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Volume 24 No. 113

People and Pop Culture

Disney Chair & CEO ROBERT IGER "will remain" as CEO through June '16, which is "15 months longer than expected," according to Daniel Miller of the L.A. TIMES. Iger had been "slated to step down from the chief executive role after March 31, 2015." He now will "vacate both posts on the same day in 2016." By extending Iger's CEO deal, Disney also "gives itself more time to choose a successor for him" (L.A. TIMES, 7/2). However, in N.Y., Brooks Barnes writes keeping Iger as CEO "does not signal that Disney needs more time to groom a successor." Instead the move "reflects an if-it's-not-broken-don't-fix-it strategy." Barnes notes Iger's "compensation will not change" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/2). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ben Fritz notes Iger has "never named" a president or COO, and there has been "no indication whether he plans to put anyone into such a post" before '16 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/2). VARIETY's Dave McNary wrote the move was "not a surprise," as "speculation has grown this year that Iger was backing away" from his '11 pledge to relinquish the CEO title (, 7/1). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Masters & Bond cited sources as saying that the move came after Iger "weighed and decided against a possible run for governor of California." A source said that Iger "likely wants to see through the completion" of the company's $3.7B theme park in Shanghai, which is set to open in '16. Iger also is "believed to have a desire to oversee the first of the newly acquired Lucasfilm's new 'Star Wars' movies" (, 7/1).

The Mets yesterday named Pirates Exec VP & CMO LOU DEPAOLI to the newly created position of Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer. DePaoli will join the team July 22. The Pirates during his tenure saw the fourth-largest percent increase in MLB attendance from '09-12 (Mets). In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes while the title "represents a new position for the Mets, as sales chief, DePaoli is replacing" former Exec VP/Business Operations DAVE HOWARD, who left in March after 20 years to become MSG Sports President. DePaoli, who has a "rare combination of ticketing and sponsorship sales acumen, will head all revenue areas for the Mets and report to COO JEFF WILPON." Before his time with the Pirates, DePaoli was Exec VP & CMO for the Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena. He also "spent five years with the NBA," as VP/Team Marketing & Business Development, and from '96-'00, he was Marlins Ticket Sales Dir and later VP/Sales & Marketing (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/1 issue).

The American Athletic Conference promoted Associate Commissioner TOM ODJAKJIAN to Senior Associate Commissioner/Broadcasting & Digital Content and removed the interim tag from CFO JOHN LARSON's title. The conference also promoted MARK HODGKIN to Senior Dir of Digital Media, MICHAEL COSTA to Dir of Football & Video Administration, LOIS DEBLOIS to Exec Assistant for Administration, MICHAEL COYNE to Assistant Dir of Broadcast Scheduling, CATHERINE CARMIGNANI to Branding & Event Coordinator and JAMIE CORUN to Digital Communications Coordinator (AAC).

TOP JOBS ON CAMPUS: Eastern Michigan Univ. named Ohio State Univ. Senior Associate AD HEATHER LYKE VP & AD (EMU). Lyke's five-year deal is "scheduled to pay her $245,000 annually with incentives based on bowl appearances, championships, academics and attendance." She begins July 22 and will be the first female AD at EMU (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/2)....The Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe named Univ. of California-Riverside AD BRIAN WICKSTROM to the same position. Wickstrom's salary "will be $145,000 annually without supplements from the athletic foundation" (, 7/1). 

EXECS: East Carolina Univ. named Northern Illinois Univ. Associate AD/Development & Marketing SHELLEY BINEGAR Associate AD/External Operations (ECU)....Loyola Univ. Maryland named Johns Hopkins Univ. video producer REILLY BRADSHAW Asssistant Dir of Athletic Communications. The school also promoted CHRIS ARCHACKI to Assistant AD/Business Operations, RYAN EIGENBRODE to Assistant AD/Communications and AMANDA MCCLURE to Associate Dir of Athletic Communications (Loyola)....Southeast Missouri Univ. promoted NATE SAVERINO to Assistant AD/External Affairs (Southeast Missouri)....High Point Univ. promoted JON LITCHFIELD to Associate AD/Communications and JARED MICKLOS to Associate AD/Internal Operations (HPU)....Columbus State Univ. promoted BRYAN SENIOR to Assistant AD/Business Operations (CSU).

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AECOM yesterday parted ways with sports designer BILL CROCKETT, the principal-in-charge of the Warriors’ S.F. arena project. Crockett confirmed he is no longer employed with the firm. AECOM officials did not return e-mails for comment. Crockett worked for AECOM and its predecessor, Ellerbe Beckett, for 25 years, and was one of its first hires after Ellerbe launched its K.C.-based sports practice in '88. Over that period of time, Crockett designed several major facilities, including Barclays Center, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Rose Garden and CenturyLink Field. Crockett will remain in S.F. and said he is “fielding several opportunities” to join other firms (Don Muret, Staff Writer).

