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Volume 25 No. 155

People and Pop Culture

Horwitz, who has been with the team for 40 years, has recently been shifting his day-to-day duties to others

The Mets named longtime VP/Media Relations JAY HORWITZ VP/Alumni PR & Team Historian in front of a room "full of luminaries from Mets and baseball history," according to Kristie Ackert of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Horwitz has "pushed Mets stories for nearly four decades," but the team had been "shifting his day-to-day duties on the public relations front to others over the last few years." Mets COO JEFF WILPON yesterday praised Horwitz for his "love and dedication to the Mets" since joining the organization in April '80. He also "singled out Horwitz’s dedication to the players and the people who worked for him." Horwitz, who could be "relentless pushing Mets story ideas on reporters and editors alike, looked uncomfortable as players talked how much he has meant to him over the years" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/13). Horwitz said that he has "some 'apprehension' going into his new role, and his first order of duty will be a major task, spearheading the 50th anniversary efforts for the ’69 championship team" (NEWSDAY, 9/13). THE ATHLETIC's Tim Britton notes Horwitz "served as the liaison between the front office and the clubhouse during some especially tumultuous times for the organization and the league as a whole." Former Mets OF MOOKIE WILSON said of the '81 player strike, "We really didn’t trust each other, but Jay was different. Jay was that person that was always in the middle; he found a way to navigate himself between both sides, players and management. The players didn’t look at Jay as management. He was one of us.” Britton notes Horwitz also "helped facilitate so much of what the Mets have done in the community over the years" (, 9/13).

TWITTER ERUPTS IN PRAISE: Finsbury VP and former MLB PR exec Jeff Heckelman tweeted the Mets "handled the Jay Horwitz situation perfectly and gave him a proper, classy tribute." Former MLBer Dwight Gooden: "Not sure if they put anyone from public relations into the H.O.F but if anyone belongs its Jay. ... worst case scenario MLB should definitely have an award in Jay’s name." SNY's Steve Gelbs: "Quite a turnout for Jay Horwitz. No surprise." N.Y. Daily News' Ackert: "Can't thank @Jay_HorwitzPR enough for all the help he's given me over the years as I learned to cover baseball. I was one of many that came to Citi Field today to see him officially take a new job with the #Mets. They will miss him dearly in PR." The Athletic's Britton: "Everyone has a Jay Horwitz story. The ones that mean the most are the ones you don't hear." WABC-TV's Amy Freeze: "I’m a Jay Horwitz fan. Forever." NFL Giants Senior VP/Communications Pat Hanlon: "I am thrilled at the support and appropriate outpouring of appreciation by #Mets past and present for #JayHorwitz, my colleague and friend, a person who has always been completely devoted to his organization’s mission and has given his all!" Mets radio broadcaster Josh Lewin: "Never seen a bigger who’s who for a Mets presser than today’s 'transitioning' of Jay Horwitz to a new role."

"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, our panelists discuss their favorite college football tradition and what TV show they are looking forward to having back this fall.

  • UFC Performance Institute VP/Operations James Kimball
    -- Has yet to fall victim to the pumpkin spice craze.
  • Panini America VP/Marketing Jason Howarth
    -- Enjoys trading cards, Instagram, anything Marvel and PokemonGo.
  • Ventura Partners Managing Dir of Sports & Entertainment Katy Young Staudt
    -- Likes to collect Marriott points and American miles.
  • USA Archery National Events Manager Sheri Rhodes
    -- Thinks the most overrated movie released this summer was "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."
Going Off The Grid
  Jason Witten on "MNF" = ______ Favorite college football tradition TV show you're looking forward to coming back this fall? Thick or thin pizza crust What will the most popular pro league be in 50 years?

A relief
(I'm a Giants fan)
Everything about
"House of Cards" Thin. There is no debate NBA and UFC

A work in progress I've always been a fan of Michigan-Notre Dame "The Blacklist" Thin. Pizzeria Regina in Boston's North End or Original Ray Bari in N.Y. I don't know that we've seen it yet

Young Staudt
#squadgoals Army-Navy "House of Cards"  Thinner the better NBA

Has got some work to do Texas A&M Corps that stands through the whole game "NCIS" Thin Any esports league

Do you want to get your thoughts in the Grid? If so, shoot an e-mail to

Former Raptors and Knicks GM GLEN GRUNWALD will succeed MICHELE O'KEEFE as President & CEO of Canada Basketball, effective Oct. 1. Grunwald served as the McMaster Univ. AD for four years before resigning in order to "take on a consulting role" with the Grizzlies (CP, 9/12).

