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Volume 24 No. 117

People and Pop Culture

The NBA has hired veteran marketer PAMELA EL as the league’s new CMO, the latest management move under NBA Commissioner ADAM SILVER. As CMO, El will oversee the league’s global marketing, branding and advertising operations. She begins her new job on Aug. 18 and will report to NBA Deputy Commissioner MARK TATUM. El comes to the NBA from Nationwide Insurance, where she worked as Senior VP/Financial Brand Marketing since June '13. Prior to Nationwide, El spent 11 years at State Farm, where she played a key role in the company’s sponsorship deal with the NBA and its endorsement deal with LEBRON JAMES. Prior to working for Nationwide and State Farm, El worked for Terabeam Corp., U.S. West Communications, and The Martin Agency. El joins the NBA after the departure former Exec VP/Marketing JAMIE GALLO, who joined the NBA in June '12 and left the league in January under a management reorganization after Silver become commissioner. “I have had the opportunity to work with Pam when she was with State Farm,” Tatum said. “She has been a leader when it comes to developing marketing programs and sports marketing programs. She brings 30 years of experience in brand management, marketing, media, and sponsorships.”

Turner Sports has promoted LENNY DANIELS to President, where he will oversee the division's day-to-day business. Daniels will remain based in Atlanta and continue to report to Turner Broadcasting System President DAVID LEVY. Daniels, who had been Turner Sports Exec VP & COO, will oversee the company's league relationships, an important role as Turner has started informal talks to renew its NBA media-rights deal. Levy, who sat with NBA Commissioner ADAM SILVER at Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Miami, will continue to lead those talks. Turner Sports also is expected to be active in pursuing the NFL's Thursday night package when that comes to the open market in the next year or two -- talks that also will be led by Levy. But Daniels will be heavily involved in both of those negotiations. Turner says Daniels was part of its media-rights negotiations with MLB in '12 and the NCAA in '10. Turner execs credit Daniels with the "Teamcast" idea around this year's Final Four, where truTV and TNT produced separate telecasts. Turner also says Daniels played a "primary role" in '12's Bleacher Report acquisition. Levy last August was promoted to his current role. He had been President of Turner's Sales, Sports & Distribution division. While continuing to oversee the sports division, Levy has spent much of the last year grooming Daniels for this position, insiders say.

WME-IMG CFO PETER KLEIN has left the company just six months after he joined it. The former Microsoft CFO is leaving for personal reasons. He will serve in an advisory position and assist WME-IMG co-CEOs ARI EMANUEL and PATRICK WHITESELL in filling his vacated position. Klein last year advised WME on its $2.4B acquisition of IMG and joined the company as CFO in the days after the deal was announced. He had close ties to WME-IMG investor Silver Lake Partners, the private equity group that has a 50% stake in the combined company. With Klein, WME outlined an aggressive cost-cutting plan for IMG that called for eliminating $151M in costs in the first 18 months of ownership. The first $14M in cuts were scheduled to be made in the first six months of ownership. The deal closed in early May (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In N.Y., Claire Atkinson cites sources as saying that Klein's exit "reflects the difficulty the highly indebted company is having in meeting its cost-cutting targets, particularly within the sports agency business" (N.Y. POST, 7/9).

Name: Mike Webb

Position: YES Network VP/Broadcast Operations

Age: 54

Where I'm from: Jersey City

Where I call home: Springfield, New Jersey

Focusing on right now: Integrating our system and operations with Fox Sports and the other Fox RSNs.

Webb and his family enjoy going to games, Italian food and a good TV show 
Best advice: I was working at a restaurant when I was in college, and they were turning me into a shift supervisor. The manager said to me, “As a manager, the most important thing to know is that a bad decision is better than no decision at all.” People are looking for you to make a decision, so it’s better to be decisive and make a decision. And if it was wrong, it was wrong -- but it was better than doing nothing.

A must for a new hire: Especially the way television is now, you have to have a willingness to do anything. You need to be able to understand that, on any given day, you’re going to maybe be asked to do something outside the box or outside of what you think your daily responsibility is.

Exec I most admire: YES President of Production & Programming JOHN FILIPPELLI, who’s my current boss. And ED DELANEY, who had been my boss here but is now with Fox and a very dear friend. The thing I’m impressed with both of them is the loyalty they inspire in the people that work for them. There are very few people who have ever worked for one of them that wouldn’t do anything or go through a wall for them. I really respect and appreciate how they treat their people and how that manifests itself in the loyalty that engenders from them.

First thing in the morning: I read an article in the N.Y. Times a couple of weeks ago that said, “A successful executive should not check their phone first thing in the morning,” which is a shame because I check my phone. It's the first thing I do when I roll over. 

Best book I've read this year: The one that struck me the most was "Unbroken," which is LAURA HILLENBRAND’s book about World War II. It’s phenomenal, and, as you’re reading it, you have to keep reminding yourself it’s a true story but it doesn’t seem like one person could possibly have survived all that. The perseverance of that guy is absolutely unbelievable. It really will affect you -- I promise.  

Must have music: I actually grew up a Deadhead. Also, growing up in New Jersey and being in high school when "Born to Run" was released, you were pretty much obliged to be a BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN fan. I’ve been to a bunch of his shows. And I’m happy to say I’m raising a son who is turning 21 who is a Bruce fan, too.