EXECS: The PGA of America announced that it will establish a N.Y. office. CMO KEVIN RING will relocate to the area for a planned fall opening (PGA of America)....The Single-A Northwest League Salem Volcanoes named NASL FC Edmonton GM TOM LEIP President of Business Operations (Volcanoes)....Consultants DAVID HAAS and MICHAEL VAJDA recently launched consulting, activation and experential marketing company Synertia Partners (THE DAILY)....Moffett Research named Nomura Securities Managing Dir MICHAEL NATHANSON Media Analyst (THE DAILY)....Repucom named Deloitte & Touche Partner ROD MILLOTT Global CFO. Millott will be based in Stamford, Conn. (Repucom)....Exec search firm Sports Group Int'l named Sun Capital Sports Licensing & E-Commerce Dir ROB GRADY VP/Sports Business (SGI)....CFL BC Lions VP/Football Operations & GM WALLY BUONO and President & CEO DENNIS SKULSKY "both signed contract extensions, keeping them with the Lions through the end of the 2016 season" (CP, 7/1)....The Sharks named Capitals Media Relations Manager BEN GUERRERO to the same position (Sharks)….The MLS Sounders hired MARC NICHOLLS to start the team’s U14 development academy program (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 7/2).

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The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ben Fritz notes Steelers investor THOMAS TULL's Legendary Pictures has "co-financed a string of hits with Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.," making Legendary "something of a specialist in films that connect with young male moviegoers." But sources said that Legendary's partnership with Warner Bros. "expires at the end of 2013 and is unlikely to be renewed." Legendary previously produced the JACKIE ROBINSON biopic "42," but it was an "inexpensive film driven less by Legendary's business strategy than the passion" of Tull. The 43-year-old Tull said that he now desires a partner that "not only tolerates but advocates the Legendary brand." Sources said that disputes over "public recognition for its role in hit movies were a key reason why relations between Legendary and Warner Bros. frayed" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/2).

BOOK WORM: In Sacramento, Dale Kasler wrote NBA Kings Managing Partner VIVEK RANADIVE "isn't shy about sharing his views on organizational behavior, information technology, motivating employees and other topics." He has "written three books on business and management, all devoted to the same basic theme: Executives must develop the skills to make snap decisions, even when they have limited information." His writings also "drop a few hints about how Ranadive will run the Kings" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/1).

PICTURE PERFECT: Chicago-based photographer DON LEVEY, who took the photos of the "Super Bowl Shuffle," and whose Leveyfilm Inc. owns the image on the album cover of the famous '85 Bears video, is "suing Chicago Tribune Co. LLC and Fox Sports Interactive Meida LLC for copyright infringement." Levey alleges that each party "used the image in online articles without his studio's permission or without properly crediting the photo" (, 7/1).

MOVIE MANIA: UFC fighter ANDERSON SILVA will "play his most significant American movie role in what is expected to be" a $2M independent film "about a single father who fights in an MMA match." It will be called "MONDAY NIGHTS AT SEVEN," and be produced by EDWARD JAMES OLMOS (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/2)....Showtime has slated Aug. 23 to premiere "VENUS AND SERENA," even after the USTA "filed a suit to block the film." Making the "showdown between the USTA and the filmmakers more dramatic is that the cable premiere will now take place just three days" before the U.S. Open begins (N.Y. POST, 7/2).

NAMES: Orlando Magazine ranked Magic CEO ALEX MARTINS No. 9 on its "50 Most Powerful People in Orlando" list (, 7/1)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast GABBY DOUGLAS on Sunday at the BET Awards won the Young Stars award and Sportswoman of the Year. Heat F LEBRON JAMES was named Sportsman of the Year and Heat G DWYANE WADE was "given a humanitarian award for his Wade's World Foundation" (, 7/1)....The 23rd annual Taste of the NFL Party during the Super Bowl will "take place at Pier 12 in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal" and will be hosted by Food Network's TED ALLEN (, 7/1)....Syracuse BOT Chair DICK THOMPSON and his wife, JEAN, yesterday announced that they would donate $1M “to celebrate the university’s move to the ACC and to help the school’s athletic programs make the transition to the conference” (, 7/1)….Sabres G RYAN MILLER has “sold his Elmwood Village townhouse for $640,000.” The home, which was “custom-designed for Miller” in ’07, had been “listed at the end of April for $659,900” (BUFFALO NEWS, 7/2).

IN MEMORY: New Orleans-based WLAE-TV sports reporter and host KENNY WILKERSON died on Saturday “after a months-long battle with cancer.” Wilkerson “worked at WWL radio for 17 years” as Saints beat reporter, and partnered with BUDDY DILIBERTO “in the station’s afternoon sports-talk time slot” (, 7/1)….Former Middle Tennessee AD & baseball coach JOHN STANFORD died yesterday. Stanford served as AD until ’94 (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/2).