Entercom Boston yesterday hired Salt Lake City-based KFAN-AM Program Dir KEVIN GRAHAM to lead WEEI-FM as its new Brand Manager. Graham will begin work at WEEI in early September. He replaces JASON WOLFE, who was fired last week (Entercom). In Boston, Chad Finn noted Graham also has "worked at and/or helped build sports stations in Columbus, Pittsburgh, ESPN Radio in New York City, and Detroit." He has "significant experience in on-line media, an area of increased emphasis at WEEI." Entercom VP, GM & Market Manager JEFF BROWN said, "WEEI is a more complete sports brand than ever before" (BOSTON.com, 8/21). Brown in a statement said Graham will be in charge of the "entire WEEI ecosystem." In Boston, Gayle Fee notes that includes "directing on-air, online, mobile, Red Sox play-by-play and the station’s regional sports network." What remains to be seen is "whether Graham will make any changes to the station’s on-air lineup." The "once-dominant sports talker has undergone major upheaval over the past six months." In addition to Wolfe's departure, WEEI fired longtime afternoon-drive host GLENN ORDWAY in February and earlier this week announced it will "no longer carry the Celtics radio broadcasts." Ordway and the Celtics were "strictly money-saving moves" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/22).
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The Bills named XOS Digital/Collegiate Images VP & General Counsel GREGG BRANDON to the same position. He is the brother of Bills President & CEO RUSS BRANDON (BUFFALONEWS.com, 8/21)….Johns Hopkins Univ. promoted Associate Dir of Development for Athletics GRANT KELLY to Dir of Development for Athletics (JHU)….Alfred Univ. promoted Dir of Athletic Facilities & Equipment TONY AQUILINA to Assistant AD/Internal Operations (Alfred).
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Texas A&M Chancellor JOHN SHARP yesterday in an e-mail sent to community and business leaders "questioned the reporting done by ESPN's DARREN ROVELL as the NCAA continues its investigation" of Texas A&M QB JOHNNY MANZIEL. Sharp said his comments were his "personal" view and his motivation was because of the "ongoing and productive dialogue with the NCAA during their investigation, as required." He then mentions Rovell and other "members of the media (who) have chosen to declare # 2 guilty with no evidence whatsoever." Sharp wrote, "It is surprising that the nation's largest sports channel would support publication with this lack of corroboration" (STATESMAN.com, 8/21).
MY NEW BFF: UFC President DANA WHITE sat next to Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT in Kraft's suite during last Friday's preseason game against the Buccaneers, and he called Kraft the "nicest guy I've ever met." White: "He meets me right when I get there, takes me down to the field, we're up in his box and then literally, takes me down for the prayer after the game and then BELICHICK comes in and gives a speech. Just the coolest thing that could ever happen" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 8/21).
SPANISH CLASS: Lakers F PAU GASOL has "decided to join" Madrid's bid for the '20 Olympics and plans to attend the presentation to the IOC in September. Gasol has canceled "countless agreements with sponsors that he previously had scheduled." Tennis player RAFAEL NADAL "may not be able to attend" because of his participation in the U.S. Open (BERNABEAU DIGITAL, 8/21).
BEAMER BALL: Virginia Tech football coach FRANK BEAMER will release his book, "LET ME BE FRANK -- MY LIFE AT VIRGINIA TECH" next month. Beamer in the autobiography, which was written with author JEFF SNOOK, "opens up as never before about the shootings that struck" the school in '07, some "coaching decisions he second-guesses and the severe burns he sustained at age 7 -- he endured more than 30 subsequent surgeries" (DAILYPRESS.com, 8/20).
NAMES: Jaguars Owner SHAHID KHAN has given financial support to a new “'accelerator' program called KYN, located in a downtown office space and spearheaded by organizers of the One Spark festival." Over a 16-week period, businesses in the program will "get a crash course in how to take their concepts to a bigger stage" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/22).... Film director RON HOWARD yesterday "visited Madrid for a few hours" to talk about the upcoming F1 film "RUSH" (AS, 8/21)....ESPN MLB analyst DOUG GLANVILLE has “taken a loss” on his 2,330-square-foot, four-bedroom brick house in the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago. He sold it for $815,000 after purchasing it for $977,000 in early ’06 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/22)….Former NFLer BRAD CULPEPPER has been chosen as one of 20 contestants for the upcoming season of “SURVIVOR" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/21)….ROGER FEDERER partied at Moet & Chandon’s 270th anniversary party Tuesday night at Pier 59 in N.Y. (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/22)….Golfer RORY MCILROY and his girlfriend, tennis player CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, recently dined at the Southampton Social Club (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/22).