Talking tech: When I first started at ABC Sports, we didn’t even have cellphones. I remember sitting with a binder at a payphone in the parking lot at Michigan Stadium calling people. The ability to have 24/7 access to e-mail is kind of a bad thing, because you never stop working, but that instant access changes everything. 

Food for thought: We love little Italian places. There’s a local place called Enzo’s that we’ve been going to for years. There’s also a pub kind of place in Chatham, New Jersey, called the River Grille that's a little out of the way, but has really good food. 

How I unwind: I’m a TV junkie, and I’ll readily admit it. There’s so much good TV right now. I enjoy “PERSON OF INTEREST” a lot and I’ve been kind of binge-watching that because I'd fallen behind. I'm also a big fan of "BOARDWALK EMPIRE," and there was a show on FX last year called “THE BRIDGE” that I enjoyed a lot.

Day in the life: Because MICHAEL KAY is on the road with us for games Yankees games most of the time, and we've added the simulcast of “The Michael Kay Show,” that’s just an extra added element to our telecast, especially doing a second show from every road city, because we set him up in a separate booth and a separate camera to be able to do his simulcast prior to the game. 

WME-IMG named Take-Two Interactive Exec VP & General Counsel SETH KRAUSS General Counsel for both companies. Prior to Take-Two, he worked for Morgan Stanley as the company’s Exec Dir in the legal and compliance division (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer).

EXECS: EPL club Aston Villa announced CEO PAUL FAULKNER will step down. Faulkner prior to joining the club "had worked closely" with Aston Villa Chair RANDY LERNER "in a variety of capacities." Aston Villa CFO ROBIN RUSSELL will "step in as acting Chief Executive to maintain continuity" (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 7/8)....The Lightning named former Flames GM JAY FEASTER Exec Dir of Community Hockey Development (, 7/8)....The Big South Conference named COURTNEY FRITTS PR Assistant and FLETCHER JONES Marketing Assistant for '14-15 (Big South)....The Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission named Bruno Event Team Senior Operations Dir JAY KASTEN Dir of Sports (TTSC)....WWE elected former Travel Channel President LAUREEN ONG to its BOD (WWE)....PowerBilt Golf signed MIKE GORTON to be its Tour rep (PowerBilt).   

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

A Morgan County (Ind.) Judge has ruled that Colts Owner JIM IRSAY "must testify in a Martinsville custody case involving the children of a woman who lives in one of Irsay's homes." Irsay was subpoenaed by GREG MARTIN, who said that he is "concerned about the well-being of his minor children, ages 17 and 12 when they are in Irsay's presence." Martin stated that his children were in the home of his ex-wife, JAMI MARTIN, on the night of Irsay's March arrest (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/9). Meanwhile, ESPN's Ed Werder reported while the NFL has yet to discipline Irsay, it "will be resolved before the start of training camp" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN, 7/8).

: Titans S BERNARD POLLARD has "already started on his post-NFL plans with his own innovative company, Style Pro 31." He already has the "first of many cool products, too: a bathroom organizer called Smart Tray." To help "turn his idea into a viable product," Pollard hired an artist to develop the mockups for the Smart Tray. Then came the "prototypes, the trademarks and the patents before his successful marketing through social media." Pollard: "We've had a ton of customers and they love it." Pollard is "focused on building the brand by selling more Smart Trays online" in either black, white or customized colors (, 7/8).

: Broadcaster BOB TRUMPY is the '14 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award. The award recognizes longtime exceptional contributions to radio and TV in professional football. He will be recognized during the'14 Pro Football HOF Enshrinement Ceremony (HOF)....Dr. TOM CATENA and GEORGE WEISS have been named co-recipients of the '14 National Football Foundation Gold Medal (NFF)....Sportswriter RICK REILLY on Oct. 25 will have his name inscribed on the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s “Great Ones” Trophy. He will be presented the award for his meritorious career covering the world of sports (JMMF)….Seahawks coach PETE CARROLL will be inducted into the USC HOF in ’15 (, 7/8).

NAMES: Former NBAer YAO MING is working with top American and Chinese officials to "stamp out global trade in endangered species and their parts." Ming "focused much of his efforts against shark fin consumption and elephant ivory use." U.S. Secretary of State JOHN KERRY joined him yesterday in Beijing (AP, 7/9)....The ball that Baseball HOFer BABE RUTH hit as the first home run in the original Yankee Stadium the day it opened in 1923 will “be up for bid Saturday in Baltimore at an auction commemorating the 100th anniversary of Ruth’s debut season in the major leagues” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/9)….A Chicago police officer allegedly was “soliciting autographs on sports memorabilia -- which he claimed was for a police charity fundraiser” -- from Yankees SS DEREK JETER during the Yankees-White Sox series in May (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/9)….Michigan State men’s basketball coach TOM IZZO said of his partnership with Gladiator GarageWorks, “Us guys have an appreciation for maybe getting things a little more organized” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 7/7)….Patriots WR JULIAN EDELMAN will "drive the pace car" for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (BOSTON HERALD, 7/8)….IDINA MENZEL will sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. She also will perform “during the pre-game ceremony, including a cover” of BOB DYLAN’s “Forever Young.” Meanwhile, JOE NICHOLS will sing “God Bless America” (AP, 7/8)….NHL free agent C SAKU KOIVU put his Irvine, Calif., home on the market for $6.6M (, 7/8).