USA Today Sports Media Group President DAVE MORGAN is leaving the company at the end of the week, ending a nearly six-year run with the Gannett-owned operation. Morgan’s departure is part of a broader corporate restructuring in which Gannett is eliminating about 1% of its workforce nationwide. Morgan, a former Exec Editor for Yahoo Sports and Deputy Sports Editor for the L.A. Times, helped oversee a wide series of initiatives including the acquisitions of Golfweek and Big Lead Sports, the debut of For The Win and an official marketing partnership with IndyCar. The USA Today Sports Media Group will now be folded into USA Today’s digital properties group, and Morgan’s position will not be filled. Morgan had been elevated in ’13 from Editor-in-Chief and Senior VP/Content at USA Today Sports Media Group to the president spot.
People and Pop Culture
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Exec Dir SCOTT MCKIBBEN, who had quit his job to take a similar position with the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, will be "staying put after all -- thanks to a $50,000 raise and guaranteed three-year contract extension," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The turnaround "came when Coliseum board member and county Supervisor SCOTT HAGGERTY stepped in and engineered a last-minute deal." Haggerty said, "It was important to retain him as we head toward the end game with some of our sports teams." The deal to keep McKibben took other board members "by surprise." Matier & Ross noted the Coliseum Authority is "trying to manage the impending departure" of the Warriors, Raiders and possibly the A’s. Under the new deal, approved following a closed-door meeting Friday, the authority "agreed to match the $300,000-a-year salary and $500-a-month car allowance McKibben was being offered by Santa Clara." McKibben said, "There is certainly plenty of work to do here in the next three or four years." That "starts with negotiating a new lease with the Raiders, who will still be playing in Oakland until their Las Vegas stadium is built." The authority is also in "negotiations with the Warriors over who will pay off the debt on Oracle Arena" when the team leaves for S.F. (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/20).
"Going Off The Grid" is a weekly survey of sports execs and personalities offering their thoughts on a handful of pressing (and trivial) issues in sports and pop culture. This week, panelists opine on the CFL's decision on non-contact practices and whether Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will play the full season.
- NHL Kings Dir of Business Operations Pete Lisowski
– Just trying to keep up with pop culture.
- Hawks Senior VP, Community & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Nzinga Shaw
– Speechless when it comes to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
- OVG Global Partnerships President Dan Griffis
– Believes if it is not remarkable, it is invisible.
- NFL Panthers Exec Dir of Stadium Operations Scott Paul
– Has never been tuned in to pop culture.
|Going Off The Grid|
|Fantasy football team name||How many people do you follow on Twitter?||The CFL's decision on non-contact practices is...||Will Ezekiel Elliott play the full season?||The NBA's Draft Lottery reform proposal is...|
|"Vote for Pedro"||357||Something I hope the NFL and NCAA avoid||I don't think it's likely||Interesting. Can't have teams tanking|
|"The Kaepernick Come Backs"||604||Fake news||Yes -- unless somebody finds a tape||More fake news|
|"Stu Nahan's Jacket" ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High" reference)||763||One step closer to just watching other people play "Madden"||Barring a groin injury ... yes||Not bold enough|
|"The Big Uglies"||25||A head scratcher if you want a great product||No||About the integrity of the game|
The Colts "have hired" former IMG College Chief Sales & Marketing Officer ROGER VANDERSNICK to the same position. VanDerSnick left IMG College in February '16 and before that "spent five years" at ISC in a variety of roles. He was with NASCAR from '00-06 (INSIDEINDIANABUSINESS.com, 9/21).
EXECS: Sports-focused streaming service FuboTV named DramaFever VP and Head of Marketing YALE WANG VP/North American Marketing (MULTICHANNEL.com, 9/20)....Pacers Sports & Entertainment named market research and e-commerce business Blue Commerce co-Owner ROBERT PARRENT Dir of Esports Operations (IBJ.com, 9/20)....BYU promoted BRIAN SANTIAGO to Deputy AD, LIZ DARGER to Senior Associate AD and TREVOR WILSON to Associate Dean of Students (BYU)....CAA Sports promoted agents BARRY CLARKE and MELISSA LEE to Execs in CAA Sports Consulting. Both Clarke and Lee are based in the N.Y. office. CAA also promoted DARREN GEE to Agent in CAA Sports' Basketball group. Gee is based in the New Jersey office (THE DAILY).
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Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS donated $50M to the Univ. of Michigan, bringing the total amount he has given to his alma mater to $378M. The contribution will "support the Stephen M. Ross School of Business" (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 9/20).
LISTEN UP: TNT's CHARLES BARKLEY took part in the SMU Athletic Forum yesterday, where he said that he would "like to get the opportunity to impart words of wisdom" to Cowboys RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT. Barkley: "Being a famous person is not like being a normal person. You can take your time growing up as a normal person. You can make mistakes and nobody hears about it. We don't have that luxury." His advice for Elliott "would be simple." Barkley: "Get some good friends" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/21).
MAKE A WISH: Lions coach JIM CALDWELL had his team sing happy birthday to Owner MARTHA FORD after Monday night's 24-10 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Ford, who celebrated her 92nd birthday on Saturday, "attended the game with two of her daughters." After Caldwell "got done addressing his players, he called for the Ford family to enter the locker room and instructed players to sing her a birthday song" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/20).
NAMES: JAY-Z reportedly has "turned down" an offer to perform during the Super Bowl LII halftime show (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/20)....Suns Owner ROBERT SARVER and Suns Charities awarded a $1M grant to refurbish, restore and build 50 basketball courts throughout Arizona to commemorate the team's 50th season in Phoenix (Suns)....Patriots QB TOM BRADY donated $100,000 and coach BILL BELICHICK gave $50,000 to the fundraising effort Texans DE J.J. WATT started to "benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21)....The son of late boxer ROCKY MARCIANO "debuted a new wine bearing his name this week in the Boston area" called Rocky Marciano Montepulciano d' Abruzzo. There is also a movie "in the works about Rocky, to be produced by YOCHANAN MARCELLINO" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21)....Former MLBer RAUL MONDESI was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for his "involvement in a government corruption scandal in his native Dominican Republic." Mondesi was also "fined 60 million pesos after he was found guilty" (N.Y. POST, 9/21).
Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum
December 6-7, Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
2 Days. 1 Location. Perspectives from 21 Athletic Directors.
• Kevin Anderson / University of Maryland
• Sandy Barbour / Penn State University
• Greg Byrne / University of Alabama
• Grace Calhoun / University of Pennsylvania
• Joe Castiglione / University of Oklahoma
• Jennifer Cohen / University of Washington
• Bubba Cunningham / University of North Carolina
• John Currie / University of Tennessee
• Rick Hart / Southern Methodist University
• John Hartwell / Utah State University
• Patrick Hobbs / Rutgers University
• Kirby Hocutt / Texas Tech University
• Blake James / University of Miami
• Heather Lyke / University of Pittsburgh
• Lee Reed / Georgetown University
• Desiree Reed-Francois / University of Nevada, Las Vegas
• Scott Stricklin / University of Florida
• Todd Stansbury / Georgia Tech
• Jack Swarbrick / University of Notre Dame
• John Wildhack / Syracuse University
• Scott Woodward / Texas A&M University
For the FULL PROGRAM AGENDA and INFORMATION on the EARLY-REGISTRATION OFFER,
please go to www.IntercollegiateAthleticsForum.com.