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Volume 25 No. 50
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Morning Buzz, February 24, 2005

The Daily Insider
Morning News & Headlines
Thursday, February 24, 2005
9:00am ET

IOC Evaluation Commission Concluding Five-Day Visit To The Big Apple Today

LPGA Tour Begins First Full-Field Event Of ’05 Today In Oahu, Hawaii

Biopic On Former MLB All-Star J.R. Richard, “Resurrection,” Opens Today

If Things “Go According To Plan,” Dan Gilbert Will Take Cavs Reins Tuesday

NASCAR Press Conference In Mexico City Ends Abruptly As Drivers Don’t Show

Morning Briefs/In Other News/Laugh Track/TV Monitor/Final Jeopardy!


IOC EVALUATION COMMISSION CONCLUDING VISIT TO THE BIG APPLE

The N.Y. TIMES notes that the IOC Evaluation Commission’s five-day visit to N.Y. concludes today with “tours of the Olympic sites not yet visited, including Staten Island and the Meadowlands.” Later in the day, Commission Chair Nawal el-Moutawakel will lead a news conference. After a fireworks show last night, the Commission went to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s house for a "star-studded dinner, where the guest list included Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, Henry Kissinger and the artists of the moment, Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” who designed The Gates at Central Park (N.Y. TIMES, 2/24).

The Bergen RECORD reports that NYC2012 CFO Steve Reynolds yesterday "described to the Commission a financial plan that estimates $3[B] in revenues against $2.8[B] in expenses. The revenue side includes $1.2[B] in gross domestic sponsorships, $900[M] from television rights and $852[M] in ticket revenues" (Bergen RECORD, 2/24).


LPGA TOUR BEGINS FIRST FULL-FIELD EVENT IN ‘05 IN OAHU, HAWAII

The LPGA Tour begins its first full-field event of the year today with the SBS Open at Turtle Bay’s Palmer Course in Oahu, Hawaii. GOLFWEEK reports that when 18-year-old rookie Paula Creamer stands on the first tee today, she will “sport a TaylorMade staff bag. Creamer and TM were expected to get their verbal agreement into writing [last] week, with Creamer set to play a TaylorMade driver and irons.” Apparel deals are also “in the works – adidas or Polo – and ADT Security Services will occupy the front of her hat, with TaylorMade splashed on each side” (GOLFWEEK, 2/19 issue).

The Golf Channel will air live coverage Thursday-Saturday from 6:30-9:00pm ET daily, with former LPGAer Dottie Pepper joining the net’s broadcast team. Pepper also will contribute to studio shows “Golf Central” and “Sprint Post Game” (The Golf Channel).

Meanwhle, GOLFWORLD reports that former Bank of America Senior VP & Sponsorship Marketing Exec Dockery Clark is "emerging as a candidate" to replace LPGA Tour Commissioner Ty Votaw, who will step down at the end of the year (GOLFWORLD, 2/25 issue).


BIOPIC ON FORMER ASTROS P J.R. RICHARD HITS THEATRES TODAY

USA TODAY notes that a film following the “rise and fall and rise again” of former Astros P J.R. Richard opens today. “Resurrection: The J.R. Richard Story” stars David Ramsey as Richard, who “nearly died from a stroke in 1980, just weeks after he started in the All-Star Game. After a series of financial and family setbacks, Richard became homeless in the 1990s. … After hard times, Richard, now 54, is a Baptist minister and works as a youth coach” (USA TODAY, 2/24).


THE DAILY GOES ONE-ON-ONE WITH…

Which industry exec is running a basketball team – something he wrote down as a goal 30 years before he accomplished it – and said, “When sportswriters get into financials, they don’t have a clue?” To find out, read the Sports Industrialists section of today’s issue of the The Daily.


MORNING BRIEFS

If “things go according to plan,” prospective Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert “will take official ownership of the Cavaliers on Tuesday” (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 2/24).

Chicago-based agent Steve Mandell is denying a report that his client, Mike Ditka, will appear in ESPN’s new reality series, “Bound For Glory” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/24).

An appeals court ruled yesterday that the Raiders are not entitled to a new trial in the franchise’s $1.2B conspiracy lawsuit against the NFL (Mult.).

Financial lender Beneficial has signed a multiyear associate sponsorship agreement with Richard Childress Racing for its No. 29 GM Goodwrench and No. 31 Cingular Wireless Nextel Cup Chevrolets. Beneficial also will serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 31 car for the June 19 Michigan 400 at Michigan Int’l Speedway (RCR).

ESPN yesterday apologized for incorrectly citing the Miami Herald as reporting that Heat C Shaquille O’Neal would miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. A statement read in part, “We removed it as soon as we realized it was inaccurate, after approximately five minutes.  We have a thorough and aggressive vetting process, and it serves us well 99.9[%] of the time.  Clearly, it failed this time” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/24).

