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Volume 24 No. 157

People and Pop Culture

USA Today Sports Media Group yesterday named DAVE MORGAN President. Morgan succeeds TOM BEUSSE, who was President of the unit since its formation in early '11 and is now leaving to pursue other opportunities. Morgan, a former L.A. Times and Yahoo Sports exec, had been Senior VP/Content and Editor-in-Chief for USA Today Sports Media Group. USA Today President & Publisher LARRY KRAMER said, "Dave's newsroom experience and business background make him the right fit to lead our sports team as we transition from entrepreneurial startup into the next phase of development." Industry sources pointed to a divergence in long-term vision for the company between Beusse and corporate parent Gannett. While with the USA Today Sports Media Group, Beusse helped lead the purchase of Big Lead Sports, the establishment of Sports On Earth, and the creation of For The Win, USA Today Sports Images, and USA Today High School Sports.

Carroll (l) says Salt Lake City's tight-knit
business community helps make RSL relevant
MLS Real Salt Lake VP/Corporate Sponsorships ANDY CARROLL has had to hit the ground running since taking the position this year, as the club's jersey sponsorship deal with juice brand Xango expires after this season. Carroll, who previously worked as CMO for the ECHL Utah Grizzlies and Maverik Center, recently discussed the ups and downs of big-time sports in a small market, the impact of potential MLS expansion, and how to find fresh seafood in a landlocked city. 

Trends in sponsorship...
Partners continue to want to see more return on investment and they want us to be able to demonstrate more return on investment, so buyers are continuing to scrutinize partnerships at heightened levels. We spend a lot of time on research and looking at the various criteria that they’re looking for. How do they penetrate the clutter and how we’re different.

Life in a small market...
It’s not like we have national consumer-goods companies dying to resonate in the Utah market like you would on the East Coast or West Coast, or Dallas, Chicago. That’s a challenge for us. But conversely, it’s a very tight-knit business community; as one of two major-league teams in this market, we’re very relevant. We’re highly relevant in the marketplace to the businesses that are out here, but we don’t have as broad a pool because a lot of the consumer-good companies have made a deal on the coast or bigger markets. This isn't really a market that they’re focused on because companies are reevaluating their sponsorship investments. 

Growing all the time...
MLS expansion is a benefit to us. Obviously, the more relevant that the league becomes, the rising tide lifts all boats. And I think it gives us the opportunity to offer penetration to other markets with our jersey front partners and other partners. So expansion offers considerable value for all of our partners.

Negotiations go awry when...
A lot of times people will be more concerned with what they need out of the negotiations as opposed to what the other party needs, so you’re not as dynamic of a listener. But if you have two parties that are willing, you can come up with solutions.

Best advice I've ever received...
Life is about attitude. How successful you are and how you look at situations is about your attitude. If your attitude is, “I’m going to figure out a way regardless of how big the challenge is. I’m going to figure out a way to be successful and come up with a solution,” then I don’t care what it is. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.

Smartphone of choice...
The iPhone 4S, because of convenience. It does everything. It’s not the biggest screen, but it’s adequate. It does everything very well, and it doesn't give me reason to look someplace else.

Best business lunch in the SLC...
Marketstreet Oyster Bar. They fly their fish in fresh every day.

How I unwind...
Mobile skiing and tennis.

IOC Finance Committee Chair RICHARD CARRION has "resigned from his key roles in the Olympic body following his failed bid" for the presidency, won by THOMAS BACH last month. Carrion, who remains a regular IOC member, also resigned as "negotiator of television rights deals outside Europe, but has agreed to remain in that role" through the Sochi Games. Bach asked Singapore’s NG SER MIANG to "chair the next meeting of the finance commission in December." Sweden's ARNE LJUNGQVIST and Norway's GERHARD HEIBERG are to stay on as chairs of the Medical and Marketing commissions, respectively, through the Sochi Games. Meanwhile, the IOC announced that JOHN COATES will head the Coordination Commission for the '20 Tokyo Games (AP, 10/16).

