MLB on Thursday implemented an internal restructuring in which MLB Network President & CEO TONY PETITTI now reports to MLBAM President & CEO BOB BOWMAN instead of directly to MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG. Bowman will now have oversight of both MLBAM and the network. The shift was made to more deeply align the two league-run media assets, and seek out additional synergies between them. Petitti will still run MLB Network's day-to-day operations. "Both MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network have been extremely successful business ventures, and the consolidation of these media assets allows us to fully exploit our future media opportunities," the league said in a statement. MLBAM and the network will each remain separate companies and retain their separate boards of directors. MLBAM is fully league owned, with each team having a 1/30th stake in the digital enterprise, while MLB Network is majority owned by the league with minority stakes held by DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications.
People and Pop Culture
Marucci Sports named co-Founder KURT AINSWORTH CEO, and added three execs to help it "realize its ambitious growth plans." The company named Red Mountain Resources CFO MICHAEL UFFMAN to the same position, SHELLY MOORE Senior VP/Sales & Marketing, and ROBERT KOPKIN Dir of Apparel. Former CEO BRETT STOHLTON remains as an adviser. Marucci also appointed the following to its BOD: Duck Commander CEO WILLIE ROBERTSON, TXU Energy CEO JIM BURKE, Blue Jays RF JOSE BAUTISTA, Parq Advisors co-Founder & Managing Partner RYAN STROMSBORG and Bollinger Shipyards COO BEN BORDELON (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/11).
EXECS: The PBR named IndyCar VP/Marketing KASEY COLER to the same position. Coler spent six years at IndyCar after a four-year tenure at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer)....Int'l Speedway Corp. promoted CRAIG NEEB to Senior VP/Business Development & Chief Digital Officer (ISC)....Trail Blazers Dir of Sustainability & Public Affairs JUSTIN ZEULNER is leaving the team to work with Vulcan, the holding company run by team Owner PAUL ALLEN (SUSTAINABLEBUSINESSOREGON.com, 4/10)....Rutgers Univ. named the Newark Star-Ledger's TOM LUICCI to the newly created position of Senior Dir of Digital Media, effective May 5 (Rutgers)....SMG named MARC MULHERIN Branson Convention Center GM (SMG)....The Patriots "parted with longtime medical director DR. THOMAS GILL, who has also left his post as chief of sports medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital." Gill will be replaced by DR. MATT PROVENCHER "as part of the team’s relationship with MGH" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/11).
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In California, Pedro Moura writes under the header, "Dodger Stadium Renovations Built For The Fans, By A Fan," noting Dodgers Senior VP/Planning & Development JANET MARIE SMITH has "done work at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Turner Field and Philips Arena in Atlanta and, recently, the Rose Bowl." Smith in 20 months on the job "seems to have solved most of Dodger Stadium's problems." She has overseen $150M worth "of renovations to the 52-year-old ballpark" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/11).
TAKING MY TALENTS TO...: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell reported agent ALAN ZUCKER, who handles Broncos QB PEYTON MANNING, Giants QB ELI MANNING, Pro Football HOFer JOE MONTANA and Twins C JOE MAUER, is "leaving IMG for Excel Sports" (TWITTER.com, 4/10). In N.Y., Garvey, Niemietz & Cartwright noted WME co-CEO ARI EMANUEL "risks losing top talent" in the firm's bid to acquire IMG Worldwide. A source said, "This is the beginning of the expected exodus since Ari and PATRICK (WHITESELL) took over" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/11).
SEEN & HEARD AT THE MASTERS: NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL was "on the grounds during the first round of the Masters on Thursday, wearing the green jacket of a club member" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/10). GOLF DIGEST's Sam Weinman wrote it is good when "you get tabbed for membership at Augusta National," and that is "what one could deduct by the sight of Goodell" in a green jacket on Thursday (GOLFDIGEST.com, 4/10). Sources said that Ari Emanuel on Wednesday "got in the rough" for "wearing jeans to the chichi Masters golf tournament at Augusta." The sources said that Emanuel, realizing the error, "later returned to the storied Georgia course in slacks and a jacket" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/11).
NAMES: A group of students "helping make an anti-bullying video at Safeco Field on Thursday were surprised by" Mariners P FELIX HERNANDEZ and rapper MACKLEMORE. The group was "joined by Mackelmore at home plate to complete the video" (AP, 4/10)....UConn men's basketball coach KEVIN OLLIE after leading the team to an NCAA championship will receive a bonus of $166,667 (COURANT.com, 4/8)....Former Vanderbilt Univ. athletics department intern ROBERT WEST filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday "saying he should have been paid for his nearly two years of work." The lawsuit seeks "unpaid back pay that would be the equivalent of minimum wage earnings during his time with the school" (TENNESSEAN.com, 4/10)....Race car driver AL UNSER JR. and actors MAX THIERIOT, VANESSA MARCIL, NICK WECHSLER and CORBIN BLEU were "among the more than a dozen Pro/Celebrity Race participants who stopped by the children's hospital Thursday to give out toys, sign autographs and chat with young patients." Toyota is donating "$5,000 in the name of each 2014 Pro/Celebrity Race driver to Racing for Kids, which raises money for children's hospitals throughout the nation" (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM, 4/11)....Indians 3B LONNIE CHISENHALL will rejoin the team Sunday in Chicago after his wife, MEREDITH, "gave birth to their second child, CANNON, in Cleveland" (OHIO.com, 4/10)....AHL Syracuse Crunch Owner HOWARD DOLGON was named the recipient of the '14 Crystal Ball at the annual Central New York Sales & Marketing Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday night in Liverpool, N.Y. (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 4/11).