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Volume 24 No. 157

People and Pop Culture

MASN in a lawsuit alleges that L.A. exec search firm Korn/Ferry "cost the regional sports network more than $100,000 by botching the hiring of a potential high-level sales executive," according to Jack Lambert of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. MASN in a suit filed Dec. 7 in Baltimore City Circuit Court claims that Korn/Ferry "failed to help it find a new director of advertising sales for local markets." The suit claims MASN "signed a contract on March 1, 2011 to pay Korn/Ferry a $100,000 retainer, plus administrative fees, to help the network fill the executive position." The net is asking for "the court to order Korn/Ferry to pay $129,736 in damages." Korn/Ferry Senior Client Partner/Media & Entertainment SEAN SCANLON "handled the search," which identified MICHAEL VASTI, "then a local sales manager with WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., as the top candidate for the job." The suit says Scanlon a few months later "left Korn/Ferry." The suit alleges execs from Korn/Ferry "did not contact Vasti once Scanlon left the firm." Lambert notes Vasti’s LinkedIn page says he is now NBCUniversal Dir of Sales for RSNs (, 12/17).

Nike promoted President of Affiliates ROGER WYETT to VP/Action Sports with responsibility for the brand’s skateboarding and snow businesses, as well as Hurley Int’l. Wyett replaces SANDY BODECKER, who will work on special projects involving long-term product innovation. Additionally, Converse CEO JIM CALHOUN will report directly to Nike CEO MARK PARKER. Nike Skate and Nike Snow VP & GM SCOTT LECLAIR will report to Wyett. Hurley interim CEO BOB HURLEY will remain in that position and will report to Wyett. Wyett will report to Nike Exec VP/Global Brand & Category Management TREVOR EDWARDS (Nike).

EXECS: The Astros named Red Sox Senior VP and Red Sox Foundation Exec Dir MEG VAILLANCOURT VP/Community Relations and Astros in Action Foundation Exec Dir. Vaillancourt also previously held roles with the Patriots, the Boston Globe and PBS (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....Law firm Winston & Strawn has established a new sports sub-practice, which will be co-chaired by JEFFREY KESSLER and DAVID FEHER (Winston & Strawn)….England Rugby 2015 named former LOCOG CEO PAUL DEIGHTON to its BOD (PA, 12/17)…. Sponsorship measurement agency Repucom named ANDREW MILNES to head its marketing in the U.K. and Ireland (Repucom)….YES Network named SourceMedia VP/Finance JAMIE BROKOWSKY Controller. She will report to Senior VP/Finance PATRICK CAVANAUGH (YES Network).

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The AP's Stephen Wilson reports "heading the prospective field" of candidates to replace IOC President JACQUES ROGGE in the organization's September ’13 election are IOC members THOMAS BACH, RICHARD CARRION, and NG SER MIANG. Bach, a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer, “shapes up as the favorite.” In the end, a “field of four or five candidates would seem likely” (AP, 12/18).

HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: In Boston, Julian Benbow profiles Boston College AD BRAD BATES under the header, “BC’s Athletic Director Brings Vision To New Position.” Bates “starts his day at 7 a.m. and spends the next 12 hours pushing through a schedule stuffed with faces to know, people to meet, impressions to make.” Bates “inherited one of the finer programs in the country at one of its most pivotal stages” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).

OFFICE SPACE: In Buffalo, James Fink notes Delaware North “continues to review options” as the company is “several months into the search for a new Buffalo headquarters.” The site selection is “expected to to be one of the most coveted in the commercial real estate scene because of the amount of square footage needed and the high global profile.” Company officials “stressed Delaware North is not moving from its Buffalo home base, where it was founded in 1915.” President & CEO CHARLES MORAN JR. said that the search is a “natural progression,” and added that the company “may make a decision” in Q1 ’13 (BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST, 12/14 issue).

ON THE SHELF: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER'S Tatiana Siegel cited sources that said the football drama “Draft Day” was recently shelved by Paramount Pictures. Actor KEVIN COSTNER was expected to star in the film project, which “takes place on the day of the NFL draft," when fictitious Bills GM Sonny Weaver "trades for the No. 1 pick.” A source said that the studio had “decided the movie was unmarketable.” Siegel noted because football is “considered a uniquely American pastime and enjoys little enthusiasm from foreign audiences” (, 12/17).

CAROLINA IN MY MIND: Last night’s two-part episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” featured the cast and crew rebuilding a home for a Lincolnton, N.C., family. The show arranged a trip to Jamaica where the family met and practiced with Jamaican bobsled team trainer RICKY MCINTOSH. Then, when back in North Carolina, the family attended a Bobcats game in the suite of Owner MICHAEL JORDAN. In the suite, there was a table full of Bobcats apparel and merchandise and a personalized letter from Jordan. The design team also created a drive-in theater at the family’s home and NASCAR team Owner MICHAEL WALTRIP donated some cars to be used as seating for the drive-in (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” ABC, 12/17).

COURT REPORT: In L.A., Bill Hetherman noted actress ROBYN COHEN yesterday was “awarded $2.3 million in damages” after saying she “lost most of her personal belongings and perhaps her ability to continue her career as a result of a fire in a West Hollywood apartment building owned by” Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING. An L.A. Superior Court judge found Sterling “liable for breach of contract, breach of the warranty of habitability and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The panel also found that Sterling and his employees “acted with malice toward Cohen, triggering a second phase of trial to begin this afternoon to determine if she is entitled to punitive damages from Sterling” (, 12/17)....In St. Louis, Evan Binns reports MICHAEL STAENBERG "has until Feb. 7 to file a counterclaim to one of the lawsuits his former business partner STAN KROENKE has filed against him.” The two partners, who “launched THF Realty in 1991 and built it into a $230 million commercial real estate empire, are embroiled in a legal battle that involves three lawsuits filed by Kroenke” (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/14 issue).

CHARITY STRIPE: UConn announced the creation of the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund “to honor those who perished in the Newtown school attack.” UConn women’s basketball coach GENO AURIEMMA and wife KATHY have “made an $80,000 lead gift to the fund” (, 12/17)....UNLV men’s basketball coach DAVE RICE and wife MINDY have set up the Dave Rice Foundation, a “nonprofit that educates about development disorders, including autism.” The foundation recently made its “first large donation, $100,000 to the UNLV Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/17)….Sam’s Club has teamed up with Off the Field, a “nonprofit organization comprised of wives of active and retired professional football players.” In all, 220 families selected by the Salvation Army “will receive gifts totaling $220,000.” Cowboys WR DEZ BRYANT’s girlfriend ILYNE NASH, Cowboys S GERALD SENSABAUGH’s wife KRISTIN SMITH SENSABAUGH and Pro Football HOFer TONY DORSETT’s wife JANET were among those that participated in the Dallas area event (, 12/17)….Warriors G STEPHEN CURRY yesterday visited Oakland’s Kaiser Permanente Medical Center to “make surprise bedside visits in the children’s section of the hospital.” The visit was “part of the Warriors’ ’15 Plays For The Holidays’ campaign” (, 12/17).

: Retired U.S. swimmer MICHAEL PHELPS will be one of many faces to “grace the cover of the 2013 World Almanac” (, 12/17)….Rays 3B EVAN LONGORIA’s girlfriend, JAIME EDMONDSON, “announced on Twitter over the weekend that the couple is expecting a child, ‘due spring training ’13’” (, 12/17)....ROMEO BECKHAM, the 10-year-old son of soccer star DAVID BECKHAM, will be a model in Burberry's new Spring Summer '13 ads (, 12/17).