EXECS: NBCUniversal yesterday promoted NBC Sports Group Exec VP/Sales & Marketing SETH WINTER to Exec VP/Ad Sales News & Sports Group, adding ad sales oversight for the NBCUniversal News Group in addition to continuing his role with NBC Sports (NBCU)....The Bucks named JOANNE ANTON Project Coordinator and Special Assistant to Owner HERB KOHL. Anton was an aide to Kohl when he was in the U.S. Senate (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/11 issue)....Southeastern Louisiana Univ. appointed interim AD JAY ARTIGUES to the position permanently. He has been interim AD since BART BELLAIRS left the school in June (SLU)....The Southland Conference named ADAM GRAMS Assistant Commissioner for Compliance Services (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 10/16)....MIT named Catholic Univ. Assistant AD/Sports Medicine LAUREN HAYNIE Special Assistant to AD JULIE SORIERO (MIT)....The Pensacola News Journal named JASON BLAKENEY Sports Editor. Blakeney has been with the paper since ’07, and will continue in his role as News Editor (, 10/15)....360 Architecture hired BILL CROCKETT for its S.F. team (360 Architecture).

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Turner Sports' ERNIE JOHNSON is profiled by the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH's Dan Caesar, who writes Johnson has a "very public career at which he has become a major success," but his "biggest accomplishments come in his home in suburban Atlanta." Ernie and CHERYL JOHNSON's adult son, MICHAEL, whom they "adopted as a refugee from Eastern Europe when he was a young boy, lives with them and is on life support -- as he has been for two long years." The "joy of having young Michael in the house led them to adopt a healthy 7-month-old girl, CARMEN, from Paraguay" in '93. Then in '11, the "same year Michael’s big challenge arose, the Johnsons brought in two girls -- ALLISON and ASHLEY." Turner Sports VP & Exec Producer TIM KIELY said of Johnson, "He's adopted all these children; he's just an amazing human being without any ego" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/16).

GIRL POWER: USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside writes of "all the hats and helmets" IOC member ANGELA RUGGIERO wears, her involvement with the Women's Sports Foundation is "closest to her heart." Ruggiero joined the foundation's BOD in '09 and became President this year. Tennis HOFer BILLIE JEAN KING, who started the foundation in '74, said of Ruggiero, "She just wants to make a difference in the world. She's very flexible; she's nimble. She can do different things, have different roles in different situations" (USA TODAY, 10/16).

I'LL PLAY YOU FOR IT: Grizzlies Owner ROBERT PERA "took to Twitter late Monday to challenge" Basketball HOFer and Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN "to a game of one-on-one." Pera said that he will put up $1M "for charity after dismissing a suggestion" that he play Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/16). Pera's Twitter avatar shows him "in mid-jump shot with a shooting sleeve on his left arm." He has "posted a video of him working out on the Grizzlies practice court, connecting on mid-range jumpers" (AP, 10/15).

NAMES: The Gene and Jerry Jones Family North Texas Youth Education Town opened on Monday, and the $4.75M facility is a "legacy of the 2011 Super Bowl that will help disadvantaged children and their parents." The facility has space "dedicated for educational and recreational activities, including after-school homework help, GED classes and workforce assistance" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/15)....Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT's Rock Ventures and its real estate arm have "purchased two more properties" in Detroit, bringing its total holdings in the city's downtown to more than 40 properties. Gilbert now has a total of "about 8 million square feet of commercial and parking space downtown" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/16)....A group of fifth graders from a Bronx after-school enrichment program spent yesterday afternoon with Knicks Fs METTA WORLD PEACE and ANDREA BARGNANI for "a tour of Manhattan atop a double-decker bus," put on by MSG charity Garden of Dreams (N.Y. TIMES, 10/16)....Pearl Jam frontman EDDIE VEDDER "was at Fenway over the weekend" to watch the Red Sox host the Tigers in the ALCS (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/16)....Former U.S. Olympic diver GREG LOUGANIS on Saturday married his partner, JOHNNY CHAILLOT, in Malibu (, 10/15).