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Turner Sports

Phil Kent To Step Down as CEO Of Turner Broadcasting, John Martin To Assume Top Role

Phil Kent, John Martin

Breaking: The chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting, Phil Kent, will step down from the CEO role when his contract ends next year, he announced in a memo to staff today.

Time Warner CFO John Martin will take over as CEO of the unit on January 1, 2014, with Kent staying on as chairman for a transition period. Time Warner owns Turner Broadcasting, a unit that includes the CNN networks, TBS, TNT, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

“A dozen years is a long run in a top leadership position, particularly in such a dynamic and fast-changing industry as ours,” Kent wrote in a memo to staff today, obtained by TVNewser. “I’m very proud of Turner’s business results over the past decade. But I’m equally proud of the culture that we have built together to foster creativity, collaboration and risk-taking in the pursuit of excellence.”

Martin, like Kent, will report to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

“John is one of the most capable and strategically-minded executives I know,” Bewkes said in a statement. “As CFO, he led the design and implementation of our financial strategy that has helped Time Warner deliver superior shareholder returns. But he is also a broad and thoughtful business thinker whose inclusive management style and focus on driving the business forward will fit well with the Turner tradition. I have great confidence he will build on the success Phil has achieved to take Turner to even greater heights.”

More below, including Kent’s letter to staff.

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President Obama and PM Cameron Give Only Joint Interview To…

President Obama is hosting U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron this week, and it has been announced that the pair will be giving only one joint interview. It won’t be NBC, ABC or CBS, nor will it be Fox News or CNN.

Rather, the pair will be speaking to CBS Sports and Turner Sports during halftime of the first game of the NCAA playoffs Tuesday evening. CBS Sports’ Clark Kellogg will interview the pair, with the game set to air on TruTV. It will be Kellogg’s third time interviewing the President.

For Obama and Cameron, doing the interview during halftime ensures a much larger and more diverse audience than if it were standing by itself. From an audience perspective, one would prefer to be on a larger platform like CBS, but TruTV could see record ratings from this year’s March Madness tourney. Look for CBS News and CNN to take advantage of their sister divisions, and feature clips on their newscasts.

On a related note, CBS News has the only interview with Prince Harry as he travels in Brazil for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The interview will air on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday and Wednesday.

The full announcement of the Obama/Cameron interview, which includes a somewhat glaring error, is below. See if you can spot it.
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Reports: MetLife Lands Naming Rights To New Meadowlands Stadium

The New York Post is reporting that MetLife has officially landed the naming rights of the New Meadowlands Stadium.

The home of the New York Giants and New York Jets will be called MetLife Stadium.

The deal is expected to be announced as early as next week. It’s reportedly a 20-year deal worth as much as $20 million per year.

SportsBusiness Journal first reported in June that MetLife was having “advanced discussions” to acquire the naming rights to the home of the 2014 Super Bowl.

 

Cover of SEC Football Media Guide is No. 5 Jersey

In case the No. 5 jersey on the cover of the SEC football media guide was too subtle, the cover also includes the helpful line, “Home of FIVE consecutive BCS National Champions.”

Can you name all five? I’ll give you a hint: Vanderbilt is not one of them.

Seriously, props to the SEC for a little bragging. It’s all in good fun.

All-Star Game Earns Lowest Overnight Rating Ever

The 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game earned a 7.9 overnight rating Tuesday night on Fox, the lowest overnight rating ever for the game.

According to SportsBusiness Daily, the 7.9 overnight rating is down 13.2 percent (9.1 overnight) from 2010 and down 24 percent (10.4 overnight) from the 2009 game.

Locally, St. Louis let the local metered markets with a 17.8 rating, followed by Philadelphia with a 14.7 rating.

 

 

Video: Justin Timberlake in Capital One Cup ESPYs commercial

At next Wednesday’s ESPYs, Justin Timberlake is presenting the Capital One Cup to the top men’s and women’s collegiate athletic programs in the country across 13 sports. The winners, which have already been announced, are the University of Florida (men) and Stanford University (women). Each will receive $200,000, money earmarked for student-athletes going on to graduate school.

In advance of this presentation, Capital One put together a 6-minute video that features Timberlake playing men’s and women’s sports (because cross-gender stuff is always hilarious) and repeatedly getting hit in the groin with various errant shots, itself a sublime comedic staple.

March Madness Ratings: Best Thursday Overnight Ratings in 20 years for CBS, Turner

The first full day of March Madness coverage delivered the best Thursday overnight ratings since 1991 for CBS Sports and Turner Sports, the companies say.

Coverage on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV combined to deliver a 5.7 rating/13 share Thursday, compared to a 4.6 rating/11 share in overnights last year.

The biggest growth was during the day, with the first window (12-4:15PM) up 42% from last year, and the second window (3-6:45PM) up 46%. The evening/primetime windows delivered higher ratings than daytime, but saw slightly less growth, improving by 8% (7-9:45PM) and 12% (9:15PM-12:30AM).

Jalen Rose Clarifies "Uncle Toms" Comment

Following Grant Hill‘s Op-Ed column in The New York Times, Jalen Rose looked to clarify his “Uncle Toms” comments that were directed towards black Duke players.

The Fab Five executive producer left a lengthy voicemail for Michael McCarthy of the USA Today on Wednesday evening.

“First, says Rose, his comments about Duke preferring to recruit “Uncle Tom’ African-American athletes were said from his former perspective as a high school athlete; not as a 38-year old man. He’s irritated that one comment is overshadowing the rest of the documentary.

“I know a lot of people are trying to circumvent a great documentary that was two hours of quality content and paraphrase a statement that I made and look at the headline but not read the story. That’s basically when I talked about my recruiting as a high school student as it related to Duke. I just want to make sure I verify how I felt about that. I was clearly talking about a framework from 1991-1993, not about 2011.” Read more

Who Knew Damon Wayans Resembled Colin Cowherd?

When CBS announced last November they were developing a sitcom on the life of Colin Cowherd, it would have been a safe bet to assume the actor tapped to play the ESPN radio host would have the same skin color.

Wrong.

Damon Wayans (!) has finalized a deal to play Nick Herd in the multi-camera comedy pilot that’s set at a sports radio station. Andy Cadiff will direct the project and Cowherd will serve as a producer.

Wayans is best known for his roles on My Wife and Kids and In Living Color. Maybe if I squint at the right angle, I can make out the physical similarities between Wayans and Cowherd.

I was already skeptical of this project because of the Cowherd factor, but now I would be stunned if it gets a green light.

Grant Hill Responds to Jalen Rose In The New York Times

ESPN NBA analyst and The Fab Five executive producer Jalen Rose riled up folks last week when he claimed Duke University recruited only black players that he considered to be “Uncle Toms.”

Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill responded to Rose’s comment in The New York Times.

“I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way. The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them. Read more

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