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Volume 24 No. 116

People and Pop Culture

It is usually all sports all the time for USA Today Sports Media Group President TOM BEUSSE, but the holiday weekend will find him doing the same thing as most people -- spending time with family. The youngest of seven kids, Beusse plans to drive along with his family of four from their home in New Canaan, Conn., to his childhood residence in Caldwell, N.J. His weekend will be spent reminiscing the glory years of his soccer stardom at his high school, sipping wine fireside during family chats and anxiously awaiting the approval of his 16-year-old son’s driver's permit.

THE BATTLE FOR THE WISHBONE: Thursday morning we will head down. My nephew is a sophomore and he’s playing for the varsity football team. I don’t know how much time he’ll get but he’s on the team so we’re going down super early to get there in time for the annual Thanksgiving game against a rival town. I’ll probably see people I went to high school with, but it’ll be fun to see my nephew on the sideline. It’s my high school and I played soccer for them. I didn’t play football, but I’ve been to this particular Turkey Bowl I guess a hundred times before and it’s fun cause my family still goes. I haven’t lived in the town since I was 21 years old.

JUST RUB IT IN, WHY DON’T YA? After the football game is over, one of my sisters -- I have four older sisters -- throws a big holiday party. Her husband owns a restaurant in town, so they cook this ridiculous feast with three different turkeys done three ways and three different stuffings and sort of everything you can imagine for Thanksgiving. It takes weeks to burn off no matter how much I try to run it off. ... He makes a smoked turkey, a regular turkey and he deep fries a turkey. I usually just go straight down the middle with the regular turkey because I’m sort of a traditionalist. My mom makes crazy sausage stuffing which is great. I like sort of the old stuff, I like turnip and Brussels sprouts and stuff like that. Then I go to town on pecan pie and pumpkin pie. I can’t get away from the pumpkin, but I’ve got to have a little pecan because my sister makes a really good one. ... One of my nieces just graduated from the Culinary Institute of America so she does all of the desserts. And my brother-in-law won’t have anybody do the cooking because he’s sort of the man in that area.

WINE WITH THAT BIRD? I’m usually responsible for the wine. I’ll go to the wine shop and make sure I have the right wines to pair with what he’s cooking. I’ll bring those along and I usually have more fun doing that than I would slaving around at the stove. If you’re in the media business long enough you get pretty good at pairing wines with meals. I’ve done enough entertaining over 20 years in this business that I guess I’m the go-to guy in the family for that. I have a sister who loves Cakebread Chardonnay, so that’s probably going to be the white that we’re drinking. And I’m a nut for a brand of red wine called Justin Isosceles, which is a really light red wine. There’s enough food going around on Thanksgiving that you don’t need a giant wine to make you full.

FIRE’S A BLAZING: After dinner it’s usually a fireplace roaring somewhere. ... My mom is in her 80s and she has 13 grandchildren. So it will be a bunch of kids ranging from eighth grade to probably 27 or 28. It’s always interesting hearing what they’re doing. So it’s a bunch of people hanging around in a big living room talking about what these kids are doing, what this next generation is up to. Then I’ll surf football games. I’ll be desperately hoping that my Jets win but they’ll no doubt let me down since they’re playing the Patriots.

RUNNING DOWN A DREAM: Thursday night I’ll stay at my mom’s house, which will be fun. It’s the same house I grew up as a kid in; she’s been there for 50 years. Friday morning I will start running. I’m a junkie when it comes to running, so the only way you get to eat like I’ve just described is if you run every day. So I’ll be running all weekend. My son is now 16 and a pretty accomplished soccer player, so he’ll probably run with me all four days. Friday we’re going to Broadway. I’m taking five girls in my family -- a couple of nieces and my mom -- and my son, although I’m not sure he’s delighted with it. We’re going to see a not-so-new show, a Tony Award-winning show, called “Once.”

LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE: I’ve got to take my son to get his driver’s permit on Saturday. That’s scary in its own right. I’m going to have to go play golf after that just to get my head right (laughs). Sunday, I have to drive my daughter back to college. My daughter is a freshman at James Madison University, which is seven hours away, so I’ll have to drive her down on Sunday to Virginia. Then I’ll probably go straight up to Washington and work out of Gannett’s DC office on Monday. I feel strongly that if I get seven hours of one-on-one time with my daughter in the car, that’s probably the best seven hours I’ll have of the whole weekend.

