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• ESPN said it would add two late-night shows to its programming line-up beginning Jan. 28, 2019: Now or Never (ESPN2) hosted by Steve Covino, Rich Davis, and Janelle Marie Rodriguez; and Ahora o Nunca (ESPN Deportes),hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza, Herculez Gomez and Janelle Marie Rodriguez. The shows “will be dedicated to covering the intersection of sports and pop culture for young, multicultural sports fans.”

• Sports apparel firm Fanatics, which has alliances with most of the major pro sports leagues, has signed its first college deal, with the University of Oregon, to become a licensee, manufacturer and retailer for the University’s apparel, headwear and numerous other product categories. The deal, which begins Jan. 1, 2020, was put at $25 million for ten years by industry analysts. Nike and Columbia Sportswear will remain as prominent University of Oregon partners.

• The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the  Boston Bruins and host Chicago Blackhawks is scheduled for Jan. 1 outdoors in Notre Dame Stadium. Before that happens, Road To The NHL Winter Classic docu-series returns to go behind the scenes with both teams, with the three-week, limited series premiering in the U.S. Dec. 19 on NBCSN (11:30 PM ET).  The series is produced by Ross Greenburg Productions in association with NHL Original Productions.

• Seeking to continue expanding its presence in China, the NFL has signed a digital partnership with Youku, the video entertainment platform for Alibaba Group, intended to “bring high-quality football programming to Chinese fans.” Weekly programming on Youku's sports channel will feature game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games, including the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, NFL Draft and NFL International series.

POLL POSITION

Eight Teams And Venues For XFL 2020

• Dallas – Globe Life Park
• Houston – TDECU Stadium
• Los Angeles – StubHub Center
• New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
• St. Louis – The Dome at America’s Center
• Seattle – CenturyLink Field
• Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
• Washington, DC – Audi Field

See full story here.

KEEPING SCORE

BABE RUTH MEMORABILIA AUCTION

A live auction is scheduled to take place in Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2019 under the auspices of Hunt Auctions, to include 100s of items from the Babe Ruth family that have been in their possession since he passed away in 1948, most of which have not been seen in public. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Among the items: 
• Babe Ruth Professional Model cleats
• Babe Ruth 60th Home Run Autographed display piece
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan Champion Batsman presentational trophy
• Lou Gehrig signed and inscribed photograph to Babe Ruth
• Babe Ruth's 1930-31 New York Yankees "Better year than President" player contract
• Babe Ruth 1935 Boston Braves autographed contract agreement
• Babe Ruth personal check ledger with related signed documents
• Babe Ruth single signed baseballs and autographed photographs
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan presentational pass
• Babe Ruth personal photographic albums including autographed exemplars
• Babe Ruth 12 Point Deer Trophy Mount with photographic provenance

Other items not from the Ruth family include:
• Babe Ruth Professional Model Bat with Home Run Notches c.1926-29
• Babe Ruth "Bustin Babes" barnstorming equipment travel case c.1920s (Waite Hoyt provenance)
• Highly significant 1923 New York Yankees World Championship presentational Spalding trophy
• 1923 New York Yankees World Champions team autographed ledger sheet

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. Dec. 7-9
1. Ralph Breaks the Internet $16.1M
2. The Grinch $15.7M
3. Creed II $10.3M
4. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald $6.8M
5. Bohemian Rhapsody $6M
6. Instant Family $5.6M
7. Green Book $3.9M
8. Robin Hood $3.6M
9. Possession of Hannah Grace $3.2M
10. Widows $3.1M

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Monday
Dec182017

Adding To Its Current Difficulties, John Skipper Resigns As ESPN President

By Barry Janoff

December 18, 2018: Citing an on-going struggle with “substance addiction,” John Skipper has resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks.

ESPN said that George Bodenheimer, its president from 1998-2011 and its executive chairman until May 2014, would take over as the acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days “to help Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger find Skipper's replacement.”

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said in a statement. "I have had a wonderful career at the Walt Disney Company and am grateful for the many opportunities and friendships. I owe a debt to many, but most profoundly Michael Lynton, George Bodenheimer and Bob Iger.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.

"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.”

Skipper had been ESPN president and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks since Jan. 1, 2012,.

He joined ESPN in 1997 and had served as executive vice president-content prior to being named president.

The last company-wide function he oversaw as president was on Dec. 13, a meeting with some 450 members of ESPN's on-air telent.

“At the end of this meeting I want you to be confident about the future of ESPN,” Skipper told the gathering, according to ESPN. “I want you to feel proud about working here and I want you to feel that your best efforts are needed for that future and to feel that pride.”

Now, Skipper is dealing with is own future.

“I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down," Skipper said in his statement.

“As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.”

“To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to continue ESPN’s success.

Skipper’s departure comes amidst on-going cost-cutting moves by ESPN, which has impacted on-air and production staff.

In addition, ESPN last week suspended two of its NFL analysts, Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis, relating to a case of accused sexual harassment of an employee at NFL Network when they were both at NFL Network.

Also last week, The Disney Co. said it would acquire  major assets of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.

The deal brings to Disney key assets of major properties it did not own, including Marvel's X-Men and the first movie in the Star Wars franchise (Star Wars: A New Hope). Also included is FX Networks, National Geographic, 300-plus international channels, 22 regional sports networks and Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu.

In a statement, Iger said, “I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time. I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family.

“With his departure, George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership, help me identify and secure John’s successor, and ensure a smooth transition.

“I am grateful for George’s support and look forward to working with him again in this temporary role,” said Iger.

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