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Volume 25 No. 45
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Mark Lerner Takes Control Of Nationals From Father Ted

Mark Lerner's role change was formally approved this morning at the MLB owners meetings in N.Y
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Mark Lerner has been named the Nationals’ new managing principal owner, taking over in the role for his father, Ted, who led the Lerner family’s purchase of the club in ’06. The change, designating Mark Lerner as the Nationals’ new control executive, was formally approved this morning at the MLB owners meetings in N.Y. The club’s entire principal ownership group including Annette and Judy Lenkin Lerner, Robert and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, and Edward and Debra Lerner Cohen, were present at the meetings for the transition. The switch helps ensure an orderly succession for the club from Ted Lerner, the family’s 92-year-old patriarch (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

MY GENERATION: In DC, Barry Svrluga notes the transfer is the "first indication of how the team will be governed by the next generation of the Lerner family, which does not intend to sell the team." Since the Lerners bought the Nationals from MLB for $450M in '06, there had been "no clear path of succession" should Ted Lerner step aside. Though Mark Lerner said that his father "would still have input, the family is preparing for a full transition." The change in control "leaves obvious questions: Will the Nationals run by Mark Lerner behave differently than the Nationals that were run by Ted Lerner?" Mark Lerner said, "I don’t think you’ll see much difference in the way Dad and the family running it vs. myself and the family. Maybe as time moves along, I’ll do things a little bit differently. But at the end of the day, every major decision we make together. And that’s always worked well for us." The family plans to "hold onto its hometown team for the foreseeable future." Lerner added, "We will never sell the Nationals. That’s what we’ve worked to get all those years. We think we do a pretty good job of it. There’s no intention of this family -- certainly while I’m alive and my sisters and brothers-in-law are alive -- nobody’s going to sell this team" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/14).