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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

The Northeast has been hit hard with snow and freezing temperatures again this week, stirring up even more conversation on the NFL’s first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl. HBO Sports President KEN HERSHMAN, a New Jersey resident, said, “The Super Bowl, I dunno, I think they’re getting a little nervous.” Though a regular at MetLife Stadium for Jets games, Hershman said he gave away his Super Bowl tickets and will instead host a viewing party at his home in Morris County. “Too cold and too chaotic for us,” he said. “I know going anywhere near that stadium on the weekend will be crazy.” But before Hershman can turn his attention towards football, he has to get through a jam-packed schedule this weekend that includes a retirement party, a Saturday night boxing match and Sunday family dinner.

GOODBYE IS NEVER EASY: Our longtime boxing director MARC PAYTON is leaving to retire after 33 years with the network. So we’re having a Friday night sendoff for him, which should be very special. He’s just one of those industry sweethearts that everybody who encounters him respects his work and more importantly loves him as a person. He’s going to be really missed, but he’s done it for so long and he deserves a break. He wants to travel and enjoy the nice things in life and he’s earned it. We’re going to miss him but we’re going to keep tabs on him and keep pulling him back in to support us as we need it, especially as we develop a new director. ... We prepared a nice video tribute for him and it’s going to be really fun.

THREE'S COMPANY: On Saturday I’ll go to the gym in the morning. One of my daughters is home from college so we’ll probably go to a little local dinner, have some eggs and catch up. I have three daughters. One named JILLIAN, who lives in New York, and the other two are in college. My oldest is home for the winter break, and she’s very much into the theatre. So if we can catch Broadway shows together or see some movies, she likes that kind of thing. My middle daughter, she goes to the University of Wisconsin so we go out there and go to Camp Randall Stadium and watch football games and hang out with her and her friends. But now she’s in Spain studying a semester abroad, so we’re going to go visit her over there. The little one, she’s 18, is all about sports. So she always wants to go to a Knicks game or a boxing event or whatever. We’re also long-suffering Jets fans so we like to do those games as well.

MAN'S BEST FRIEND: We have two puppies and they’re a handful, but they’re great dogs. One is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the other is a combination of a Cavalier and a Cocker Spaniel. We enjoy them. We had a Welsh Springer Spaniel that passed away a few years ago, so we’ve only had these guys for about eight months now. I have an extensive travel schedule so they keep my wife company while I’m away. But we have some trails nearby and a dog park and a fenced-in yard, so I like to run around with the dogs for a little bit before I head into the city and get ready for the fight.

A GOOD, CLEAN FIGHT: Saturday night we have our first boxing event of the year in New York City at Madison Square Garden. So I get to come in and go to the mecca of boxing, see one of our up and coming boxing stars in MIKEY GARCIA in what will hopefully be an exciting fight. And there’s a whole bunch of activities around that fight that I’ll be attending. ... There’s not a lot for me to do the day of the fight, it’s really up to my production team. So what I’m doing is networking and talking to people and working on plans for future events.

PRIME SEATING: I go to my seat and I get to enjoy the fight as every fight fan in the arena gets to do. Sometimes I’ll sit as a fan just in the regular seats, and other times I’ll sit at our production table where I can listen to the telecast. It depends on if I have guests with me or if I’m by myself. If I’m by myself, most of the time I’ll sit with the media in the production area and listen to the telecast and be able to interface with the boxing press while the fight’s going. My youngest daughter is a big fight fan, she loves to come so she’ll be coming Saturday night. My wife and my other daughters like all the hoopla around the fights, and just tolerate the boxing part.

PUZZLE ME THIS: I love the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, and it comes on Saturday, which is the best. And I love to get up in the morning early, after the gym, pick the paper up from the driveway and have a chair in a room where no one else is, while everyone is sleeping, and do the crossword puzzle. That’s my guilty pleasure for the weekend.

GATHER 'ROUND THE TABLE: We have a Sunday night dinner with my wife’s family and us, it’s a tradition every Sunday night and that’s how we sort of end the weekend. I grew up here and my wife grew up in New Jersey. Her parents are here, my parents are still in the area and her sister and their family are still here. So we run around and buy food and wine and dessert for that and then prepare that big meal. We host it at our house or theirs -- it rotates but no official schedule. ... My brother-in-law’s a real chef so it gets pretty complicated, but he does all the cooking and I just drink the wine.

