BRIAN GREY is stepping down as Bleacher Report CEO and Turner Sports Senior VP "to pursue the next chapter in his professional career," according to internal memos obtained by THE DAILY. Longtime Turner exec MATT HONG will take over Grey's duties. "From the onset of our initial interest in Bleacher Report, during the acquisition stage and throughout the past year, Matt has been an instrumental figure in leading the integration of the brand into the Turner portfolio," Turner Sports Exec VP & COO LENNY DANIELS wrote in an internal memo. Bleacher Report co-Founder & Chief Content Officer DAVE FINOCCHIO and Chief Technology Offer SAM PARNELL will report to Hong, with Finocchio overseeing Bleacher Report's day-to-day functions. "Today begins the next chapter in what has been an amazing story and one that I am immensely proud to have been a part of for more than 3 years," Grey said in a memo sent to staff Thursday. Grey, a former exec at Fox Sports, Polaris Venture Partners and Yahoo, joined Bleacher Report in June '10 and played a significant role in the expansion of the site's content profile that included the recent hiring of noted basketball writer HOWARD BECK, the closing of a round of venture-capital funding worth more than $22M and last summer's acquisition of the company by Turner for an estimated $175M. Grey's future plans have not been disclosed.
People and Pop Culture
Marketers must adapt to an ever-changing marketplace, and Wasserman Media Group Senior VP/Multicultural Marketing HEIDI PELLERANO is no stranger to adaptation. She adjusted to life in North Carolina after living in Puerto Rico until the age of 15. She adapted to the sports industry after beginning her professional life closer to the engineering field. But away from work, she gravitates toward the familiar, whether it is the company of her extended family or the comfort of meals she remembers from childhood.
TIME TO CONNECT: For me, the weekends play a few roles. ... I have family here in Miami that I hadn’t seen in a long time, so now that I moved here, I can have dinner with them or go shopping or catch a movie. Being new to Miami, the other part is making new friends and getting more comfortable making this my home. My family are spread all over, so thank God for the invention of the telephone. My mom tells me everything that’s going on in Puerto Rico, and my dad tells me the latest statistics in baseball. He’s a huge baseball guy and a golf guy, so he gets very depressed when the season ends. I’m waiting for that speech at the end of October. It’s the same one every year. I grew up playing basketball, but I cannot get him to follow basketball to save my life.
THE COOL AUNT: Weekends are also an important time for me to catch up with my brother’s three kids. My oldest niece just started college, so it’s been good talking to her about going to her first college football game and her first exam. It’s all the stuff I love, and hopefully I get to play a little bit of the “cool aunt.” My middle nephew started his first fantasy football league, so I helped with his draft board. We spend a lot of time on the weekend talking stats.
LA ISLA BONITA: Now that I’m in Miami, it gives me the flexibility to get back to Puerto Rico. My parents definitely come here more often. They love that it’s a two-hour flight. I go home two, maybe three times a year, but no more, because my mom comes every quarter. ... In our culture, you always get Holy Week, the week of Easter, off. Our family would go to different parts of the island. Now you go back, you see things are different. ... That’s where my heart is and will always be, but it is amazing to see how things have changed.
A COOK’S TOUR: Sunday is my cooking day. I usually eat out on Saturday and try a new restaurant. But Sundays, I get to reminisce about all the things I’ve been taught by my parents, who are fantastic cooks. It’s really cool when they call me on Sunday afternoon, and I’m like, “Dad, I’m making your pork loin and tamarind sauce recipe,” and I can see him beaming through the phone. Food for me is a way to stay connected to my family and my culture, no matter where I am. ... When I have to work on a Sunday, it throws me off the rest of the week.
ONE OF A KIND: There’s an experience in Puerto Rico called lechonera. The middle of the island is a mountain ridge, and there is a road that goes up the mountain, and it’s all these places. They put the pig on a spit, and there is no place like it. If you go to Puerto Rico, you have to try that. They might not look like the best places. They are usually little huts, but the food is just amazing. I’ve had them here in Miami, which you would think gets close. But no, not even close.
SEASONS IN THE SUN: This time of year is very busy from two things. You have client planning, so you’re doing a lot of material for your clients for their planning season, their budgeting season. And on top of that you have your own internal planning and budgeting. September, October, November can be very busy, then on top of that you add the holiday schedule. It can be a very difficult stretch. For me, the quietest time of the year is early January, because a lot of Latin culture is not back at work yet. Especially in Latin America, they don’t get back to work until the second or third week of January.
The Big East named JENNIFER CONDARAS Associate Commissioner/Compliance & Governance, JOHN PAQUETTE Associate Commissioner/Sports Media Relations, CHRIS SCHNEIDER Associate Commissioner/Olympic Sports, SHAWN MURPHY Associate Commissioner/Men's Basketball Operations, KEVIN FLANAGAN Business Officer, NAOMI HUSTON Exec Assistant, and JOE D'ANTONIO Senior Associate Commissioner/Administration & NCAA Relations (Big East)....The American Athletic Conference named USC Associate VP/Athletic Compliance ELLEN FERRIS Associate Commissioner/Governance & Compliance (AAC)....The Univ. of Toledo extended AD MIKE O’BRIEN's contract for five years through July '21. He is in his 12th year at Toledo (TOLEDO BLADE, 10/2)....Case Western Reserve Univ. named Associate AD PAT KENNEDY interim AD. Kennedy takes over for DAVE DILES, who left the AD post for the same position at VMI (Case Western).
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L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission interim GM JOHN SANDBROOK was “singled out” on Thursday by L.A. County Superior Court Judge LUIS LAVIN, who said that the commission “appeared to have repeatedly violated the state’s open-meeting law during its months of closed-door deliberations on USC’s lease of the taxpayer-owned stadium." In “pointed language,” Lavin said that he was “prepared to issue an injunction against the commission that would restrict what it could discuss in secret sessions and require it to record all of its private meetings for three years.” However, Lavin said that he was “not inclined to void” the coliseum's lease with USC (L.A. TIMES, 10/4).
NAMES: USC AD PAT HADEN, Arkansas AD JEFF LONG, Clemson AD DAN RADAKOVICH, Wisconsin AD BARRY ALVAREZ and West Virginia AD OLIVER LUCK are “expected to be members" of the College Football Playoff selection committee (AP, 10/3)....Nets C BROOK LOPEZ and his twin brother, Trail Blazers C ROBIN LOPEZ, “have been shopping” a script for an animated adventure/comedy to TV networks (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/4)....Warriors G STEPHEN CURRY has moved into a new home in Lafayette, Calif., and listed his home in Oakland for $1.7M (SFGATE.com, 10/3).