Live Nation has "pushed out" Ticketmaster CEO NATHAN HUBBARD, according to sources cited by Hannah Karp of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Sources offered "different explanations for the move" to replace Hubbard, who had been in the position since January '10. Some said that it was "because of a long-running power struggle" with Live Nation President & CEO MICHAEL RAPINO. Other sources "attributed it to the company's desire to find a Ticketmaster president with a deeper background in technology and management." One source said that the company is "seeking a 'tech guru' ... hoping to expand the ticketing platform into a major e-commerce site." Ticketmaster North America President JARED SMITH took over Hubbard's duties "months ago running Ticketmaster day-to-day." Relationships with sports teams and the press also have "been a bone of contention" between Hubbard and Rapino. A source said that the tension "came to a head recently at a gathering of NBA teams," where Hubbard's "close ties to the league's owners and executives were evident." However, another source said that the tension "had no bearing on the decision to replace" Hubbard. The source said that Rapino over the past year has "become more personally engaged in the ticketing business" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/13). In N.Y., Ben Sisario writes Hubbard has "made himself the public face of Ticketmaster, embracing the challenge of turning around the brand’s negative image among consumers, who frequently blame it for the high surcharges and other headaches related to buying concert and sporting tickets" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/13).
People and Pop Culture
The Blue Jackets named former NHLer JODY SHELLEY Broadcast Associate & Team Ambassador (Blue Jackets)….The Canucks named PAT CONACHER Dir of Hockey Operations for the club’s new AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets (VANCOUVER SUN, 8/13)….The Big Ten named KIMBERLY SMITH Dir of HR, BRANDON WINBUSH Dir of IT, TONY BUYNISKI Dir of Video Services, BRIAN KEIDEL Assistant Dir of Video Services and ADAM AUGUSTINE and BRETT MCWETHY Associate ADs/Communications. The conference also promoted BRENDA HILTON to Dir of Building Services (Big Ten)….TV tech firm Ensequence named former ESPN Senior VP/Affiliate Ad Sales GARY PERRELLI Senior VP/Interactive Sales (CABLEFAX DAILY, 8/13)....Former Game Face Inc. Senior VP/Exec Search JEFF YOCOM has started Marquee Search, an exec recruiting firm with expertise in sports and entertainment. Yocom will take over the client base he established at Game Face and will continue to collaborate with Game Face and Founder & President ROB CORNILLES going forward (Game Face)....Mobile marketing outfit Phizzle has hired Mobivity SVP/Sales & Business Development MICHAEL FALATO as VP/Sales & Business Development. Falato had been with Mobivity and its predecessor Txtstation since '06 (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
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Convicted Boston mobster WHITEY BULGER "will be allowed to keep" his Stanley Cup ring that was "seized from the Santa Monica, Calif., apartment in which he was hiding out." The ring is "believed to have once belonged" to former NHLer CHRIS NILAN, who won the '86 Stanley Cup with the Canadiens. Nilan was "married to the daughter of Bulger's then-girlfriend" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/12).
CHARITY STRIPE: N.Y.-based charity Seats of Dreams has been transferring "unused event tickets to disadvantaged, disabled or sick kids" at sporting events since last year. Rays VP/Sales & Service BRIAN RICHESON said that Seats of Dreams co-Founder DAVID BIEBER "contacted the team before the season started." Seats of Dreams has "one other official partnership -- the Boston Blades, a women's hockey team." However, Bieber said that they are "working on securing the Yankees" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/13).
NAMES: Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ "has hired top New York criminal defense lawyer JOE TACOPINA to bolster his legal team" in his appeal against MLB's 211-game PED suspension (N.Y. POST, 8/13)....The Shawn Thornton Foundation held its fourth annual "Putts & Punches for Parkinson's" charity golf tournament yesterday at Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton, Mass. Proceeds from the event "will benefit the American Parkinson Disease Association and the Boston Bruins Foundation" (ESPN.com, 8/12)....Liberty Media Chair JOHN MALONE has sold $3.4M in Discovery Communications stock (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 8/13)....Mets 3B DAVID WRIGHT and his fiancée, MOLLY BEERS, have reportedly set Dec. 26 as their wedding date (N.Y. POST, 8/13)….Knicks G BENO UDRIH and his wife, MICHELLE, have purchased a “new 8,500-square-foot home” in Seattle for $4.4M (PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/9 issue).
IN MEMORY: Former Univ. of Arizona broadcaster DAVE SITTON died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 58. Sitton called UA football and basketball games from '90-'12. He also “ran in a Republican special primary" to replace former U.S. Rep. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS in ‘12, but “received just 17 percent of the vote” (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 8/13). Sitton was “perhaps best known locally for his charity involvement.” He was a “member of the Tucson Conquistadores” and “served on the board of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/13).