Rogers Media promoted President of Broadcast SCOTT MOORE to President of Sportsnet & NHL (Rogers Media). Moore's former role saw him "overseeing programming and production at the company's TV and radio assets." The move comes after Sportsnet in November "outbid rival TSN for the broadcast rights" to the NHL (, 1/23). The company also named Bell Media Exec VP/Content Sales & Distribution BART YABSLEY Senior VP/NHL & Video Distribution, effective Jan. 27 (Rogers Media).

: IndyCar VP/PR & Communications AMY KONRATH is leaving the governing body. Konrath "spent nine years with the organization before deciding last week to take a job in her hometown" of K.C. (, 1/23)....Indiana-based PR & marketing firm GRand Solutions has hired Indianapolis Motor Speedway Communications Manager PAUL KELLY to oversee planning and execution of the firm's communications programs (GRand Solutions).

EXECS: The NFL Cardinals promoted Eastern Regional Scout TERRY MCDONOUGH to VP/Player Personnel, replacing JASON LICHT, who became Buccaneers GM. McDonough will be GM STEVE KEIM's "chief assistant" (, 1/23)....The PGA Tour promoted National Group Sales Manager for Golf Course Properties JAY VOELKER to Business Development Manager for Community Outreach (PGA Tour)....Loudmouth Golf named marketing firm Indexla Managing Partner DENNIS GREEN Exec VP and GM of Sales & Marketing (Loudmouth Golf)....The AP promoted Deputy Regional Editor NOREEN GILLESPIE to Deputy Sports Editor (AP, 1/23).  

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Marlins President DAVID SAMSON is starring in the upcoming season of "SURVIVOR: CAGAYAN" and the show posted a short bio of Samson on its website with this item: "Personal Claim to Fame: Got local government in Miami to contribute over 350 million dollars to a new baseball park during the recession." Samson on Thursday said that he "doubted he said the exact words quoted in the Survivor bio, which reads like excerpts from an interview." But he "didn’t back off the substance of the quote" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/24).

A-BOMBSHELL: A proposal reportedly has "has gone out to Hollywood producers and Manhattan publishers for an exposé" on Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ. A source said that the book project, entitled "BAD BLOOD," has been acquired by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin. The proposal is written by Miami New Times reporter TIM ELFRINK, who "broke the story about A-Rod’s relationship" with Biogenesis Founder ANTHONY BOSCH, along with Newsday's GUS GARCIA-ROBERTS (, 1/22).

BUSS TOUR: Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel JIM BUSS has listed for sale in Orange County his four-bedroom, six-bathroom "ocean-view home in the Monarch Bay area of Dana Point." The 3,808-square-foot home is listed at $4.795M. Buss also recently paid $4.05M for a three-bedroom, 4,299-square-foot "condo in a high-rise building near Staples Center." He also has spent more than $13.5M on "four properties at the Strand at Headlands, a development of custom homes and sites above the beach in Dana Point" (, 1/23).

ON CAMPUS: Illinois AD MIKE THOMAS on Thursday "received a contract extension and salary raise." His deal now runs through '19 with an annual base salary of $554,320, an increase of $50,392 per year (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/24)....The Wayne Densch Charitable Trust donated $4M "toward the construction of the Wayne Densch Center for Student Athlete Leadership Council" at UCF. The donation is "the largest charitable gift in UCF Athletics history" (CENTRAL FLORIDA FUTURE, 1/24).

NAMES: LUCIA EVELIA CALLAHAN, the mother of Padres Manager of Latino Affairs ALEX MONTOYA, has "been missing since she went alone to a Subway restaurant near her Paradise Hills home Wednesday night, and her family is asking for the public’s help to locate her" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/24)....Bruins C JAROME IGINLA and RW REILLY SMITH "made a visit to Perkins School for the Blind" in Watertown, Mass. on Wednesday. They "put on masks to prevent them from seeing and played 'goal ball,' a soccer-like game involving balls with bells in them" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/24)....Tigers 1B MIGUEL CABRERA and P ANIBAL SANCHEZ on Thursday visited the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in the first Metro Detroit stop of the team’s annual winter caravan (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/24)….Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ took part in dog food brand Pedigree's “See What Good Food Can Do” documentary-style campaign (Pedigree)….Country music singer LUKE BRYAN will headline the Daytona 500 prerace show (, 1/22)….ESPN’s DARREN ROVELL shared some of his favorite sports bars for USA Today's "10 Best Places" feature (USA TODAY, 1/24)….Baseball HOFer REGGIE JACKSON last week bought a $650,000 Ferrari at the Barrett-Jackson vintage car auction in Arizona (, 1/23).

IN MEMORY: Longtime Miami (OH) Univ. AD DICK SHRIDER died on Tuesday at the age of 90. His tenure ran from ’64-88 (, 1/23).