Time Warner has extended the contract for CEO JEFF BEWKES for “an additional five years” through ’17. Bewkes has led the company since ’08 (L.A. TIMES, 11/21)….The Eagles on Tuesday "fired" Senior VP/Communications ROB ZEIGER. Zeiger was the “liaison between owner JEFFREY LURIE, other members of the Eagles front office and the media.” He was hired in May ’11 (, 11/20)….The Univ. of Kansas named Univ. of Miami Associate AD/Compliance DAVID REED to the same position. Reed “will be replaced on an interim basis” by Assistant Compliance Dir DAN RABEN. A “national search will be conducted to replace Reed” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/21)….beIN Sport Digital Media named Boston Globe reporter FRANK DELL’APA Managing Editor for its website, which is set to launch Nov. 29. Dell’Apa had been with the paper for 23 years (THE DAILY)….Arizona State Univ.’s Sun Devil Club named COOPER JONES Exec Associate AD, GABE CAGWIN Associate AD and TOM COLLINS Special Consultant to Senior Associate AD ROCKY HARRIS. In addition, BOB VOSSOUGHI was promoted to focus on Leadership Giving for the athletics department (ASU)….The Univ. of Illinois named UConn Senior Dir of Athletic Development ZACH GOINES Dir of Development/Chicago Operations (Illinois).

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The AP’s Jenna Fryer noted NASCAR driver DANICA PATRICK and husband PAUL HOSPENTHAL “are divorcing after seven years of marriage.” Patrick made the announcement Tuesday on Facebook, writing, “Paul and I have decided amicably [to] end our marriage” (AP, 11/20)….Meanwhile, golfer GRAEME MCDOWELL “confirmed he is engaged” to girlfriend KRISTIN STAPE (AP, 11/21).

ON THE OUTSIDE: U.S. officials in court documents Tuesday “made veiled mentions of” SAC Capital Advisors Founder and Mets investor STEVEN COHEN “in an alleged insider-trading scheme they said was the most lucrative ever to be charged.” Cohen “wasn’t charged or mentioned by name,” though he is referred to as “Portfolio Manager A” in an alleged $276M insider-trading scheme (, 11/20). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck noted some were “disappointed Cohen was swept aside at the last minute by an aggressive ... bid by the Guggenheim Baseball Group” to purchase the Dodgers. SAC Capital was “under investigation for insider trading during the bidding process” (, 11/20).

: Ohio State Univ. will use a $10M gift “to build a 4,000-seat arena.” The gift from Covelli Enterprises Owner SAM COVELLI is the “single-largest cash gift to Ohio State’s athletics department.” Covelli Arena will be “home to seven varsity sports, including wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics” (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/21)....Members of the Jazz served a Thanksgiving dinner to “3,600 members of Salt Lake City’s homeless community” Tuesday. It was the 14th year the Jazz had worked in “conjunction with the Salt Lake City Mission and Utah Food Services” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 11/21)….The Bobcats Tuesday hosted their Cats Care initiative, where “more than 1,000 people waited in line outside the arena for Thanksgiving dinner” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/21).

: Nationals GM MIKE RIZZO was named Exec of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association. He will receive the award at a Jan. 24 ceremony in Boston (Nationals)….Former Gold Medal-winning U.S. hockey player MIKE ERUZIONE will have the Lawrence Larsen Rink in his hometown of Winthrop, Mass., renamed Wednesday in his honor. It will be called the Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center (BOSTON HERALD, 11/21)….Former Gold Medal-winning Ukrainian figure skater OKSANA BAIUL is suing the William Morris Endeavor agency, claiming she “has been taken advantage of” (, 11/20)….The S.F. hospital that treated MLB Giants fan BRYAN STOW after he was beaten outside Dodger Stadium last year “asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday for permission to pursue $1.2 million in medical reimbursements from the Dodgers’ insurers” (, 11/20)….An attorney for the Kraft Group argued in court Tuesday that a car crash following a ‘08 concert at Gillette Stadium is “not the company’s fault and that the deceased driver and passenger and another friend who survived had trespassed and illegally brought alcohol to the tailgating festivities.” Norfolk County Superior Court Judge PATRICK BRADY is expected to make a ruling before the end of the year on whether the civil case should proceed (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/21)....The Single-A Midwest League Dayton Dragons were awarded the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy, recognizing MiLB’s “most complete franchise” (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 11/21).