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Volume 7 No. 149

People and Pop Culture

ESPN reorganized its programming department, giving Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling BURKE MAGNUS oversight over the company’s int'l programming. The move was made after Exec VP/Managing Dir RUSSELL WOLFF moved over to run ESPN+. TIM BUNNELL, who had run int'l programming for 17 years, now will report to Magnus as Senior VP/Programming & Acquisitions and handle the NBA, golf, tennis and motorsports (John Ourand, THE DAILY). ... MLB reorganized its int'l staffing. Longtime league exec JIM SMALL was promoted from VP/Asia Pacific to a new role as Senior VP/Int'l. Small will relocate back to N.Y. after working in Asia the past 15 years and establishing MLB’s first office in Tokyo in ’03. He will now oversee the league’s global strategy and four int'l offices, as well as its int'l calendar and the World Baseball Classic. SAMI KAWAKAMI will takeover many of Small’s prior responsibilities as the new Managing Dir of Japan. Other MLB Int'l Promotions include CHARLIE HILL to VP/Int'l Strategic Development and RODRIGO FERNANDEZ to Managing Dir of Latin America (Eric Fisher, THE DAILY). ... PAUL SCHOLES is expected to be unveiled as League Two side Oldham Athletic's manager on Monday. Scholes was cleared to take charge of the club after an English Football League meeting on Friday (BBC, 2/10).

French int'l KYLIAN MBAPPÉ donated £27,000 ($35,000) to a fundraising appeal set up by the family of missing pilot DAVID IBBOTSON. Ibbotson was flying Cardiff City's EMILIANO SALA from Nantes to the U.K. when their plane crashed near Guernsey on Jan. 21. The footballer's body was recovered from the wreck on the seabed, but Ibbotson's body has not been found. Former England captain GARY LINEKER also donated £1,000 ($1,300) (BBC, 2/10). ... DAVID BECKHAM will be the first MLS player honored with a statue, which will be unveiled outside L.A. Galaxy's stadium prior to the team's season opener on March 2. In '07, the former ManU and Real Madrid midfielder became the first "big European name" to join the MLS (REUTERS, 2/8).