The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) plans to investigate the circumstances surrounding the CBC’s firing of announcer Chris Cuthbert.  While the net cited the NHL lockout as the reason for his dismissal, CMG President Lise Lareau said Cuthbert’s contract “specified that it could have been either renegotiated or suspended in the event of an NHL lockout” (TORONTO STAR, 2/24).


ATTENDANCE WATCH

The TAMPA TRIBUNE reports that the coalition of Manchester United fans protesting Buccaneers Owner Malcolm Glazer’s attempted takeover of the club was estimated at 10,000, as the group marched to Old Trafford prior to last night’s game against AC Milan (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/24).


A LIGHTER BUZZ

Nextel Cup driver Jeff Gordon appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” last night to discuss his Daytona 500 victory.  NBC’s Jay Leno: “All the cars are exactly the same?”  Gordon: “It’s supposed to be. ... I qualified third for the Daytona 500 and I was 0.04 of a second off of first.”  Leno: “It’s like making love.”  Gordon: “I like to mention that in other increments of time” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 2/23).

The WASHINGTON POST notes that a NASCAR Busch Series press conference yesterday in Mexico City promoting the March 6 Mexico 200 was supposed to feature drivers Adrian Fernandez and Michel Jourdain Jr., “but traffic delayed the stars, and only little-known driver Jorge Goeters appeared.  The news conference ended abruptly when a local newspaper reporter took the microphone and demanded to know how professional racers could be so delayed by regular traffic.  ‘Aren’t they better drivers than all of us?’ he asked, drawing a smattering of applause” (WASHINGTON POST, 2/24).


THE BACK PAGES

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Newsday

TODAY’S EVENTS

Mets CF Carlos Beltran and P Pedro Martinez, Dodgers P Derek Lowe and Marlins 1B Carlos Delgado will film PSAs promoting MLB’s partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida.


IN OTHER NEWS….

The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER notes that Cablevision shares “set a new 52-week high and closed up 8% Wednesday as investors cheered strong fourth-quarter trends in the core cable business and 2005 growth guidance.” In a conference call, Cablevision execs were “tight-lipped about continuing industry speculation that the controlling Dolan family could look to sell the cable business.” But Cablevision President & CEO James Dolan said that the company “has no plan to sell its Rainbow Media cable networks, which include AMC, IFC and WE” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/24).

The AP notes that Viacom this morning reported that Q4 ’04 losses “widened significantly from year-ago results due to [an $18B] charge to writedown the carrying value of its radio and outdoor assets.” The company lost $18.44B in the quarter, compared with a loss of $385.4M in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 6%, from $5.95B to $6.3B. TV revenue grew 5%, “mainly due to higher advertising revenues from CBS/UPN Networks and the Stations group which was partially offset by lower [TV] license revenue” (AP, 2/24).


FINAL JEOPARDY!

Last night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Best Selling Authors.”

“In 2000 this writer, with more than 100 million copies of novels in print, had a new species of dinosaur named for him.”


LAUGH TRACK

THE MONOLOGUES:

CBS’ David Letterman: “Jose Canseco was in New York City today of all places signing his new book, and it was crazy. He signed so many books that he had to stop twice to juice himself in the ass. ... The IOC site selection committee is in New York City right now thinking about New York for the 2012 Games and it’s going very well. So far, only one committee member is missing. ... There are torrential rains in California. It’s unbelievable rain, and it’s rained so much, it opened a 150-foot sinkhole in L.A.. It’s the biggest sinkhole out there, if you don’t count the William Morris Agency. ... There’s a 90-year-old mailman in Nebraska still going out every day. He goes from house to house and knocks on every door that he goes to, and he says the same thing: ‘Do I live here?’” (“Late Show,” CBS, 2/23).

NBC’s Jay Leno: “There was so much water on the highway, I saw a guy with a flat tire and the Coast Guard fixed it. It was so wet last night, Robert Blake left his spear gun at Fratello’s. ... This is such an odd place to live. This is the only place in the world where it rains for a month solid – flooding everywhere – yet people still wait in line to pay $3 for a little bottle of water. ... President Bush is on a big tour of Europe. He said he’s hoping he can see the whole country. ... In his new book, Jose Canseco says that thanks to steroids he can still do things at age 40 that he could at 25. Oh yeah, then how come you’re still not playing baseball? When asked if steroids were cheating, Barry Bonds said, ‘I don’t know what cheating is,’ and Bill Clinton said, ‘Good answer’” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 2/23).


LAST NIGHT’S TV MONITOR

Last night’s 11:30pm ET edition of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” led with the Kings trading F Chris Webber to the 76ers as part of a six-player trade, followed by the Vikings trading WR Randy Moss to the Raiders and an injury update on Heat C Shaquille O’Neal.


FINAL JEOPARDY ANSWER

“Who is Michael Crichton?”


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
dailyinsider@sportsbusinessdaily.com

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