Twitter message asking for help." When a tweet went out "saying that local Church of the Nazarene needed 'food and baby essentials ASAP,' Martin responded by delivering supplies." Cuban "wrote a check on the spot after bumping into Jill" (N.Y. POST, 11/13).

SUPPORTING THE TROOPS: Wizards G JOHN WALL and F TREVOR BOOKER "visited the Soldier & Family Activities Center at Fort Belvoir in Virginia last week," spending time with "the military members and their families" (, 11/12)....Bruins President CAM NEELY on Saturday hosted six alums from the Wounded Warrior Project at TD Garden for lunch and photos in front of the ’11 Stanley Cup championship banner (, 11/11).

NAMES: Gold medal-winning U.S. gymnast ALY RAISMAN on Saturday signed autographs at the AT&T store in the Downtown Crossing shopping district (, 11/11)....NASCAR driver JEFF GORDON and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation on Friday announced a new smart phone app (JGCF)....ESPN NFL analyst and former Panthers GM BILL POLIAN has formed an LLC in Cornelius, N.C., called Polian Consulting (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/9 issue)....Actor/director/producer EDWARD BURNS is teaming up with writer/director DOUG ATCHISON to film "Turk," which chronicles the life of former NHLer DEREK SANDERSON and his "battle with booze and drugs” (BOSTON HERALD, 11/13)….The Altman Building in N.Y. hosted the Big Buck Hunter World Championships on Saturday. NASCAR driver TRAVIS PASTRANA finished sixth last year in the arcade game competition, but this year “stumbled into a 48th-place finish” (, 11/12)....South African sprinter OSCAR PISTORIUS received an honorary doctorate from Strathclyde Univ. in Glasgow, Scotland (London INDEPENDENT, 11/13).