EXECS: Talladega Superspeedway Chair GRANT LYNCH will retire in in the fall of '19 after the completion of the track's infield project (Talladega)....ABC Entertainment named S.F.-based KGO-ABC President & GM WILLIAM BURTON Senior VP & Head of Daytime, Sports & Syndicated Development/Production. Burton will "work on maximizing all sports content on ABC, collaborating with departments and divisions" within Disney/ABC, ESPN and Disney's Direct-to-Consumer & Int'l (, 9/12)....The Professional Fighters League named PETER VESEY Senior VP/Global Brand Partnerships & Media Sales. Vesey was most recently BSE Global VP/Global Partnerships and has previously worked with NASCAR, UFC and Fox (PFL)....U.S. Sailing named Park City, Utah-based media company Boot Up Marketing & Production Founder PETER GLASS CMO. Glass previously served as the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Dir of Marketing, Sales & Multi-Channel Content Production from '05-'12 (U.S. Sailing).

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Kavanaugh said that he bought four season tickets every year since the Nationals' arrival in DC in '05

Supreme Court nominee BRETT KAVANAUGH yesterday described in detail how he regularly bought Nationals tickets and "split the cost with friends -- purchases the White House has said led Kavanaugh to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt." The issue "did not surface during his two days of public questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee." However, the issue "arose in written follow-up questions submitted by members of the committee." In explaining the debt, Kavanaugh noted he is a "huge sports fan." He added that he "bought four season tickets annually from the Nationals' arrival" in DC in '05 until '17. Kavanaugh said he split the tickets with a "group of old friends" through a "ticket draft" at his home (WASHINGTON POST, 9/13).

NOT-SO RETIREMENT PLANS: Sun Belt Commissioner KARL BENSON, whose contract is fulfilled in June, said that the end of his term "does not necessarily equal retirement." Benson said that he "plans to move to Denver, where his wife SARAH resides." He has "not ruled out future work." Benson: "I don't see myself not working. I don't know if I'm going to work 75 hours a week. I'm going to be selective and pick and choose something that is meaningful, whether it's in college sports or something else." Benson, the commissioner since '12, "does not expect to be involved in the naming of his successor." He said that he would "provide insight if requested" (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 9/11).

NAMES: Bronze Medal-winning U.S. fencer IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD on Monday "made her New York Fashion Week debut," showcasing her Louella line (, 9/12)....More than a dozen wives of Red Sox players and employees "walked the runway for a good cause on Tuesday afternoon during the 17th Annual From Fenway to Runway fundraiser at Hotel Commonwealth" (, 9/12)....ESPN's CHRIS BERMAN "will be inducted" into the Jewish Sports HOF of Northern California on Sept. 16. His induction class includes former Stanford tennis coach DICK GOULD, KNBR-AM broadcaster MARTY LURIE, NFL Network's MIKE SILVER and former Sharks exec MATT LEVINE (, 9/12)....SERENA WILLIAMS yesterday showed up at Target HQ in Minneapolis during the company's "fall national meeting." She spoke to "about 3,000 employees." The meeting "wasn't open to the public" (, 9/12)....LEBRON JAMES and DRAKE were spotted on Monday in DC after "filming an episode" of HBO's "THE SHOP" (, 9/11). Meanwhile, James is one of the voiceovers in Warner Animation's "SMALLFOOT" film set for release on Sept. 28 (THE DAILY)....Free agent WR DEZ BRYANT "took in" the JAY-Z and BEYONCE concert at AT&T Stadium with Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES on Tuesday night (, 9/12).

Coming off a memorable season, capped by the Washington Capitals winning their first Stanley Cup over the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL has momentum. As a new season approaches, we’ll talk with league officials and other NHL stakeholders about how the league will build on those successes. Before the first faceoff, we’ll review the stories and people you’ll want to watch.

Publishing Date: October 1

Ad Close: September 17

Materials Due: September 19

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Oct. 16-17 I Marriott Marquis Times Square, New York, NY

Dana White, President, UFC
In a featured one-on-one interview Dana White will discuss the UFC’s new media rights deal and his vision moving forward.

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